The industrial revolution in the twentieth century made a mass change in each and every industry in the world. The industry of civil engineering was no exception. There have concrete driveways new orleans been huge changes in the style and outlook of the people towards the construction business. There have been grave changes in the styles, construction methodologies and the raw materials used. Introduction of new technologies and advancements in this field have paved way for better ways of constructions.
During this period of transition, a few things like the basics of constructions and the usage of a few building materials have not changed. Concrete is one such basic building material that almost all architects and engineers rely on as the first choice. Concrete mixtures are always used for the strength and stability of the building. This perception towards concrete is slowly changing and architects have started using concrete as a means to decorate the interior and exterior finishing of the buildings. This new concept which goes by the name decorative concrete has been adopted by thousands of engineers due to its impressive looks and for the sort of professional touches that it gives.
How is decorative concrete prepared?
The preparation of decorative concrete does not differ much from the preparation of normal mixtures except for the usage of extra content for decorations like coloring agents. Unlike normal concrete which is used for the sole purpose of strength, decorative concrete is used for beautifying the walls, floors and ceilings of the building. Hence the concentration of this concrete is not as thick as a normal concrete mixture. The designs and styles play major roles in the concentration of the mixtures. For instance, the walls that are imprinted with trendy designs made up of decorative concrete need a heavy concentration as they are a part of the actual building. Portable displays of such designs, which are more like wall hangings, need lesser concentration to help in the mobility.
Types of decorative concrete
This is the most widely used decorative concrete. The reason for its wide usage can be attributed to its ease of preparation. All the curator needs to do is add correct concentrations of coloring agents to the concrete mixture during its preparation stage. The coloring agents are usually chemical compounds of chromium and other heavy metals. Mixtures of almost all colors can be achieved through this method. Different colors are achieved by mixing different proportions oxides with the parent elements in the mixture.
Another innovative method of decorative concrete is the stamped method. As the name suggests, Stamped is prepared by impressing design molds into the wet mixture and are left to dry. The molds are usually made up of stone, wood or rubber. The intended design of the walls are made in the molds and after removal of these molds from the dried concrete mixture, excellent impressions of the actual design are obtained. Releasing solutions like lubricant mixtures are used to release the molds from the concrete without getting stuck into the mixture. This method has been widely adapted by tile manufacturers to design and manufacture such tiles.
This unique way of creating decorative impressions are widely used in Canada and the States, where most of the public buildings, walls and bridges have these decorations. The method is more similar to the stamped concrete method where impressions are created from the molds. The molds used here need extra care as they are prepared by artists are sculptors who give importance to every single part of the design. The molds are usually prepared using wax and thickened clay. One advantage is the limited usage of coloring agents in the initial concrete mixture because the colored coating is achieved through form lining molds, which transfer their color to the walls of the blocks.