Precast and Cast-in-Place Concrete
Concrete is an essential part of the construction process. Knowing what type of concrete fits your specific needs is crucial to the successful execution of a construction project as per plan.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the difference between the two primary types of concrete: pre-cast and cast-in-place. There are pros and cons attached to the use of each one, which you should consider when planning a construction project.
This article will discuss the difference between pre-cast and cast-in-place concrete, highlighting each type’s advantages and disadvantages.
Pre-cast concrete is prefabricated, ready-to-use concrete prepared off-site (typically by professional concrete services) in a controlled environment. It’s intended to decrease the time and manual labor required in preparing concrete at the construction site.
It’s primarily used in structural components such as floors, tunnels, pipes, staircases, etc.
Cast-in-place concrete is unhardened concrete prepared at the construction site. Everything from pouring, and molding, to the curation process is handled by workers present on-site without using any concrete services. It’s primarily used for foundations, concrete slabs, beams, columns, roofs, walls, etc.
Pre-cast concrete arrives at the construction site prepared by concrete services, reducing the time the construction team would have spent preparing it from scratch.
Pre-cast concrete is prepared in a controlled environment off-site. Concrete services preparing it have more time to run quality checks and advanced tools to inspect for defects.
Typical on-site issues related to temperature and humidity during concrete preparation also vanish with pre-cast concrete.
Purchasing pre-made concrete in bulk can reduce material costs. For larger projects requiring a large amount of concrete, buyers can negotiate lower prices by purchasing higher volumes.
Pre-cast concrete has steel rebars inside, increasing its strength and durability. It’s also typically stronger than cast-in-place concrete due to better quality controls.
Generally, the initial capital required to purchase pre-cast concrete is higher than cast-in-place concrete.
Pre-cast concrete requires heavy transportation, such as cranes, to transport it to the construction site, often at very long distances.
Cast-in-place concrete is harder to penetrate and better insulated from elements such as sound or mold. It can also withstand cold temperatures and moisture, which erodes the concrete’s quality.
The on-site construction can customize the concrete according to their requirements.
Cast-in-place concrete can support two-way structural systems.
Because the concrete must be prepared on-site and no outside help, such as professional concrete services, is required, there will be a greater burden of labor for the concrete’s preparation.
More time is required to implement strength tests and concrete curing processes.
Preparing the concrete in an uncontrolled environment opens the doors for quality control issues. Unfavorable weather conditions, especially humidity, can erode the concrete’s quality.
Choosing between pre-cast and cast-in-place concrete is a matter of assessing internal requirements. Remember, knowing the difference is just the first step. Using the right type can make all the difference in planning and execution.
If you decide to go for ready-to-use concrete, we can help. MQR Precast provides concrete services in Calgary, including high-quality, ready mix concrete that can be cast in place, and precast options as well. Reach out today to leverage our 40 years’ worth of experience!