Concrete construction has been around since about 1200-1400 B.C. It is one of the most durable man-made building materials used around the world. The Romans used it and even today, the concrete dome of the Pantheon in Rome still exists. Concrete seems like it can last almost forever. To get rid of it requires concrete saws, demolition hammers, concrete crushers, mounted breakers, maybe even explosives.
But it has a weakness . . . pour it too thin and it easily breaks.
Concrete gets part of its strength from the thickness it is poured. For concrete slabs, that is about 4-5 inches at the minimum, and a driveway is poured 6-8 inches. Concrete is generally poured thicker around the edges. That’s particularly important for a drive as it transitions into another material. If it’s not thick enough at that point, it could break.
We were contracted some time ago to build a concrete loading ramp on existing concrete. To make a smooth and gradual transition from the existing concrete on to the new concrete ramp, would require the removal of several inches of existing concrete where the new ramp began. That would allow the beginning of the ramp to be thick enough to prevent it from breaking. But breaking up the existing concrete at the beginning edge of the new ramp was too much trouble.
We chose another method and used a mixture of sand and epoxy to build the ramp transition. This mix is very strong, bonds to the existing concrete very well and can be feathered thin to make a smooth transition from the existing concrete surface on to the new concrete ramp.
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