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Everything you need to know about Precast Concrete

Architectural innovations have come a long way in the last decade. One of the latest developments in construction is precast concrete. You may have come in contact with the innovation if you are an architect or a construction manager. The invention has revolutionized the construction industry and eliminated conventional strategies.

Precast concrete is used in numerous circumstances. The article offers complete guidelines to precast concrete, such as its uses, advantages, and letdowns. We guarantee you will become an expert by the end of the discussion. Let’s begin with a history lesson!

The History of Precast Concrete

Romans are at the top of the list when we browse the history of expert builders. Unsurprisingly, they also invented precast concrete. However, the material was poured into wooden capsules before being taken to the construction site.

Romans combined ash from volcanoes with lime to create long-lasting buildings. The material was credible, which is why historic buildings have stayed erected for centuries. Using molds in construction dates back to 3000 BC, when Romans and Greeks used pre-set material to create magnificent structures.

However, the idea of molds in constructions became fast-paced when John Alexander Brodie proposed using precast frames. The British engineer emphasized the design and introduced affordability. Furthermore, it also increased efficiency too. The engineer’s design focused on panels compared to hollow castes previously. The method became common in erecting cheap living structures globally.

Precast concrete reached the US in the 1950s, significantly contributing to wide-scale urbanization. The mold led to the construction of better infrastructure. Even today, architects, designers, and engineers study the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and brilliant minds like Brodie for inspiration. Thanks to these innovators, we can now construct shopping centers and bridges. Precast concrete is commonly used in walls, schools, places of worship, and offices. It is constantly evolving.

What is Precast Concrete?

Precast concrete requires the construction material to be poured into molds. Subsequently, the construction material is left to set in a monitored environment. The mold is not moved or relocated as it can crack the cement.

Once the cement is set, the mold and the cement are sent to the construction site. The material is removed from the mold and installed in the structure. Precast concrete has several names, such as readymade or prefabricated concrete. Common elements erected with the mold are concrete frames, walls, and floors. It will shrink the construction time and make matters easier for everyone.

How is Precast Concrete Created?

The following materials are primary in creating precast concrete for construction purposes.

  1. Of course, precast concrete contains cement. It is an essential ingredient. Therefore, the cement must be high-quality to offer durability. Grade 53 and 43 cement are used to create precast for ordinary use. However, amplified cement versions create precast concrete for severe conditions.
  2. Supplementary cement is cement-like material that is either natural or artificial. The material carries the attributes the cement. Manufacturers add supplementary material to enhance their hydration.
  3. Aggregate material is also used in precast cement. The composition varies according to the structural durability, color, and texture. There are different variations of aggregates.
  4. The second crucial ingredient is water. Water purity matters greatly, as grainy or impure matter will adversely impact the mixture.

Other Ingredients

  1. If the construction manager worries about water harming the precast market, they will add a waterproof agent. The strategy is common in wall retaining, roof construction, and septic tanks.
  2. The construction manager will also use bars to reinforce the structure. It will make the precast concrete more powerful. These bars come in numerous shapes and designs to fit the project requirements.
  3. Joints added to precast cement stabilize the mixture. It makes it powerful to support the structure of the building requires new floors.
  4. Steel fibers and polymeric fibers also add strength to the precast concrete.
  5. If you are looking for the most potent precast concrete, these usually have epoxy grouts. However, epoxy solutions require supervision from experts.
  6. In addition, non-shrink grouts connect different structural components.
  7. Steel tendons take the form of bars and wires. The construction manager must ensure the tendons are not compromised. In other words, they must not contain dust and mud particles. If so, the steel will not work well with the precast concrete.
  8. Precast concrete comes in different colors. The procedure takes place by adding oxide pigments to differentiate the mold use.

How is Precast Concrete Created?

The first step in creating precast concrete is making the molds. The stencils are not a one-time purchase but are re-used. The molds represent the shape of the precast concrete and their subsequent use.

The concrete mixture is poured into the mixture after they are approved. The cement cures and sets in a few hours in the next step. Humidity and temperature are closely observed to ensure precast concrete integrity.

When the cement is done setting, it is removed from the molds. Subsequently, the completed precast concrete is transported to the construction site. Precast concrete molds are available in different shapes, sizes, and depths.

Unfortunately, large-size molds do not exist because they become difficult to transport. Therefore, you will encounter very large molds with concrete panels. Here are two different forms of precast concrete

Construction Site Prefabrication

The precast concrete in construction site prefabrication is created near or at the location. Precast concrete is used for specific jobs that are not long-lasting. The construction company will hire local, inexperienced labor to create precast concrete. In addition, the relevant equipment and molds are rented too. Moreover, the curing process does not take place in a controlled environment.

Although construction site prefabrication is cost-friendly, here are its letdowns:

  • The procedure lacks quality control. Moreover, strength and durability are not promised.
  • Weather conditions like rain, hail, or snow influence the curing and setting.
  • Lastly, the process is manual and lacks automation expertise

Factory Prefabrication

The second process is called Factory Prefabrication. The precast concrete is created at an accessible location to mold standardized pieces. The projects are long-term, and the production takes throughout the year.

The molds are placed in a cabin to prevent weather damage. It keeps the molds undisturbed from external factors too. Factor Prefabrication focuses on the latest techniques for precast cement. It emphasizes technology and equipment and does not promote manual labor. As Factory Prefabrication produces non-stop precast cement, the process is streamlined. A few employees are hired to keep the production line coming smoothly.

