What Does PSI Have To Do With Concrete?

Gauge showing the measurement of PSI.

Concrete comes in several different types with varying levels of strengths, compositions and applications. Compression testing is used to determine concrete strength, which is measured by PSI (pounds per square inch). Regular concrete has a PSI range of between 2,500 and 5,000. The PSI of engineered exceeds 10,000.

Concrete with a higher PSI is preferred for its durability.

By The Numbers

Contractors use 2,500 PSI concrete, one of the most affordable, to make walkways, driveways and floor slabs and is used as a fill material in construction projects. Concrete with a higher PSI is preferred for its durability. Many states prohibit the use of concrete for construction with PSI levels under 2,500.

Contractors often use 3,000 PSI concrete – which is sturdy and lasts long – in general construction. This type of concrete can be used while damp. Concrete with PSI levels exceeding 3,500 is used for construction of foundations and floor slabs.

Pavement and floor slabs in homes and business are made of concrete at 4,000 PSI and able to withstand traffic and support heavy loads.

Concrete that exceeds 5,000 PSI is used in special construction projects that require building materials that are able to withstand heavy impact and extreme wear and tear.

Different aggregates of varying qualities create special mixes that make concrete better suited for specific use.

Mixing It Up

Special-mix concrete consists of different aggregates of varying qualities making it better suited for specific uses. Here are three examples:

Pump Mixes: Pump mixes create placement with mechanical pumps with a pressurized hose to reduce blockage. Pump mixes can be pumped while wet and could have larger aggregates than those of standard mixes.

Aggregate Mixes: The production of exposed aggregate mixes involve pumping air into the mixture to create small air bubbles in the final material. This enables the concrete to expand without cracking, which means that exposed aggregate mixes perform better with construction exposed to high-temperature differences.

Flexible Concrete: Paving construction projects require flexible concrete. This type of concrete provides great structural strength and does not require reinforcing. Construction projects that require flexible concrete incur lower installation and material costs. The materials used to produce flexible concrete are usually described by their flexible strength: 650 flex or 750 flex.

For more information about PSI concrete, contact the experts at Del Zotto Steel & Concrete Products. As a concrete industry leader, Del Zotto has been providing concrete solutions for more than a generation.

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