Simple analysis of concrete industry

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Introduction to the concrete industry

The concrete industry is an important support industry for construction engineering and civil engineering construction.

Moreover, it is also the largest material industry in the building materials industry.

Meanwhile, the concrete industry continues to innovate, and many types and multi-purpose products are born.

Now, let’s take a look at the specific situation of this industry.

First, let’s take a look at the concrete above.

concrete industry

What is concrete?

Concrete is a composite material.

Specifically, people mix aggregate and dry cement with water.

And this can form a fluid slurry that is easy to pour and shape.

And then, when cement and water and other components react, a hard matrix is formed.

Moreover, this hard matrix can bond these materials together.

And this forms a durable stone-like material with multiple uses. This is concrete. Meanwhile, people also call it artificial stone.

Usually, people use lime-based cement binders or other hard cement to make concrete.

Because it looks like Polish stone, this is Polish cement concrete.

In addition, there are many other non-gelling types or another aggregate concretes.

For example, people often use asphalt binder to make asphalt concrete.

And polymer concrete formed by using a polymer binder.

Sometimes, in order to improve the physical properties of the wet mixture or finished product, people use additives.

Such as volcanic ash or superplasticizer.

Moreover, in order to increase the tensile strength of concrete, people will embed reinforcing materials such as steel bars during pouring.

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what is concrete

Concrete Industry

Concrete is the foundation of the development of modern society.

Moreover, it provides shelter for billions of people.

And it strengthens human defense against natural disasters. Meanwhile, it provides a structure for health-care, education, transportation, energy, and industry.

Besides, people combine it with steel rods or mesh.

And this is the foundation of skyscrapers.

So, concrete is the most widely used substance on earth.

Moreover, its usage is second only to water.

Compared with steel, wood, plastic, and aluminum, it is used twice as much as their total.

Among them, the ready-mixed concrete industry is the largest market segment in the concrete industry.

By 2025, people expect the revenue of the concrete industry to exceed US$600 billion.

However, its carbon emissions are also large.

Specifically, its emissions will reach 2.8 billion tons, second only to the carbon emissions of China and the United States.

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Concrete industry in China

Today, China uses almost half of the world’s cement.

Among them, the real estate industry-roads, bridges, railways, urban development, and other cement and steel projects accounted for one-third of economic growth.

Moreover, every major city has a scale model of the urban development plan.

In this project, small white plastic models are turned into large shopping malls and housing complexes.

Therefore, the China concrete market is constantly developing and updating.

concrete China

China Industry Analysis

First, let’s figure the ready-mixed concrete out.

Ready-mixed concrete industry

The ready-mixed concrete industry is active in production. Moreover, the upstream is price sensitive. Therefore, its price maintains stable operation at a high level.

Meanwhile, in recent years, the green and intelligent development of the ready-mixed concrete industry has also achieved greater breakthroughs.

High Yield

In 2019, China’s commercial concrete production totaled 2.554 billion cubic meters.

Moreover, the year-on-year growth rate was 14.49%.

In terms of sub-regions, the output of North China, Northeast China, and East China all exceeded 15%.

However, the growth rate in the Northwest is less than 10%.

And Hainan’s fixed-asset investment completed fell 9.2%. So, this has led to a substantial reduction in the demand for concrete.

Moreover, the completed investment in construction and installation projects in Guizhou also fell by 2.4%.

And this also led to a decline in regional concrete output.

But overall, production is still growing.

Price trend

The price of ready-mixed concrete has risen by 35 RMB/m³, and its increase is 8.67%.

From a regional perspective, the two regions with high cement prices are East China and Central South.

However, prices in the northwest and southwest regions have slightly decreased.

As for North China, the region has overcapacity and fierce market competition.

Therefore, its average price is about 100rmb/m³ lower than the national average price.

Moreover, demand in the region continues to be weak. Therefore, price increases are relatively weak.

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Important items of the concrete industry

There are some important items in this industry. And people need to pay attention to these.

