For the past hundred years or so, concrete has been the natural choice for mass construction. Everything from large buildings to roads have been entirely or partially made from concrete.
However, in truth, concrete has several noticeable disadvantages when it comes to construction. This is particularly true for construction projects involving road work, where there is the potential for moisture build-up. In these situations, surfacing materials (like those offered by NatraTex) are far more ideal than concrete or even tarmac.
In this Knowledge Hub article, we’ll be going over the reasons why NatraTex’s surfacing products are superior to concrete when dealing with projects such as highway maintenance and driveway building.
Concrete is Very Expensive
The first reason why concrete is an inferior product to NatraTex products is because concrete is an extremely expensive material to apply and maintain.
Not only does concrete require a more base material to lay — especially in regards to premium quality concrete — it also requires specialist equipment to apply the concrete to the road surface. Furthermore, concrete takes a considerable amount of time to cure properly — which depending on your situation can mean a loss of productivity.
The prohibitive costs of concrete only increase further once the concrete has been laid. Over a long period of time, concrete has to be maintained, otherwise it can develop potholes and other deformities. This results in continually repeating costs that could easily stretch into the hundreds of thousands of pounds over a twenty to forty year period.
In contrast, the base cost of applying NatraTex is routinely much lower than concrete. Our products can be applied quickly, and it doesn’t require as long a time to cure. Furthermore, our products don’t require nearly as much maintenance — meaning that, when you choose NatraTex as your surfacing solutions, your maintenance costs are almost negligible.
Concrete has a High Compression Strength, but a weak Tensile Strength
Concrete, generally speaking, has a high compression strength compared to many other building materials. However, its tensile strength is extremely weak compared to many construction materials, including our products. This means that it’s easy for concrete to chip and crack — damage which can easily grow and will grow over time.
In contrast, NatraTex surfacing products have an extremely high tensile strength and compressive strength. This means that our products can withstand a considerable amount of pressure, heat and movement before showing signs of damage — a trait that is particularly useful during times of the year which experience rapid temperature changes.
As a result of this, NatraTex surfacing products are extremely durable and require virtually no maintenance.
Concrete isn’t Porous
Potholes are a common malady for concrete roads. They are formed when water manages to penetrate the upper surface of a concrete road, become trapped, freeze and then cause damage. Because concrete isn’t porous, this water has nowhere to go once it’s become trapped.
In contrast, our products are more porous than traditional concrete as a base product. Furthermore, our products can be specially modified in order to maximise their porous properties. This is an option available for a number of our products, including NatraTex Colour.
This product is the ideal material for applications such as coloured roads, coloured driveways, and bus lanes.
Concrete is Not Aesthetically Pleasing
The final reason why concrete is inherently inferior to our products is because of aesthetics.
As concrete ages, its aesthetic qualities diminish rapidly. Not only does the colour bleach under the harsh sun, but concrete (as we’ve already discussed) develops potholes and other imperfections in the surface. This means that what was once a pristine road surface quickly descends into a blotchy, broken mess that more resembles the lunar landscape than it does a school surface.
In contrast, a high quality NatraTex surface can last for an exceedingly long time without changing its appearance. Not only does its colour last for years without fading (whether from being bleached from the sun or from contamination from the rain) but its semi-malleable surface means that our products don’t develop deformities in the same way that concrete or tarmac surfaces do. As we’ve previously mentioned, this also has the double effect of meaning that our products don’t require nearly as much maintenance as concrete or tarmac does — which keeps costs down for years to come!
Contact NatraTex Today For a World Class Alternative
For more information about our range of coloured surface products, contact NatraTex today. If you like, you can also request a sample to see what we can do for you.