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Precast Concrete

An overview for understanding precasting concrete operations

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Precasting Methods and Materials

Precast Concrete Applications and Advantages

Tips on Starting a Precasting Operation

Precast Concrete Projects

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Photo Tour of Precast Concrete

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    Castlestone, Inc.
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    Castlestone, Inc.
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    Castlestone, Inc.

Precast concrete is simply concrete that is cast somewhere other than where it will be used. Most precast products are cast in a factory using a wet-cast method, but others are cast on site-such as tilt-up panels. There are lots of reasons-mostly advantages-why one would precast, and we'll get into those, but the biggest negative of precasting is that the resultant concrete item must be moved. Concrete is heavy-typically about 150 pounds per cubic foot-so concrete elements don't have to be very big before moving them becomes unrealistic.

Some decorative contractors, such as those that precast concrete countertops, stretch the boundaries on what's too big or heavy to move, developing special rigs to transport massive pieces of their concrete work. Other times, it's just simpler to cast the concrete in place as the precast advantages are outweighed by convenience, such as with concrete slabs and floors.

Precasting offers contractors an opportunity to make more money-to increase the scope of the types of concrete work they can offer their customers. To begin precasting, you will need a shop large enough to accommodate the size of the pieces you intend to precast (or a yard if you intend to precast outside), material storage areas or bins, molds, a mixer sized for the precast products you are making, a way to consolidate the concrete in the molds, and a material handling system.

Bill Palmer

Author Bill Palmer, ConcreteNetwork.com Columnist

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