Compressive strength test

This is a common test in the concrete industry.

And it can determine the ability of stable materials to withstand compressive loads.

Specifically, a sample of concrete mixed with the recommended cement ratio and optimal moisture content is placed in a test cylinder 90 mm wide by 180 mm high.

The next day, people peeled off the sample.

And then people let it cure for another 6 days.

Next, people apply compressive loads to concrete to determine their compressive strength.

Besides, the compressive strength result must exceed the design load or project specification required by the structural engineer.

Nanotechnology

The concrete products made by people using nanotechnology can be nanocomposites. Moreover, they can also be performance-enhanced cement blends with nanoparticles. And these products can be used as nanocoatings to change the performance of the surface.

Moreover, the mechanical properties and durability of these products are very good.

Meanwhile, this improved the construction process.

Moreover, this reduces carbon emissions in the production process.

Therefore, its environmental benefits are great.

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nano technology

Fiber

The fiber in concrete improves the impact resistance of concrete.

Therefore, people use them for structures that are subject to impact or explosion.

The types of fibers used in the concrete industry can generally be of the following types:

  1. Organic fiber: Natural or synthetic. And natural organic fiber is the cellulose in wood pulp, dates, flax, sisal, and banana pseudostems.
  2. Synthetic organic fibers include polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene. Moreover, they are lighter than other types of fibers. And they can resist chemical corrosion.
  3. Metal fiber: Steel fiber is the most common metal fiber. And, these fibers have high elastic modulus, good adhesion, and high elongation at break. Therefore, people can achieve concrete compressive strength and flexural strength.
  4. Mineral fiber: Asbestos fiber, glass fiber, carbon fiber, and basalt fiber are all mineral fibers.

However, the fiber has poor cohesiveness. Moreover, its elastic modulus is low. Therefore, this will reduce the strength of the concrete structure.

Forming system

This forming system can provide a formwork system that the design and manufacturing can easily adapt to the construction.

Moreover, people usually sell or rent the system in a complete package.

Sometimes, people use plywood to fix it to the panel.

However, people usually install it on site.

For large projects, suppliers rent templates to provide installation drawings.

At present, the two commonly used molding systems are Symons and Atlas.

Symons are plywood wrapped in a steel frame. And its panel is usually four feet high.

Moreover, people use clips and flat straps to fix it.

As for its advantages, people can install and remove the panel easily and quickly.

However, its disadvantage is that it will form holes in the finished wall.

And people need to repair these holes in subsequent projects.

Sustainable development

Sustainability is a challenge for the entire concrete industry. Moreover, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development defines sustainable development as “a progressive form that meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Therefore, when people consider the concrete structure, they also need to consider its entire service life.

And, people should use renewable resources.

Meanwhile, people should maintain low pollutant emissions and low energy consumption in the process of construction, operation, maintenance, and demolition.

Therefore, the future trend is to reduce cement and powder content.

Sustainable development

Pros and cons of the concrete industry

The production and use of concrete can have a wide range of environmental and social consequences.

And depending on the situation, some are harmful, some are beneficial.

Interest

The role of the concrete industry in modern society and economic growth is undisputed.

The construction industry is closely related to the growth of economic and social activities.

For example, despite the impact of the economic crisis, the construction industry still contributed about 9% of GDP.

In addition, the concrete industry provides 18 million direct employment opportunities for about 3 million companies in the EU.

Besides, people can use concrete to divert, build dams, and control floods.

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Disadvantages

However, the concrete industry has also brought many negative effects.

