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Chapter 2

Part 1
Prepare by : CABM

 Precast concrete is a construction product produced

by casting concrete in a reusable mold or "form" which
is then cured in a controlled environment, transported
to the construction site and lifted into place
 Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of
a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and
transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the
construction site where the structure is to be located. The
term is used to distinguish this process from the more
conventional construction practice of transporting the basic
materials to the construction site where all assembly is
carried out.
 Detached houses, cottages, log cabin, saunas, etc. are also sold with
prefabricated elements. Prefabrication of modular wall elements allows building
of complex thermal insulation, window frame components, etc. on an assembly
line, which tends to improve quality over on-site construction of each individual
wall or frame. Wood construction in particular benefits from the improved
quality. However, tradition often favors building by hand in many countries, and
the image of prefab as a "cheap" method only slows its adoption. However,
current practice already allows the modifying the floor plan according to the
customer's requirements and selecting the surfacing material, e.g. a
personalized brick facade can be masoned even if the load-supporting elements
are timber.
 An example from house-building illustrates the process of prefabrication.
The conventional method of building a house is to transport bricks, timber,
cement, sand, steel and construction aggregate, etc. to the site, and to
construct the house on site from these materials. In prefabricated
construction, only the foundations are constructed in this way, while
sections of walls, floors and roof are prefabricated (assembled) in a factory
(possibly with window and door frames included), transported to the site,
lifted into place by a crane and bolted together.
 Prefabrication techniques are used in the construction of
apartment blocks, and housing developments with repeated
housing units. The quality of prefabricated housing units had
increased to the point that they may not be distinguishable
from traditionally built units to those that live in them. The
technique is also used in office blocks, warehouses and
factory buildings. Prefabricated steel and glass sections are
widely used for the exterior of large buildings.
 By producing precast concrete in a controlled environment
(typically referred to as a precast plant), the precast
concrete is afforded the opportunity to properly cure and be
closely monitored by plant employees.
 Utilizing a Precast Concrete system offers many potential
advantages over site casting of concrete.
 The production process for Precast Concrete is performed
on ground level, which helps with safety throughout a
 There is a greater control of the quality of materials and workmanship in a
precast plant rather than on a construction site.
 Financially, the forms used in a precast plant may be reused hundreds to
thousands of times before they have to be replaced, which allow cost of
formwork per unit to be lower than for site-cast production.
 There are many different types of precast concrete forming systems for
architectural applications, differing in size, function, and cost. Precast
architectural panels are also used to clad all or part of a building facade free-
standing walls used for landscaping, soundproofing, and security walls, and
some can be Prestressed concrete structural elements. Stormwater drainage,
water and sewage pipes, and tunnels make use of precast concrete units.

 Concrete cast into

desired shapes
prior to placement
in a structure
The assembly of parts put together in different
ways to form the total building fabric
The parts meet at joints or connections
Joint refers to the space between components
whether or not they are in contact
The main factor that contributes to the
success of a precast building project is
‘integration’ of all building professionals
(include architects, engineers, clients,
contractors and subcontractors).
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
1. Production of reinforced cages and main connections:
The precast factory often
has specialist workshops
for the manufacture and
maintenance of moulds,
and for the production of
jig-built reinforcing cages
and connections.
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
2. Assembly of moulds:

The reinforced cage is

positioned in the partly
assembled mould, then
the remaining mould
section is completed.
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
3. Mix being poured:
Carefully specified
concrete is placed into the
mould. Many precast works
now employ computer
controlled batching plants.
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
4. Compaction of concrete using poker vibrator:

To ensure that optimum density is

obtained and that specified strengths
are achieved, concrete is placed and
compacted using high-frequency
external vibrators or pokers.
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
5. Precast concrete being moved to the storage area:
Once an appropriate strength has been reached,
the precast units are moved to the storage area.
Units are usually handled within hours of casting
as part of the rapid production cycle.
The product exhibits a high degree of dimensional
accuracy and quality of finish. Economies of
production are achieved through the repetitive
and automated process.
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
6. Storage of high-quality units in works area:
The finished precast components are
stacked on clean battens or plastic pads
positioned to suit the design of the
component. Care is taken to keep the stacks
vertical and to ensure that battens are
placed directly above one another within the
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
7. Transport to site:
The components are delivered to
site in a pre-determined sequence
to ensure that hardened concrete
are ready for instant erection.
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
8. Erection at site:
The components are
erected straight from
the lorry. This leads to
faster erection times
with reduced on-site
The following figures illustrate the
precast concrete process:
9. Finished building:
 High level mechanization thus precision
 No delay due to bad weather and manpower (Independent of adverse weather
conditions during construction)
 Application of modular design in standardizing dimensions
 Work done concurrently at factory and at site thus speed up construction
 Low site workers requirement due to simplified construction methods
 Quality controlled and highly aesthetic end products
 Reduction of construction materials at sites
 Save costs
 Reduction / elimination of conventional timber formworks
 Reduction / elimination of props
 Reduction of construction wastes
 Cleaner sites
 Safer construction sites
 Faster completion of construction projects
 Cheaper total construction costs made possible due to all of the above
 Environmental friendly way of building, with optimum use of materials, recycling of waste products, less
noise and dust etc.
 Continuing erection in winter time until -20 °C

 Leaks can form at joints in prefabricated components.

