What is readymix concrete?
Readymix concrete is ideal for almost all types of construction and is used for buildings, roads, civil engineering projects, walls, floors and more. It is pre-mixed to exact specifications and delivered to site in the familiar concrete trucks we see on the roads. Readymix concrete is a preferred choice for the construction industry because it lends itself to swift loading and off-loading and can be used immediately, meaning it saves time and waste. Readymix concrete is available in a range of grades and finishes, and is sold by volume (cubic metres), making it one of the most convenient solutions.
What is high performance concrete?
Designed to be more durable that other types of concrete, High Performance Concrete (HPC) is made from specialist ingredients (higher quality aggregates and higher quantities of Portland cement) to give it superior strength. HPC is commonly used: on construction projects with heavy traffic/footfall such as car parks, tunnels and transport infrastructure; in environments that are exposed to extreme weather such as marine or coastal structures; or where increased watertightness is required such as service reservoirs, swimming pools or water treatment plants.
HPC has low shrinkage, meaning it is less at risk from cracking, and low permeability so it can withstand exposure to abrasive chemicals, as well as excellent corrosion resistance. HPC is recyclable and available in a variety of colours, offering endless possibilities for building design.
What is ultra high performance concrete?
Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) has been developed more recently and is the most long-lasting concrete product available, retaining its tensile strength for more than 100 years. Extremely tough and durable, UPHC has a minimum compressive strength of 150 MPa (traditional concrete is between 25-60 MPa, HPC is above 70 MPa) and has high resistance to freezing/thawing, abrasion and chloride permeability. Low maintenance, UHPC is typically used for bridges.
Due to its strength and durability, UHPC like DYNAMax requires smaller foundations thanks to lower building dead loads, making it ideal for high rise infrastructure projects or those requiring thin sections or columns. The smaller cross-sections require less valuable space to be taken up by concrete, thus increasing the useable area.
It is ideal for applications such as multi-storey car parks with slim supporting structures simplifying traffic routing, increasing the number of parking bays and creating more room height, as well as stairways and elevator shafts.
What if I want to make a more sustainable choice?
As the construction industry strives towards net zero, more sustainable materials are being researched and developed, including low carbon alternatives to standard concrete. Our ECOPact range is an active setting, carbon saving concrete with enhanced carbon reduction. Available in most consistency classes, ECOPact is the UK’s first concrete to offer high levels of carbon reduction (30-50% compared with Portland cement CEMI solution) without compromising on performance. It can be used in place of all traditional concrete products and is compliant with all existing standards.
Our UHPC, DYNAMax, also supports project managers to achieve eco-balance, by lowering material demand without compromising on performance and thus reducing the carbon footprint of the entire building. Our nationwide network of readymix concrete plants also reduces delivery time to project sites, offering a significant carbon-saving in the transport and logistics aspect of the supply chain too.
This, combined with less use of resources and a longer life service all works together to lower overall project and construction costs.
Concrete is an extremely versatile product used worldwide on almost every type of building or infrastructure, and there are a number of innovative material developments in this area. Ensuring you choose the right grade of concrete can not only help improve on-site efficiencies and costs, but also the lifespan and legacy of your project. Contact our experts to discuss the right solution for you.