  1. The main component of concrete is cement. And every ton of cement produced by people releases one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Because people sintered limestone and clay at a temperature of 1,500°C, the production of Portland cement accounts for 8% of global man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Among them, carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas. Therefore, the cement industry is one of the three major producers of carbon dioxide. And this severely accelerates the global warming trend.
  2. The European construction industry consumes more than 50% of Europe’s natural resources. And this accounts for 40% of the total energy consumption in Europe. Moreover, it generates 34% of waste every year.
  3. Concrete can produce a hard surface. However, this resulted in surface runoff. And this may cause severe soil erosion, water pollution, and flooding.
  4. Meanwhile, demolishing buildings will release concrete dust. And this may be the main source of air pollution.
  5. Concrete is one of the causes of the urban heat island effect.
  6. There are additives in concrete. And their toxicity and radioactivity can cause people’s health problems. Therefore, workers engaged in cutting, grinding, or polishing concrete are at risk of inhaling silica in the air. And this may cause silicosis.
  7. Besides, fresh concrete is highly alkaline. Therefore, people must use appropriate protective equipment for handling.

So, the production and use of concrete is the main cause of environmental degradation.

At the same time, those engaged in production should also have appropriate protective measures.

air pollution

The development trend of products of the concrete industry

Now, let’s take a look at what concrete products are needed in the future.

High strength and high durability

People mainly evaluate the compressive strength of concrete based on its quality.

Generally, people think that the higher the strength of concrete, the better.

However, this is not enough.

Therefore, people have shifted from the pursuit of strength to the specific properties of concrete.

For example water tightness, abrasion resistance, freeze-thaw resistance, and chemical resistance.

Then, people expect these properties as usage time.

Therefore, people are increasingly using high-strength and high-durability products.

Recently, with the development of self-compacting concrete, people have begun to consider the rheological properties of fresh concrete.

And the changes in European standards in these aspects are obvious.

In contrast, North America’s practice in these areas is somewhat lagging behind.

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Reduce carbon emissions

For decades, the demand for cement and concrete has been growing rapidly.

If people do not reduce the current consumption of cement and concrete in the near future, the industry will continue to be part of the global warming problem.

However, it is difficult to achieve a substantial reduction in cement consumption while meeting the specific requirements of the world in the future.

Currently, there are three ways to reduce the consumption of Portland cement.

First, people reduce concrete consumption to a minimum through the innovative building and structural design.

Second, people specify 56-day or 90-day compressive strength whenever possible. And this can minimize the amount of gelling material needed in the mixture.

Third, people use the smart concrete mixture ratio method. Moreover, the method involves the use of mixed cement.

And by using these methods, carbon emissions can be reduced by half in the next 20 to 30 years.

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Expand the use of ready-mixed concrete

People need to use ready-mixed concrete to build complex buildings of various colors and aggregates.

Moreover, some lightweight concrete needs to have fire resistance and acoustic properties. And people can use it for walls and mezzanine.

In general, there are mainly the following types of new concrete for expanding use:

  1. Porous concrete: It has high fire resistance. And it improves the sound insulation effect.
  2. High-resistance ready-mixed concrete: People use it for floors and sidewalks that need immediate use. Moreover, it greatly improves the construction schedule and reduces downtime.
  3. High-performance concrete: People use it to build columns, bridges, or special concrete structures.
  4. Flowing concrete: People can easily pour it into the steel mesh.
  5. Waterproof concrete: It has low porosity. Therefore, it can reduce the water passing through the concrete. And this reduces the humidity.

Therefore, multi-purpose ready-mixed concrete is one of the development trends of the concrete industry.

And if you also want to know the Chinese concrete manufacturers, please check this article: Development of Chinese concrete manufacturer

concrete industry

Conclusion

The concrete industry is an important support industry for construction engineering and civil engineering construction.

Moreover, it is also the largest material industry in the building materials industry.

And concrete is the foundation of the development of modern society.

Meanwhile, it provided shelter for billions of people.

And it strengthens human defense against natural disasters.

However, it also has a bad impact on the environment.

Therefore, people should make this industry sustainable in the future.

In China, due to the development of society and cities, the price and output of concrete have continued to rise.

Meanwhile, high-strength and high-durability products, multi-purpose products are the future anti-war trend.

Moreover, people should find ways to reduce their carbon emissions.

Although this is a difficult problem, with rapid development today, this is an urgent need for the concrete industry.

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