Concrete is produced in five basic forms, each with unique applications and properties:
- Ready mix (http://www.crmca.ca/crmca/CRMCAEng.html) concrete / cast-in-place accounts for nearly three quarters of all concrete. It is prepared at local plants for delivery in the familiar trucks with revolving drums.
- Precast (http://www.cpci.ca/) concrete products are cast at the factory. These products benefit from the tight quality control achievable at a production plant. Precast products range from concrete bricks and paving stones to bridge girders, structural components and panels for cladding.
- Concrete masonry (http://www.ccmpa.ca/), another type of manufactured concrete, is best known in its conventional 8 x 8 x 16-inch blocks. Masonry units can be molded into a variety of shapes, configurations, colors and textures for a wide range of building applications and architectural needs.
- Tilt-Up (http://www.tilt-up.org/) construction is one of the fastest growing industries in North America. At least 10,000 buildings enclosing more than 650 million square feet are constructed annually. This is due, in part, to the economics of Tilt-Up, which combine reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction, and minimal capital investment
- Cement-based materials represent products that defy the label of "concrete," yet share many of its qualities. Conventional materials in this category include mortar, grout, and terrazzo. Soil-cement and roller-compacted "cousins" of concrete are used for pavements and dams. Other products in this category include flowable fill and cement-treated bases. A new generation of advanced products incorporates fibres and special aggregate to create roofing tiles, shake shingles, lap siding and countertops.