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Concrete In Australia : March 2012
Concrete in Australia Vol 38 No 1 11 Bringing aesthetics and design to concrete An innovation enabling patterns and images to be "etched" onto precast elements called Graphic Concrete has been launched by Reid Construction Systems. e company said graphic concrete is a patented technology that allows for textures, raster patterns, repeated patterns, written text, or even sharp images to be created on concrete surfaces. Reid said that while it was originally developed for use on exterior facades and interior walls, graphic concrete technology can also be used in the production of environmental concrete constructions, concrete slabs and individual works of art. At the 25th biennial conference of the Concrete Institute of Australia late last year the concrete industry heard from Bridge Art for Figg chief executive Linda Figg, who gave a keynote presentation on how the US is increasingly bringing aesthetics and design into the concrete industry. She said: "With concrete we have the opportunity to be creative, and that creativity is limitless." Reid explained how it was bringing this principle to Australia, by using the graphic concrete membranes in the precast yard. A pattern or image is "printed" on this membrane with a special concrete retarder. e pattern is then created on the surface of the concrete by the contrast between the smooth textures and the exposed fine aggregate surface. Reid said architects and designers can either select surface patterns from an existing range that has been designed by Graphic Concrete, or can design their own, unique custom pattern or image. e architectural detail can be "toned" by selecting the colour and exposure depth of the cement stone and the colour of the exposed aggregate. To ensure productivity and a high quality finish Reid Construction Systems is providing Graphic Concrete-endorsed training and support to precasters. Patterns can be etched into precast elements using a new system launched by Reid. Concrete handbook e fifth edition of the Reinforced Concrete Design Handbook has been released by CCAA and Standards Australia. is latest edition brings the handbook into alignment with AS 3600 Concrete Structures and Amendment No 1-2010, as well as other relevant standards. It references all the fundamental structural elements of reinforced concrete design, including beams, suspended slabs, columns, walls and footings. Chapters on durability and fire resistance, as well as design examples, are also included. e strut-and-tie design method is covered in a completely new chapter (reflecting the new section of AS 3600), while revised rules for crack control in beams and slabs are also addressed. Another significant improvement is the inclusion of spreadsheets to illustrate design principles, the requirements of AS 3600, and the recommendations of the handbook. To purchase the hard copy edition, go to http://infostore. saiglobal.com/store/.