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the different concrete types

At Concreations we offer 3 different but complimentary materials that provide our clients with a wide range of design, aesthetic and production possibilities.

 

These materials in their most simplistic form are Wet cast pre-cast concrete (Wet Cast), Fibre reinforced pre-cast concrete (GRC) and MicroConcrete.

It may be possible to create a product in any one of these materials however it is often better suited to one or perhaps two due to limiting factors such as site logistics including access/weight/size, the form complexity, the required aesthetic, practicality of use or budget.

fibre concrete (grc)

This material is what would be considered a technical concrete. It can be cast thinner than standard wet cast concrete whilst retaining high strength and is stone like to touch. It needs no steel reinforcement in normal use due to the fibre content and the materials used in the mix are more refined so reduce the risk of rust spots when used outside, it is also more resistant to frost damage. Most of our projects are created using this material as it offers so many benefits over traditional wet cast concrete.

GRC can be sprayed, poured or hand applied to provide many different finishes, all of which can be coloured with pigments, textured through moulding or stencils or ground to expose decorative aggregates.

 

In use it is often applied as a thin skin (approx. 30mm) that covers the form of a one sided mould. This reduced thickness allows for far more creativity in form due to simpler moulds.

 

THE DETAILS:

  • We have cast this material with a thickness of 10mm commercially and 5mm in tests but generally we recommend 20-40mm subject to the panel size and use.
  • As a brief guide we generally make products like basins, worktops, table tops, fire surrounds, reception desks, vanities tops, baths, and thin panels with this material.
  • Max 3m x 1.2m or 2.8m x 1.4m per piece (or smaller)
  • 1m square at 30mm thick will weigh about 60kg.

wet cast concrete

This material should be considered as ‘normal’ concrete. It is heavy, dense, thick and stone like to touch. It is normally precast in our workshop, upside down in a mould. It can be natural or pigmented to many different colours; etched to create subtle but effective surface patterns and reliefs; cast with mould inserts that will create deeper patterns and forms within the surface; ground to expose varying degrees of aggregate and have a surface finish from heavily textured to silky smooth.

THE DETAILS:

  • Generally cast at 60mm thick (and no thinner than 40mm*). We can create drop-edges to make it appear thicker.
  • Max 3m x 1.2m or 2.8m x 1.4m per piece (or smaller)
  • 1m square at 60mm thick will weigh about 140kg

* subject to how the product is to be used.

micro concrete

Whilst this material contains cement we consider it a faux concrete coating.

It is great where the look of burnished concrete is required however the weight and/or thickness of real concrete is prohibitive or unnecessary.

It can be applied in multiple ways to many different substrates to create almost limitless visual possibilities. We have used it for POS and shop interior panels and furniture, traffic flooring (over a suitable subsurface), tables, cash desks, reception desks to name a few possible applications.

Although we cannot guarantee the sealed surface to be 100% stain proof, we have undertaken rigorous tests (with the assistance of my 2 boys and the last 6 years of craft and food spilling!) and our Micro Concrete dining table surface is holding up very well.

 

THE DETAILS:

  • Ideally we apply to furniture and panels at our site, however it is also possible to apply it to surfaces onsite particularly for walls and floors or where products are too large to move.
  • Due to the thinness of the application the final product will feel and sound like the base it has been applied. An application to a wooden sub-base will still sound hollow if knocked and warm to the touch, unlike stone, however if applied to a solid/screed floor or plastered solid construction wall it will feel dense and cold to the touch, like real concrete.
  • It has not been tested for external use and we do not recommend use where moisture will be permanently present (e.g. around a kitchen sink).
  • It can be finished with satin or mat lacquer that can be wiped clean, waxed and buffed or left raw.
  • 1kg of Micro Concrete will cover approx. 2m square subject to method of application.