The Advantages and Disadvantages of Plain Concrete
Plain concrete, also known as plain cement concrete (PCC), is commonly used for paving and flooring and is made from a combination of cement, aggregate, and water. Different types of aggregate and material ratios can be used to create cement with slightly different properties. This is one of the main selling points of ready mix concrete as the exact values and types of aggregate can be measured and monitored accurately to provide the qualities that are needed without any variation. The automated manufacturing process of plain concrete also reduces human error while saving time and resources.
While there are differences in the composition of the concrete, most plain concrete shares the same strengths and weaknesses. It is extremely strong in compression but weak in tension, which means that it can withstand enormous amounts of weight when placed on a solid, immovable surface. When put under tension, however, it becomes much weaker and frequently cracks and buckles. This makes it ideal for ground floor layers, providing a stable and even foundation for reinforced concrete, while limiting its use in larger construction projects.
- Less expensive
- Faster Installation
- More prone to cracking
- Incredibly strong under compression whilst weak under tension
- Ideal for ground floor layers
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Reinforced Concrete
In terms of materials, reinforced concrete, also known as reinforced cement concrete (RCC), is very similar to PCC. The addition of steel rebar is the only significant difference in its composition. By casting wet cement around reinforcing steel bars, the resulting composite material has much higher tension strength while retaining the properties that make PCC so effective.
RCC is a much more versatile construction material because the concrete retains its strength under compression and the steel rebar helps to resist any bending or stretching.
Because of the increased flexural capacity of the concrete/steel mix, it can withstand weight pushing down on it as well as any wind pressure or shifting that results in slight twists and strains, making it the perfect material for taller and heavier buildings, as well as roads and bridges.
Steel is the most common material used to make rebar because it reacts to temperature variations very similarly to concrete. This means it will expand and contract with the concrete rather than cracking it from the inside.
- More expensive
- Is strong in both compression and tension
- Resists against temperature and shrinkage stresses
- Much heavier
- Takes time to gain its full strength