When your precast concrete wall shows up at your house or project site, you may wonder how it’s all made. Maybe you have seen cast-in-place concrete being installed and wonder if it’s the same or a little bit different.
When we create a concrete wall or fence, we put great attention to detail into your project to ensure your fence or wall is created to your specifications.
Here are the steps the manufacturer goes through to create your precast concrete wall.
Planning Your Wall Begins
Project engineers will start to analyze the requirements for the project. They will take note of the height and length you request and any additives you requested in the wall – like dyes or aggregate. They will typically create drawings that tell the production team exactly what to do before also creating a concrete mix design that is tailored to the project.
Rebar is Cut and Bent
Next, the rebar is cut to the right lengths, and bends are added where they are needed. Metal ties will connect all the rebar together. Plastic spacers, often called wagon wheels, will attach to the outside of the rebar cage to make sure it will be positioned right in the middle of the form.
Forms are Prepped
At the same time, another group is prepping the forms. The drawings will be reviewed to make sure the right form is being used, and any custom pieces like openings or inserts will be added. Form oil is applied to the inside of the form to help the concrete pieces pop out easier.
The Form Joins the Rebar
The form is lifted and lowered onto the rebar cage. At this point, the quality control officer will inspect the form and cage to make sure everything was built right. If it passes, the form will be signed off on and flagged.
Concrete is Mixed…
The concrete is mixed on-site according to the specifications set by the engineers. The concrete will go through a few tests to make sure it was mixed right before it’s poured into the forms. Any dyes or decorative aggregate will be added at this time.
…And Then Poured
Typically using a crane, the concrete is moved to the form. Once everything is positioned right, the batch of concrete is poured from the dispensing machine into the molds. The group filling the molds has to make sure there are no air voids in the mold. Vibrating tables are commonly used to settle the concrete. The top is leveled, and any finishes are applied.
Your Wall is Cured
After pouring, the concrete cured in a temperature-controlled environment. This allows it to reach a higher strength much quicker than it would on-site.
The Form is Removed
Once the concrete wall pieces have reached the correct strength, usually 2,500-3,000 psi, the form can be removed from the concrete. The outer form is opened, which allows the inner part to collapse. The whole mold is then removed using a crane.
Your Wall is Complete!
Inspectors will take one final look to make sure everything was built correctly, before sending the concrete wall to shipping.
As you can see, the process of creating a precast concrete wall is very similar to a cast-in-place project. The small differences between the two have a huge impact. You will end up with a concrete wall that is stronger, more beautiful, and will last longer. Once you are ready to start work on your own precast concrete wall or fence, contact American Precast, Inc. for your free product estimate.