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30-01-2009, 04:26 PM

For many years, concrete has been used as a simple, effective and low cost surface for all sorts of areas ranging from car parks to driveways to commercial freight yards. However, the one factor you rarely hear being praised is its looks. Techniques to improve the aesthetic appeal of monolithic concrete pavements have been around since the fifties, notably in North America where concrete is possibly the most popular surfacing for patios, drives and 'yards', and in the southern hemisphere, particularly Australia. However, it is only since the mid 1980s that many of these techniques found their way to the North-west European paving market. Decorative concretes have been used to dramatic effect in new structural developments such as the Trafford Centre in Birmingham, UK, the Basilica of Yamoussoukro on the Ivory Coast and the new European Parliament building. Dramatic effects are not only achieved in large structures though. Coloured concrete is just as effectively used in architectural pavements, paving stones and internal flooring Undoubtedly, the most popular prettifying technique we see in the UK and Ireland and other western countries are Pattern Imprint, sometimes known as ?Stamped???Imprinted' or 'Textured' concrete. From a sluggish start at the back end of the 1980s this technique has slowly but surely grown in popularity and now attracts a reasonable level of interest, in both the residential and the commercial markets. In recent years, refinements and developments of this technique have emerged and we now have stencilling techniques, high-strength textured overlays.
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05-03-2010, 12:00 AM

Decorative concrete involves using concrete in roles that are not strictly related to its functional elements. They are structurally sound and also provide a decorative finish that resembles polished stone, with less cost for materials. Precast concrete slabs are well known building materials for applications such as curtain walls, patio stones and floor sections.
Decorative applications in new concrete
1)Integral colourants:
Color material is blended with the concrete mix to color the aggregate, cement and sand throughout. iron oxides colorants are used and can create colors including blacks, yellows, and reds. Black is also achieved with carbon black. Greens can be achieved using chromium, and ultramarine.
Rubber imprinting stamps are impressed into wet concrete slabs to create natural stone or brick textures.
3)Form liner:
Concrete can also be cast into unique and detailed designs using urethane form liner. The sculptor creates the design to be used in the concrete using clay, polyurethane or wax. When the original art is complete, a cast is made using synthetic liquid rubber, from which form liners are produced in the reverse image of the original.

Decorative applications on existing concrete:
1)Concrete dyes:
Concrete "dyes" take many different forms and compositions and can be used on both residential and commercial concrete applications, including sound/retaining walls, bridges, countertops, floors and the like.

2)Water Based Staining:
Water Based Stains can still achieve a translucent look like acid; some stains are able to achieve an opaque color and/or a translucent effect.

3)Acid Staining:
Acid staining is a chemical reaction. A mixture of water, salts and acid is applied to the concrete surface and later neutralized by a basic solution of ammonia and water. This creates new colors on the concrete surface due to chemical reaction with the existing minerals (primarily lime) in the concrete.

4)1/4" Stamped Overlays:
Rubber imprinting tools stamps are impressed into thin pre-mixed concrete overlay material to create natural stone or brick textures.

5)General OverlayingTongueolymer cement overlays:
They consist of a proprietary blend of Portland cements, various aggregates and polymer resins. adding a polymer resin to the cement and aggregate greatly increases the performance characteristics and versatility of conventional cements, mortars and concrete materials.

Concrete can be polished with Mechanical grinders and diamond pads of increasing grit sizes.

Applied over acid stained and/or overlays to seal and protect. Some epoxies are also colored.

Existing concrete can be remodeled by cutting lines and grooves into its surface. Geometric patterns, straight or curved lines and custom designs can be cut directly into the surface of the concrete creating the look of tile, flagstone, cobblestone and many other common surface patterns.


.pdf   Decorative Polished Concrete.pdf (Size: 13.83 KB / Downloads: 271)
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