Concrete Crack Series – Blog One

As a Concrete Artisan there is nothing worse than lifting the blankets on a piece you have invested your time and energy into creating only to discover a crack in your work making it unusable. In this blog series we will take a closer look at the diverse types of cracks in architectural concrete and how they can happen and how you can best avoid this from happening to you. 

Shrinkage Cracks. 

When concrete is in its plastic state (before hardening), it is full of water. As the water eventually leaves the concrete it leaves behind voids between the solid particles where water used to be. It is these empty spaces where the concrete can be most prone to cracking. 

It is essential to get the right balance of water in your mix design as excessive water in your mix can result in your piece shrinking excessively resulting in unsightly shrinkage cracks.  

For all the Artisans that are lucky enough to be in a warmer climate you would want to check your rate of shrinkage as too much heat can be another contributing factor causing shrinkage cracks 

Human Error. 

Unfortunately cracks in your clients beautiful Concrete Dining table or designer bathroom vanities cannot always be put down to a scientific factor in the chemistry in the concrete and sometimes quite simply it is human error that has resulted in a heart-breaking crack. With some basic care and simple steps along the production process can mitigate this happening to you. The following are just a few things to consider. 

Mould design  

It is always important to reverse engineer your Mould designs and to insure when flipping your product there is no chances of putting undue stress on the concrete for example when flipping a bespoke concrete Vanity piece, it is essential to never lever off the concrete and to always use tools to leverage off two sections of the Mould.  

Transportation: The movement of your products from point A to B is an all-too-common cause of cracking. Always make sure you are supporting your product across its whole surface area and if you have a longer piece never lift from two endpoints creating a weak point in the center. Effective communication between your colleagues / trades on site is essential when moving pieces with a clear plan that everyone understands before transporting any designer concrete furniture. 

If you are not sure about why your concrete art has a crack or want guidance with a tricky Mould, the team at MACt has the experience and knowledge to help you to produce concrete products with confidence. Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions we are always here to help. 

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