Following are the disadvantages of Factory Prefabrication

  • The hiring of labor is an additional cost. Most factories cannot afford to hire, interview, and shortlist labor repeatedly.
  • Precast concrete in large sizes cannot be transported to the project site. It becomes further challenging if the infrastructure and bridges are uncooperative.
  • Transporting the material to the project site can increase the project cost.

What are the advantages of incorporating precast concrete?

Now that you know how precast concrete is made, it is time to learn its advantages. Precast concrete is diverse and reliable.


Precast cement is created in factories with expert labor and equipment. Therefore, clients can request customization such as color and texture. Moreover, precast concrete is available in different shapes and sizes with numerous finishes. It makes the structure more appealing.


Precast concrete is also very cost-effective. It reduces construction lag and ensures the businesses erect on time. Moreover, precast concrete also sparks innovation. It increases credibility and keeps the employees safe. Therefore, the cost is reduced further.


Precast concrete has made it possible for structures to become stronger. The building skeleton can absorb shock and more impact. As a result, they stay in great conditions for a very long time. Moreover, precast concrete also reduces maintenance in the future.

Quality Assurance

The factory monitors the curing environment, temperature, mold integrity, and design. Strict quality controls mean reliable and top-quality construction. Residents and employees feel safe in the buildings.

No Storage Cost

Before precast concrete, construction companies had to purchase and store raw materials in bulk. However, precast concrete has made it possible to buy raw materials conveniently. Furthermore, it promotes an efficient workforce and minimum wastage.

The Disadvantages of Precast Concrete

Alas! Precast concrete has a few limitations too. Continue reading to learn about its disadvantages.

Stressful Work

Precast concrete is laid into the foundation. In other words, it is sensitive work that must be supervised. The process is stressful as connecting different materials requires experience. Different forms of materials include rigid and semi-rigid. Unfortunately, inaccurate precast concrete results in water leaks and excessive sound pollution.

Transportation Expenses

Project cost is high if the construction site is far from precast concrete molds. As a result, the concrete is taken by trucks which need fuel and labor. The entire process is repeated if the concrete cracks or shatters during transit.

Costly to Produce

Projects that require precast concrete first set up heavy and capital-intensive machinery. It is a high investment procedure that reduces profit.

Supervising Challenges

Precast concrete is difficult to supervise too. They are bulky and big. Moreover, transportation risks damage. Therefore, companies usually hire cranes to move precast concrete.

The Different Uses of Precast Concrete

Precast concrete is mostly used in concrete. Here are its uses

Precast Structures

As mentioned above, precast concrete is strong and durable. It is preferred in structures that depreciate quickly and face heavy foot traffic. You will notice precast concrete in the following construction structures:

  1. Sound and retaining walls
  2. Basins and curbs
  3. Structural curbs
  4. The foundation of buildings and residential complex
  5. Parks

Precast Buildings

Precast concrete also protects buildings from fire and noise pollution. They do not absorb moisture and promote a safe environment for everyone. Therefore, precast concrete is popular in the following buildings:

  1. Offices and theatres
  2. Apartment buildings
  3. Medical stores, hospitals, and clinics
  4. Schools, universities, and other educational institutions
  5. Shopping, malls, and retail buildings

The Different Types of Precast Concrete

  • Hollow precast concrete is available in different shapes and sizes. These are used in walls and creating columns. Hollow precast concrete can create dimension in wall closures and piers. In addition, they are placed between windows and doors.
  • Lintel precast concrete is used in door openings, passages, and windows. This concrete form does not have a curing process, making construction faster. The lintel precast concrete is marked in paint to identify its use.
  • Windows and door precast concrete use steel bars. They are created using a mold to fit accurate dimensions. Door and window precast concrete is tested to ensure stability. Otherwise, the structure may collapse.
  • Precast concrete is also used in roofs and flows. They are arched to make the structure stable.

What are the Most Common Precast Concrete Accessories?

Shuttering Magnet

Shuttering Magnets

The shuttering magnet b is one of the most useful and essential accessories to any precast concrete system. The top-of-the-line magnet is made from high-performance permanent ferromagnetic NdFeB magnetic components. This precast concrete magnet is made with spring screw connection accessories for easy access, and 201 or 304 stainless steel buttons and housing components for durability and longevity.

Fixing Socket

The second accessory the industries use in precast concrete is fixing sockets. They are fixed to railings, lighting, and machinery for stability. A fixing socket comes in many shapes and sizes. They are made from different forms of steel. A fixing socket distributes weight equally and can withstand vibrations too.

Erection Anchors

Erection anchors are structural components used in construction to secure steel columns or other components to a concrete foundation or another structural base. These anchors are designed to provide a secure and reliable connection between the steel and concrete elements, ensuring that the structure can withstand the forces and stress that it will encounter during its lifespan.

Recess Former

A recess former is commonly used in precast concrete to create an opening. Moreover, the accessory also separates concrete from other materials. It strengthens the precast concrete. A recess former reduces noise pollution. They do not weigh a lot and install easily.

Steel Chamfers

The most common accessory used in precast concrete is chamfered. They are usually made from magnetic steel. The triangle or trapezoid-shaped chamfers cover sharp corners. The accessory has many uses because the client can completely manufacture it.   

For more information about MAGPRECAST and its products, contact us via phone or email. You can visit our physical office. The details are available here.

About Author
About Author

Hi, I'm the author of this post, and also the Sales Manager of MAGPRCAST. I have been in this field for more than 15 years. If you want to know more about precast concrete industrial or services, please just feel free to contact me anytime.

Eason Hu
Hi, I’m the author of this post, and also the Sales  Manager of MAGPRCAST. I have been in this field for more than 15 years. If you want to know more about precast concrete industrial or services, please just feel free to contact me anytime.

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