Concrete construction is an art form. So many factors can keep the concrete from turning out satisfactorily for you and your customer. This fact creates the need for constant monitoring and troubleshooting.
Problems with concrete are worth considering when looking at concrete forms for sale, because they can affect the final product once the forms are removed.
Here are some common concrete construction problems and tips for how to fix them.
Common Concrete Pouring Issues
During concrete pumping, air loss can cause problems. Several factors lead to this, such as long vertical drops, high initial slump, increase in pressure, or drop in exit. For every 1% decrease in air, strength decreases by 4-5%.
You can fix this problem by adding a gate at the end of the pump line for restriction. It also helps to keep the boom in an upward or horizontal position as much as possible. If this can’t be done you can put multiple 90 degree elbows into the line to slow down concrete, minimizing the straight dropout.
Bug holes are evident by a small void on the outside of formed concrete surfaces. These come from poor application of form release agents to formwork or completely forgoing their use entirely. It can also come from stiff or sticky concrete mixtures. This can also be caused by poorly placed internal concrete vibrators.
To solve the problem of bug holes, make sure release agents are applied correctly to formwork. Supervise vibrator placement closely, and check the mixture to make sure its consistency isn’t too stiff. If these fixes don’t work, self-consolidating concrete can also reduce bug holes.
Honeycombing consists of voids left in the concrete is a result of mortar not filling the spaces among coarse aggregate particles. The problems from this can be cosmetic or structural in nature. Honeycombing also happens because of aggregate that is too large or improperly proportioned concrete mix. Limited access for pouring concrete in formwork can also cause problems. Reinforced steel can also block flow.
A viable solution to honeycombing is to minimize steel rebar to reduce flow restrictions. Checking concrete mix proportions and increasing access points for pouring will also help prevent honeycombing. Additionally, you can use self-consolidating concrete, which minimizes the risk of honeycombing.
The Importance of Quality Formwork
The solutions outlined above for common concrete problems work best when paired with quality concrete formwork. Your final concrete product will only turn out as good as the forms that you use to set it. It’s especially important to use quality forms when working with self-consolidating concrete, as form surfaces are perfectly mirrored in the concrete.
Forming America is your quality form supplier. Whether you rent or purchase forms from us, you can count on quality every time. We inspect and repair every form as needed before it is sent out. We will even deliver right to your jobsite. Contact Forming America today at 1-888-993-1304 to get started.