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What is a Concrete Forming Machine and Precast Concrete Benefits?

Written by GJ Stott

An architectural precast concrete fence form is a machine that uses a variety of design and form techniques to produce a precast concrete product with architectural designs. This article begins by reviewing the substance of these products: concrete. Then, ways to form concrete and add design are also discussed along with other precast concrete benefits.

Architectural Precast Concrete Overview

Consisting mainly of cement powder, aggregates and water, concrete is designed to harden for use in many applications. Concrete does not dry to harden; rather it hydrates (via water) the cement powder. This wet powder becomes a paste used to glue the aggregates together.

Architectural Precast Concrete Overview

Retaining its moisture, concrete continues to harden and increase in strength and rigidity. The reaction of the water with the cement in the concrete is extremely important to the product’s properties of versatility and durable enough to even serve as a hurricane resistant fence.

Concrete is widespread throughout the world as a leading man-made material. The number of concrete applications continues to grow; in 2005, six billion tons of concrete were produced and even more is expected in subsequent years. Used for construction of commercial and residential buildings, retaining walls, sound walls, freeway walls, bridge abutments, sea walls, safety barriers and many other products, architectural concrete can be formed in place or off-site.

Architectural Precast Forming

The idea behind a precast architectural concrete form is to offer an architecturally aesthetic look to formed concrete. To achieve such architectural design, the concrete must be molded, or formed, before it is cured (or hardened). Once mixed, concrete can be sent via mixer trucks to be poured in place or precast. Poured concrete is used for footings and foundations while precast is used to create decorations, facades, floor systems, architectural fences and bridges. Either way, architectural designs can be pressed into uncured concrete.

Molds can be used within architectural concrete forming equipment. These molds are sometimes reusable. Other times, formwork is used where the concrete is poured in place, and the architectural concrete design is later exposed. In this way, the formwork can be removed and discarded after the curing process.

Architectural Precast Concrete Benefits

Precast Concrete Benefits

Architectural concrete forming is used for two main reasons: beautification and sturdiness. The designs in concrete can look delicate, appearing to be, for example, sandstone; however, the concrete (often reinforced) is anything but delicate.

Such design applications can also include Loganstone, slate block, dry-stacked stone or custom architectural designs. The added benefit is the cost efficiency of concrete. Architectural concrete designs in concrete forming have advanced to allow consumers to design, for example, using multiple types of available molds for one project.

Architectural Precast Fence Forms

An architectural concrete fence form is used to give the concrete the desired shape and design. The most advanced form available for an architectural wall is AFTEC’s Precast Concrete Wall Equipment. This architectural form offers many advantages over other common systems. Combo-Cast technology™ allows the column and fence panel to be cast as one integral unit. AFTEC's greatest precast concrete benefits are our ability to offer a variety of architectural fence designs due to interchangeable form liners used in the architectural forming.