Concrete is a pretty simple recipe. Made from cement, aggregate, and water, it seems like it would be hard to do it wrong. If you are wondering what “aggregate” means, it is basically just something that is used to help hold it all together. Most of the time, this aggregate consists of crushed rock and/or gravel. So… we have a recipe consisting of cement, crushed rock/gravel, and water. With this recipe, entire cities of artificially made stone have been built. But what happens when someone gets it wrong?
The answer is: lots and lots of death and destruction. When you consider the size and scope of modern buildings, one collapse can result in hundreds of deaths, maybe even thousands. The amount of property damage done in the process is virtually incalculable.
Consider, for instance, the horrible building collapse that occurred in April of 2013, in the Bangladeshi capital city of Dhaka. Here is a news article about it. At least 150 people had been confirmed to have died at the time when this article was written, with more casualties still being found in the wreckage. The injuries numbered in the thousands. It was a horrific tragedy for which the government promised to hold someone accountable, as the tragedy was widely blamed on shoddy construction methods. Many problems with the buildings construction were found by investigators, but the one we are most concerned with is the fact that they used substandard concrete in the making of this eight-story building. They didn’t use enough rebar, and they also didn’t level the foundation properly, so these things played a factor as well. But the important thing is this: investigators suspect that the concrete had been made with sand as the aggregate to save money.
This is a common problem, especially in the third world. For another example, let’s look to Ecuador, which was hit by a huge earthquake in 2016. While this earthquake was quite large (Mw 7.8), it is abnormal that over 7000 buildings were destroyed. Post-disaster analysis put the blame squarely on shoddy construction methods that were prevalent throughout the area. In this report, we once again see people using concrete that has sand as an aggregate, and once again the consequences were disastrous. If you would like to read the full report, it can be found here.
For construction material delivery hartford county CT is full of fine options. If you live in this area, you have some very reputable companies in the area who can deliver all the stone, asphalt or concrete you might possibly need. Their work is guaranteed and is sure to be free of sea sand or anything else that will compromise the integrity of your project.
Want to know how big this problem really is? Take a look at this news story from China. Apparently, there has been a lot of construction going on in Shenzen, China. One of the buildings under construction was intended to be China’s tallest building when finished. However, construction has now halted after more than 15 buildings were found to have been constructed with substandard concrete made from sea sand.
This is a good argument for the simple practice of being careful of where you buy your concrete. The personal and financial damages are well worth the extra money to buy from a reputable vendor and do things right.