The stability of a building is determined by the strength of its concrete. Strong concrete may be defined as one which can withstand both the compression and tension forces exerted on its body. The materials used, mixture ratios and concrete treatment play a vital role in influencing the resultant strength of the concrete in question.
On its own, concrete possesses a strong resistance against compression forces. However, upon the application of tensile forces, concrete experiences cracks. Concrete reinforcing mesh panels are used to avoid that. The panels hold the concrete together, minimising the effects of any tensile forces present. The size of the reinforcement panels to be used depends on the desired degree of strength. For example, a higher grade is used when building mansions as compared to when building a bungalow.
Curing the concrete:
Concrete curing is often confused with drying. However, unlike drying, it involves providing the recently laid concrete with a specific level of humidity and temperature for a period of 3 to 10 days. It is done to influence the properties of the concrete towards the desired results. The length of time allowed depends on the intended application of the concrete. Following a successful curation of the concrete, it possesses sufficient strength to resist cracking and crumbling.
Drying the concrete:
Drying is a common concrete strengthening technique. The concrete mixture is often exposed to a given range of temperature to trigger the loss of water to the desired level. The process of drying should be gradual. This is why fresh concrete may need to be watered on hot days. Rapid drying is a source of cracking which tends to weaken the concrete.
In most construction sites, strengthening is done naturally through drying from the sun. As the concrete dries, its strength increases. However, different techniques need to be combined to achieve a strong concrete structure.