Concrete is the literal foundation of much of our local architecture in Eugene and Springfield, Oregon, and Delta Construction Co. is proud to have constructed a lot of it! We specialize in concrete construction, but to many the mystery of concrete can be hard to crack, so we figured we’d lay some of the basics out for you:
What is concrete made of?
Concrete, or concrete-like aggregates, have been used in building and construction since ancient times. Originally, concrete consisted of clay, lime, gypsum and chalk. Today’s concrete is a composite of fine and coarse aggregates (sand and rocks) bonded by cement. It must be free of organic compounds to avoid chemical reactions that would otherwise impair its solidity and strength, but it is made of naturally-occurring materials.
Cement is a paste that bonds the aggregate materials together and hardens over time. Concrete is kept damp over the hardening process to make sure that, as the cement shrinks around these particles, the entire slab hardens evenly.
What makes concrete stronger or weaker?
The strength of concrete, called Tensile Strength, is the resistance of the material to breaking when exposed to tension. In other words, concrete is stronger or weaker depending on how “crushable” it is. The lower the water content in the initial pour, the stronger the concrete, as it will be more compact.
Concrete can now be prestressed to avoid breakage later on, which is especially helpful when using concrete as a building material. This technique involves the combination of the high-tensile-strength steal and the compressive strength of concrete.
Why is concrete a great addition to a sustainable building plan?
Concrete is considered a sustainable building material for a number of reasons:
1) It’s durable: In the case of concrete, with strength comes longevity. Concrete building does not catch fire, rust or rot, so it outlasts most all other building materials.
2) It retains heat: Concrete is an energy-efficient building material thanks to its high thermal mass.
3) It can be recycled: Delta Sand & Gravel and associated companies recycle approximately 50,000 tons of demolition concrete last year.
4) It creates little waste: Concrete can be mixed to meet the exact specifications of a construction project, eliminating nearly all waste product.
Check out more great concrete sustainability facts at ConcreteNetwork.com.
What are some of Delta Construction Co.’s concrete projects in Lane County?
Pleasant Hill High School
- Concrete Courtyard
- Covered Breezeway Footing & Sidewalks
- Concrete Site Walls & Stairs
- Cast in Place Curbs & Generator Pad
Clear Water Boat Ramp
- Cast-in-place Boat Ramp with textured V-Groove Finish
LCC Center for Learning
- Concrete Site Walls & Seat Walls with Skate Stops
- Reinforced Concrete Sidewalks, Ramps, Stairs, and Courtyards
- Radius Paver Bands and Colored Sidewalks at Main Entry
University of Oregon Erb Memorial Union
- Reinforced Concrete Sidewalks – Sand Finish (colored) and Broom Finished
- Concrete Site Walls, Seat Walls, and Storm Water Planters
- Heavy Vehicular Concrete Paving with Saw Cut Joints
- Concrete Mow Strips/Bands, Curb & Gutter, and C-Curb
Do you want to know more?
Are you interested in joining our concrete team? We have open positions for entry-level, mid-level and lead Utility Construction Workers. Check them out and apply today!