SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING AND DESIGN
BACHELOR OF QUANTITY SURVEYING (HONOURS)
Research on Building Material - CONCRETE
Kevin Lee Hee Xian 0315192
Jake Sia Chyi Sern 0314396
Melvin Lim Wei Jien 0315772
Voon Sze Lun 0315032
Table of Content
Concrete Degradation and Defects:
2.1 Deformation of the surface 4 - 5
2.2 Cracking of the surface 6 - 7
2.3 Disintegration of the surface 8 - 9
2.4 Other defects 10
Environmental Impact of Concrete:
3.1 Carbon dioxide emissions and climate change 11
3.2 Raw material used 12
3.3 Water wastage 12
3.4 Water pollution 13
3.5 Energy 14
3.6 Health concern 15
Reference 17 - 19
In this project report, a group of students have to show their research and write out a
report about their findings based on the topic given to them. Concrete is a very common
used material in the construction industry. There are many concrete defects that usually
occur during construction. These defects are broken down into four groups based on
observation: deformation of the surface, cracking of the surface, disintegration of the
surface and other defects. Other than that, there is environmental impact of concrete
too. The subtopics for the environmental impact are carbon dioxide emissions and
climate change, raw material used, water wastage, water pollution, energy and heath
CONCRETE DEGRATION AND DEFECTS
Deformation of the surface
Deformation of concrete surface can occur in 3 different ways:
Causes: moisture in the concrete.
Location: edges and corners.
Causes: temperature change in the concrete.
Location: edges and corners.
Causes: delamination of surface mortar.
Location: at the surface of the concrete where mortar is laid.
Cracking of the surface
Cracking of the surface of concrete can occur in many ways. A few of which are most
common are these 4 different cracks:
Cracks that is parallel to the concrete slab.
Causes: shrinkage of the concrete that take place when the concrete is still fresh.
Cracks that seem like random fissures.
Causes: rapid evaporation of moisture from the concrete surface.
Random fissures however bigger than crazing.
Causes: alkali-silica reaction in the concrete.
Structural failure cracking
Has no specific crack.
Causes: change in elevation.
Disintegration of the surface
Disintegration comes in 3 different type of distress:
Causes: saturation of carbon dioxide during finishing making a weak layer of cement on
the surface of concrete.
Ravelling or Spalling
Causes: dislocation of pieces of concrete at the joint edges.
Causes: blistering which is the breaking of pieces from the surface of the concrete.
These defects are caused by the mortar not filling the spaces between the aggregate
Small voids on the surface of vertical concrete placements.
Large voids in the surface of vertical concrete placements.
Environmental Impacts of Concrete
Carbon dioxide emissions and climate change
The cement industry is one of two primary industrial producers of carbon dioxide,
creating up to 5% of worldwide man-made emissions of this gas, of which 50% is from
the chemical process and 40% from burning fuel.
Cement manufacture contributes greenhouse gases both directly through the production
of carbon dioxide when calcium carbonate is thermally decomposed,
producing lime and carbon dioxide, and also through the use of energy, particularly from
the combustion of fossil fuels.
Raw material used
Concrete is made from raw material such as limestone, marl and chalk. These are the
most common sources of calcium in the cement. All these raw materials comes from
mining, and mining will affect the echo system as lots of deforestation, water catchment,
water natural flow is disturbed.
Few billion tons of water has wasted just because of the making of concrete, as
because water is one of the main sources in making concrete.
- Another environmental issue with cement and concrete production is water
- At the batch plant, wash water from equipment cleaning is often discharged
into setting ponds where the solids can settled out.
- Some returned concrete also gets put into settling ponds to wash off and
recover the aggregate.
Energy consumption is the biggest environmental concern with cement and concrete
production. Cement production is one of the most energy intensive of all industrial
Including direct fuel use for mining and transporting raw materials, cement production
takes about 1,758 kWh for every ton of cement.
- The presence of some substances in concrete, including useful and unwanted
additives, can cause health concerns.
- Working with wet concrete requires a number of precautions, primarily to
protect the skin from the high alkalinity that can cause chemical burn.
In conclusion on the whole area of concrete degradation and defects & environmental
effects, it is important to continue on the advancement of construction technology and
building materials so that living conditions may be improved and accidents may be
reduced, however the condition of the environment cannot be ignored. This is because
when the ecosystem is disturbed it can cause many problems like shortage of food,
pollution or even natural disasters. Hence, this requires detail planning and proper
allocation of resources all for the good of the construction industry, the environment as
well as future generations.
Evaluating Concrete Defects
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