Understanding the requirements and process of construction allows you to avoid mistakes. You do not have to rely on the contractor to make choices of construction on your behalf entirely. You should choose the quality of construction materials on your own. In this article, we will talk about the most important construction material, which is the concrete slab. Concrete slabs have two different types based on their materials. One is reinforced brick concrete, while the other one is reinforced cement concrete. Both of these materials have distinct characteristics. Due to their unique properties, they are used for different purposes.
What is the Importance of a Concrete Slab?
Concrete slabs are important because it is used for the completion of the floor structure. Acting as a base, the concrete slab bears the entire load of the floor. For covering the opening between the walls, concrete slabs are also used there. The main constituents of concrete slabs are structural concrete and steel reinforcement. Concrete is poured over the steel bars. Often, it is also poured over a wire mesh. You can easily buy prefabricated concrete bars in Pakistan at affordable prices.
Concrete slabs come in two different types. One is reinforced brick concrete (RBC), and the other one is reinforced cement concrete. The usage of reinforced brick concrete slabs was more common during the past decades. Reinforced cement concrete slabs are more popular in the modern civil engineering and construction industry. Let us dive deep into the unique characteristics of both these types of concrete slabs.
Properties of Reinforced Brick Concrete slab (RBC)
As the name suggests, apart from concrete and steel reinforcements, bricks are also present in RBC slabs. Structurally, bricks are placed between the empty spaces of steel or wire mesh. After that, the concrete is poured over it, which holds the bricks in place and covers the grey mixture’s components. RBC is relatively cheap. This is why it is more commonly used. Using bricks of the same volume as concrete reduces the overall cost. The quantity of steel is low. The low quantity of steel attributes to the gaps which are left to accommodate the placement of bricks.
Properties of Reinforced Cement Concrete slab (RCC)
RCC is comparatively more durable as it provides better strength and maintenance. RCC comprises concrete and steel, making it a composite building material. It has a more tensile structure as compared to RBC because there is no added material. Structurally, it is quite similar to RBC. However, the only difference is that the reinforced cement concrete slab is directly poured into tightly-knitted steel reinforcement. The reinforcing steel bars come in two main grades. One is high-yield strength steel, while the second one is mild steel. The RCC is slightly expensive than the reinforced brick concrete slab. However, it is weather-resistant and easy to be cast into any shape. This is why it became popular in the modern construction industry.
Which one is better?
RCC slabs are resilient and have high tensile strength. On the other hand, RBC has a lower level of concrete and steel. It is not as resilient as RCC. Both RBC and RCC can withstand external environmental factors like sunlight and moisture. Still, comparatively, RCC has more long-lasting resistance. RCC also has high resistance against fire. It can withstand it for up to four hours. However, one of the disadvantages is that it is more prone to have surface cracks. It can also shrink with time. Since there are no bricks in RCC to hold its shape, its volume can fluctuate and cause problems.
When it comes to shape, RBC is hard to give a shape. Owing to its rectangular solid bricks, RBC can only take a few shapes. Unlike RBC, RCC can be structured into various forms. RCC is 30% more expensive than RBC.
Both reinforced brick concrete and reinforced cement concrete have their own advantages and disadvantages. Both of them are used for different purposes, so it is hard to conclude which one is a winner.
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