February 16, 2022
Too many of us think that construction is merely a matter of stacking bricks one on top of the other. Contrarily, a slightly more informed audience is aware that the process entails other sophisticated operations such as material mixing, site preparation, and framing. However, not everyone would realise that these operations also include other complexities, such as cement mixing and application procedures.
For example, many people mistakenly use concrete and shotcrete services synonymously. But you may be surprised to hear that the two are as different as South Korea and North Korea or maybe coffee and a latte (as apparent in the discussion that follows). On the other hand, some people might not even have heard the term shotcrete before and have hit the internet as soon as they saw it for the first time.
However, no one is to blame for this lack of knowledge as an individual can not be an expert in every field. Nevertheless, a basic understanding of these terms is absolutely essential when you require the assistance of a concrete or shotcrete service provider. You must be able to distinguish between the two in order to determine which service perfectly suits the demands of your situation.
In light of the above, we, as the top-rated and most reliable concrete contractors in Calgary and the surrounding areas, would like to pass on some knowledge regarding concrete and shotcrete services to our valued readers.
To keep things simple and easy to comprehend, we shall use our earlier example of the difference between coffee and a latte to illustrate the distinction between concrete and shotcrete. However, we believe that the previous sentence already did 50% of the job.
Concrete is one of the most commonly used materials in the construction industry. It is a mixture made up of water, cement, and aggregates which usually contain sand and gravel. In short, the aim is to bond the properties of all these substances to create a stronger building material called concrete. The latter is used in building foundations, parking lots, superstructures, etc.
The traditional method of applying concrete involves the mixing of all the elements at a different place and then pouring the mixture onto a surface. Afterwards, the mixture is vibrated for compaction. You can think of it as a traditional coffee drink.
Some people may refer to shotcrete as a variation of traditional concrete, while others may refer to it as simply a different method of applying concrete. We would say it is a bit of both. While both contain the same elements (water, cement, and aggregates), the method of application results in shotcrete being richer in cement with a lesser proportion of water.
Hence, we may say that shotcrete is a modern variation of concrete which came from innovative thinking and technical advancements. Since shotcrete involves the projection of the mixed materials on a particular place with a high velocity rather than pouring it, we would also be correct to say that shotcrete is an evolved method of applying concrete.
You can think of shotcrete as a latte that is made from traditional coffee but through a different method and a variation in ingredients to meet varying needs.
Honestly, neither of the two is superior to the other. While shotcrete was invented to overcome the drawbacks in concrete, it lacks some of the perks of the traditional concrete application method.
Conventionally, pouring a pre-mixed concrete mixture on a surface promised great strength and durability, but it was difficult to apply on vertical or overhead objects. Moreover, it was also a challenge to adequately apply the concrete onto different shapes and the whole process of pouring and vibrating was time-consuming and expensive.
On the other hand, shotcrete overcomes these drawbacks as the mixture is ‘shot’ onto a surface at a high velocity which automatically creates compactness. Hence, the need for vibration is eradicated. Since a hose is used to project the mixture, one may easily apply it to vertical and overhead structures and also on various shapes. Hence, shotcrete not only meets numerous tough construction needs but also saves time and money.
However, it is not suitable for larger foundations. Imagine having to fill acres of land with a hose. Also, unlike traditional pouring methods, shotcrete requires skilled workers to operate the nozzles and hoses.
Hence, just like a traditional coffee drink and a latte have their own perks and drawbacks and are tailored to varying needs, concrete and shotcrete services also serve varying construction needs.
Resultantly, the suitability of the two depends upon the specific needs of the construction process.
SprayForce Concrete is the ultimate solution to your diverse shotcrete service needs. Whether you are looking for someone to handle a large architectural project or simply want to refurbish your house, our diligent and well-equipped team of professionals know how to get it done. Get in touch with us to learn more.