 Transportation costs may be higher for voluminous prefabricated
sections than for the materials of which they are made, which can
often be packed more efficiently.
 Large prefabricated sections require heavy-duty cranes and
precision measurement and handling to place in position.
 Larger groups of buildings from the same type of prefabricated
elements tend to look drab and monotonous.
 Lightweight concrete can be defined asa type of concrete which
includes an expanding agent in that it increases the volume of
the mixture while giving additional qualities and lessened the
dead weight.
 It is lighter than the conventional concrete.
 The use of lightweight concrete has been widely spread across
countries such as USA, United Kingdom and Sweden.
 The MAIN SPECIALTIES of lightweight concrete are its low density
and thermal conductivity.
 It’s ADVANTAGES are that there is a reduction of dead load, faster
building rates in construction and lower haulage and handling
 It was first introduced by the Romans in the second century where
‘The Pantheon’ has been constructed using pumice, the most
common type of aggregate used.
 The building of ‘The Pantheon’ of lightweight concrete material is
still standing eminently in Rome until now for about 18 centuries as
shown in Figure . It shows that the lighter materials can be used in
concrete .
 Lightweight concrete CAN BE PREPARED either by injecting air in its
composition or it can be achieved by omitting the finer sizes of the
aggregate or even replacing them by a hollow, cellular or porous
 Lightweight concrete can be categorized into three groups:-
i) No-fines Concrete
ii) Lightweight Aggregate Concrete
iii) Aerated/Foamed Concrete
No-Fines Concrete

 Defined as a lightweight concrete composed of cement and fine

 Uniformly distributed voids are formed throughout its mass.
 It maintains its large voids and not forming laitance layers or
cement film when placed on the wall.
 The strength of no-fines concrete increases as the cement
content is increased.
 It is sensitive to the water composition.
Lightweight Aggregate Concrete
• The porous lightweight aggregate of low specific gravity is used
in this LWC.
• Can be natural aggregate such as pumice, scoria & all of those
volcanic origin and artificial aggregate.
• There are 2 types of lightweight aggregate concrete:-
i. Compacted lightweight aggregate concrete (for precast
concrete blocks or panels, cast in-situ roofs and walls)
ii. Structural lightweight aggregate concrete (can be used with
steel reinforcement as to have a good bond between the steel
and the concrete.
Aerated / Foamed Concrete
 Does not contain coarse aggregate, and can be regarded as an
aerated mortar.
 Is made by introducing air or other gas into a cement slurry and
fine sand.
 In commercial practice, the sand can be replace by pulverized fuel
ash, or siliceous material or lime as cement.
 There are 2 methods to prepare the aerated concrete:-
i. Inject the gas into the mixing during its plastic condition. (for
precast units at factory)
ii. Air is introduced either by mixing-in stable foam or by whipping-in
air, using an air-entraining agent. (for in-situ concrete)
Water Absorption

 Water absorption is an important factor due to the

porous structure of the aerated lightweight concrete.
 The water absorption test is done using the samples
prepared at the age of 28 days.
 The purpose of this test is to identify the capability of
the concrete to absorb water.
Entrained Air
 As with normal-weight concrete, entrained air in structural
lightweight concrete ensures resistance to freezing and thawing
and to deicer applications.
 It also improves workability, reduces bleeding and segregation, and
may compensate for minor grading deficiencies in the aggregate.
 The amount of entrained air should be sufficient to provide good
workability to the plastic concrete and adequate freeze-thaw
resistance to the hardened concrete.
 Air contents are generally between 5% and 8%, depending on the
maximum size of coarse aggregate used and the exposure

 Lightweight concrete has been used since the eighteen centuries by the
 The lightweight concrete was also used in construction during the First
World War. The United States used mainly for shipbuilding.
 It is widely used as loose-fill insulation in masonry construction where it
enhances fire ratings, reduces noise transmission, does not rot and
termite resistant.
 It is also used for vessels, roof decks and other applications.

 Rapid and relatively simple construction.

 Economical in terms of transportation as well as reduction in manpower.
 Significant reduction of overall weight results in saving structural frames,
footing or piles.
 Most of lightweight concrete have better nailing and sawing properties than
heavier and stronger conventional concrete.
 Reduction in dead loads making savings in foundations and reinforcement.
 Improved thermal properties.
 Improved fire resistance.
 Reduction in formwork and propping.

 Very sensitive with water content in the mixtures.

 Difficult to place when finish because of the
porosity and angularity of the aggregate. In some
mixes the cement mortar may separate the
aggregate and float towards the surface.
 Mixing time is longer than conventional concrete to
assure proper mixing.