Six Benefits of Precast Concrete Products

precast concrete

The construction industry is becoming increasingly reliant on precast concrete products. According to Verified Market Research, the precast concrete market “is projected to reach $178.75 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.56% from 2021 to 2028.” This growth is expected to occur from rapid urbanization and industrialization, increasing investment in new construction projects, and infrastructure development.

Precast concrete is a form of concrete that is cast in a well-controlled environment or precast plant. This means the concrete is cast and cured before it is transported to the work site for installation. The concrete mix varies based on desired strength, colors, and performance features. If additional strength is required of the concrete structure, it can be reinforced by adding rebar or steel cable.

Typically, the concrete is cast into flexible, reusable molds or forms. Urethane rubber molds are highly customizable precast concrete products. The rubber comes in different hardnesses with various pot life options based on your processing needs. A wide variety of architectural and structural elements can be made with this material, including stone veneer, panels, hardscape, stamped concrete, and more.

Why Use Urethane Rubber for Precast Projects

1. Versatility

When urethane rubber is used, you can replicate concrete pieces of virtually any size, shape, or detail to fit your project requirements. It can be used in the field or in a factory setting. The molds are not limited in their design as they can be made with various curves, bends, angles, and odd designs. They also offer a variety of textures and finishes to choose from.

Making custom forms allows even the largest-scale construction projects to have unique elements. From schools and hospitals to bridges and parking garages, there’s almost no precast structure that urethane can’t be used for. These molds and form liners are great for architectural concrete, cast stone, highway barriers, retaining walls, and more.

2. Aesthetics

Precast concrete can be more than just functional; it can also be desired for its increased decorative purposes. Urethane molds and forms have been used to produce precast concrete for some of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings and structures. When the molds are made, they copy the intricate details and designs of a master and transfer those details to the concrete. The concrete can easily mimic the look of historical stone or brick for a fraction of the cost.

Other molds made from plastics, wood, or metals can’t offer the same elaborate patterns as urethane. If you’re looking for intricate and noticeable designs, the rubber will provide the high level of precision and advanced detail you desire.

3. Repeatability

Urethane forms are considered some of the finest and most durable products on the market. Their durability allows them to be used over and over to create copies of the same design, ensuring consistency in your precast concrete project.
These reusable molds can produce up to 100 castings before they lose detail and strength. High reusability and repeatability also mean you get the same level of detail in each cast until the mold needs to be replaced.

Concrete molds made of wood or plastics only get between 1-10 uses. While steel molds can produce more, they are limited in the designs that can be created. It is also cost-prohibitive to produce or to have more than one of them.

4. Cost-effective

Casting concrete in urethane molds is much more cost-effective than using natural building materials such as stone, brick, and other masonry. Since it is such a durable, long-lasting material, you save money by not having to replace your molds as much.

Urethane forms are also compatible with high-end applications, so you can make durable concrete that withstands impact, corrosion, and acid attack. Not only do your molds last a long time, so do your concrete structures.

5. Quality Control

Depending on the type of urethane rubber chosen, the material can be time and environmentally sensitive, which means it must be poured and cured under specific conditions. Because the precast process is done in a well-controlled environment, it’s the perfect place to use urethane.

Quality assurance technicians are able to assess the entire process, from making the molds to mixing, pouring, and demolding the concrete. Since the precast concrete products are tested and reviewed during each step, you’re left with superior quality and a more consistent product. In this setting, the concrete is also allowed to strengthen before it is transported to the work site.

6. Convenience

Since the forms and molds don’t need to be set up on-site, precast concrete reduces construction time and lowers labor costs as well. Molding concrete off-site also reduces the equipment and labor needed on-site. Workers can carry out other projects while the concrete is made to prevent construction delays.

VFI Urethane Rubber

VFI has noticed an increased demand for precast concrete products and offers our 2100 and 3100 series of polyurethane rubbers. These rubbers have been used in the creation of cast stone, manufactured stone, formliners, stamps, and more for the concrete construction industry. Request more information by contacting VFI today.