Trends and Innovations in Precast Concrete WallsSociety’s growth rests on the cusp of remarkable innovation and trends in construction. Out of the many forms of structures, precast concrete walls hold the potential of beauty, ease and speed of installation, the application of green technologies, easy repairs, and shipping from manufacturing site to construction location. At AFTEC, we pride ourselves on propelling the concrete industry into the beneficial future through the application of new trends and developments. We have also sought, obtained, and continue to seek patents for new ways to make precast concrete applications simpler and more efficient. Let’s take a look at some of the trends and innovations in within the world of precast concrete walls.
Decorative Precast Concrete WallsThroughout history, concrete walls held a stale, mundane appearance of grey overtones and poor imagery. However, today’s decorative precast concrete walls include numerous textures and patterns, which mimic the appearance of quarry-cut stones, such as split face block, stucco, and river rock. Furthermore, through the application of new coloring agents, our innovations in intellectual property and casting techniques has led to the mimicry of non-stone materials, such as brick, wood, flora, and fauna. Our vertically cast wall panels contain the same profiles and textures on all wall faces to grant unparalleled accuracy, efficiency, and mimicry in every facet of the stone.
Concrete FormsAfter considering the need for additional time in installation from multi-sectional units of precast concrete walls, we created our exclusive ComboCast™ patented technology. We create a monolithic casting wall, which allows for casting of the wall panel and column into a single unit. This casting process eliminates 50 percent of the labor and equipment costs throughout the following phases of construction:
- Manufacturing of the precast wall.
- Handling of the concrete wall.
- Installation of the finished product.
Installation Speed & SafetyCompared to traditional precast concrete wall companies, we create precast walls with speed and safety in mind without increasing the expense of installation. Most companies use grouted cell connections with protruding rebar from the footing into the column. This requires each column to be grouted in place to support the wall system, which lengthens installation time and promotes inefficiencies in deadline adherence for construction projects. Our Rigid Footing System embeds thick I-beams into a pier-type rigid concrete footing to support the weight of the individual wall sections. After the construction of the footing, our precast walls can be installed in half of the traditional installation time. Traditional, precast companies require shoring and bracing to prevent movement until the completion of grouting between the footing and wall. Afterwards, additional adjustments and grouting may be required to give the wall a flawless appearance. Our system eliminates the need for shoring and bracing through self-alignment and securement when installed through our Rigid Footing System.
Shipping & StorageHistorically, precast concrete walls require extensive, specialized rack systems for shipping and storage to prevent movement and damage. These systems typically require customized A-frames, which creates additional expenses and logistical problems when shipping such walls. With innovation and speed at the heart of AFTEC, we have eliminated this concern. Our precast walls can stand up vertically without additional securement due to the integrity of the cast column and panel unit. Through shipping, our walls can be placed atop any truck dunnage for rapid loading, transport, and unloading at delivery.
Concrete Goes GreenDue to the use of nontoxic and environmentally-safe all-natural materials, our precast concrete walls encourage conservation. Absorptive treatments of the walls use recycled materials, such as shredded tires and wood byproducts, to create a porous, sound-absorptive finish. The finished product is also safe for the people. “Concrete walls do not off-gas allergens and other dangerous chemicals,” reports the Philadelphia Media Network. Furthermore, precast plants require formwork, which reduces construction waste, and therefore, the waste deposited into landfills. Cementitious materials may also contain manufacturing byproducts, such as fly ash, clay, limestone, and blast furnace slag. Moreover, waste water and 95 percent post-consumer recycled steel may be used in the precast concrete wall manufacturing process.
Damage ReplacementTraditional precast concrete structures requires replacement of the full concrete column, panel, and footing when damage occurs. At AFTEC, our Rigid Footing System allows for rapid replacement of individual sections. Repairs only require lifting out the damaged section and inserting a new section, which reduces labor and equipment costs during repairs. At AFTEC, we pride ourselves on integrity and openness to industry professionals. We believe such input and values will help meet the demands of a growing society and increasing construction efforts. To find out more about the various types of products we offer, visit our Precast Products page. For manufacturing information and wall quotes, fill out our online form, and a representative will get to you shortly.
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