What is the most efficient way to smooth your concrete?

How much concrete do you use in your building projects? Concrete is a cheap, practical, and highly popular building material but it does have one significant problem. When concrete is poured it usually contains a lot of trapped air, this air reduces the density of the concrete which makes it more permeable and less strong. Concrete which is left in this weakened state will not prove durable and will soon require replacement. Simply levelling the concrete will not be sufficient. The only way to produce a concrete surface that is strong and long-lasting is to remove the trapped air bubbles.

What's the traditional way of removing trapped air?

The most common way of removing the bubbles of trapped air from recently poured concrete used to involve workers with concrete trowels smoothing the concrete by hand to create the smooth creamy finish that is commonly associated with concrete. Smoothing the concrete by hand with concrete trowels is effective, but it takes time and uses workers that could be put to better use elsewhere on your construction site.

The faster way to smooth concrete

The most common way to smooth concrete today is to use vibration plates to remove the trapped air. The vibration liquefies the mortar and lowers the internal friction that exists between the aggregate particles. The instability this causes forces the air to rise to the surface of the concrete and expel the air bubbles and excess water from the concrete, increasing density of the concrete and making the resulting mixture stronger. Once the vibration plates have completed their job the concrete will settle correctly into the mould and will be smooth and missing the honeycombing, blemishes, and bug holes that can be a sign of poorly smoothed concrete.

Are vibration plates difficult to use?

Workers who will be using vibration plates need to be properly trained in their use. The most common mistake that is made with both concrete trowels and vibration plates is not using them for long enough. To thoroughly smooth the concrete it is essential that the poured concrete is vibrated for long enough to liquefy properly. How long the liquefying process takes will depend on both the workability of the concrete and amplitude of the vibrator. An operator will need to be familiar with both the equipment and the nature of the concrete materials being used before they start work. This will ensure that the final finish of the concrete will be smooth and the concrete structure strong and long-lasting.