Industrial concrete construction is a specialized process that requires extensive planning, design, logistics and quality control to successfully execute large-scale concrete projects. This type of construction is uniquely suited to deliver the durable, high-capacity structures needed for infrastructure, manufacturing, warehouses and other industrial facilities.
Understanding the considerations and requirements of industrial concrete construction is key for architects, engineers and contractors involved in these projects.
Planning and Design
The planning and design phase lays the critical groundwork for the success of any industrial concrete construction project. Site conditions must be thoroughly evaluated to identify any issues such as soil type, nearby structures, potential vibration impacts, environmental factors and more. With the site data in hand, the design of the concrete foundations can commence based on the loads and stresses the structure must withstand.
An integrated team of structural engineers, construction managers and specialty contractors collaborate to design formwork, specify concrete mixes, select durable finishes and coatings, establish quality control procedures, plan the pouring schedule and finalize all specifications.
Decisions about concrete mix design, steel reinforcements and slab thicknesses will stem from the engineering requirements. The construction plan and timeline must align with the client’s budget and facility operations. Excellent project planning streamlines costs and prevents delays during construction.
Formwork and Reinforcement
The formwork provides the mold into which concrete is poured to form the floors, walls, columns and other structural elements. Formwork must be sturdy, precisely built, and properly treated to achieve the required surface finish. Industrial formwork is often large and complex, requiring experienced crews to construct.
Steel rebar reinforces the concrete, giving it added tensile strength and preventing cracks. Rebar size, spacing, configuration and overlap must adhere to the structural design. Proper rebar “cages” placement within the formwork is closely inspected before each concrete pour. Post-tensioned or pre-stressed rebar may be used in some structures.
Concrete Mix Design
While residential projects often use readily available concrete mixes, industrial concrete requires customized mix designs to meet the structural requirements and environment. Factors like strength, setting time, flowability and durability are tailored to the project. Concrete mix can be optimized for high early strength, low permeability, resistance to salts or chemicals, abrasion resistance and other properties critical to industrial structures. Test pours validate the mixes.
Pouring and Curing
Concrete’s controlled pouring and curing is paramount for achieving the designed strength and durability. For optimal pour placement, consolidation, finish and curing, industrial concrete pours follow the American Concrete Institute (ACI) standards. Strict protocols govern the pouring process, viscosity testing, vibration, curing temperature and duration. Any errors weaken the concrete and compromise structural concrete integrity.
Concrete curing is closely monitored for at least 28 days with temperature and moisture levels controlled to promote cement hydration and strength gain. Field testing confirms the concrete is attaining the required compressive strength before construction progresses.
Finishing and Coatings
Once cured, various finishes and protective coatings are applied to create a durable, low-maintenance surface. Industrial concrete commonly uses hardwearing troweled finishes, penetrating sealers, epoxy or polyurethane coatings, chemical stains and polished finishes. The coatings protect against oils, acids, impacts and harsh plant conditions. Appropriate surface prep and application methods ensure coating adhesion and performance.
Extensive quality control and testing is standard throughout an industrial concrete construction project, including:
- Following the American Concrete Institute (ACI) standards
- Rebar and formwork inspections before each pour.
- Fresh concrete testing for temperature, slump and air content.
- Cylinder breaks to verify compressive strength.
- Evaluation of surface finishes and coatings.
- Moisture testing before floor coatings.
- Documentation of any defects or deviations.
This rigorous quality control prevents both safety and financial risks from construction errors.
Industrial concrete projects require stringent safety plans and training to prevent injuries. Hazards include slips/trips, heavy equipment, silica dust, falls, skin burns, and more. OSHA safety regulations must be followed, and crews should use appropriate personal protective equipment. Site security, access controls, and traffic management promote safe working conditions.
Major industrial facilities rely on expert concrete general contractors to deliver specialized structures:
- Water Treatment Plants: Huge clarifiers, containment walls and liquid storage tanks require concrete optimized for water resistance and chemical durability. Strict quality control ensures liquid-tight structures.
- Warehouses: Massive column-free interior slabs, high truck traffic surfaces and floor flatness standards demand concrete expertise. Polished finishes reflect light and prevent dusting.
- Manufacturing Plants: Custom mixes handle heavy loads, vibration, and chemicals. Jointless floors, coated containment curbs and stainless steel finishes create durable, sanitary surfaces.
Rely on SW Funk Industrial Contractors For Exceptional Industrial Concrete Construction
Industrial concrete construction is a complex process requiring specialized knowledge across planning, design, logistics, quality and safety. Hiring an experienced industrial concrete contractor is recommended to deliver these challenging projects within budget and on schedule while meeting quality and safety goals. With sound expertise, industrial concrete structures will provide decades of reliable service under tough operating conditions.
At SW Funk Industrial, our work as concrete contractors is unmatched. Since 1980, we’ve provided precise workmanship and meticulous attention to detail on all of our concrete projects. Our experts specialize in challenging environments at clients’ facilities, delivering premium concrete installations without disrupting processes. Whether you have a large machine foundation that needs to be installed or a smaller concrete slab project, we’re the team for the job. Contact us today to start the conversation.