About Concrete Slabs and How They Are Used

Concrete slabs were first used in ancient Egypt around 5000 BC in order to make the pyramids that you can still see standing today.  

This version of concrete was slightly different to the concrete that is used nowadays however the common principles remain the same.  

Instead of using aggregate such as sand or gravel, mixed with water and cement, the Egyptians used mud mixed with straw to form bricks, and a version of mortar created from gypsum and lime. 

Concrete was further perfected during Roman times who used volcanic rock and limestone to create a particularly strong and stable concrete. The Coliseum, one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions and the largest amphitheatre, was constructed out of concrete. 

In 1824 the first modern iteration of concrete was patented by Joseph Aspdin. It contained a mixture of limestone and clay and has been used across the globe for the best part of two centuries.  

This updated version of concrete was incredibly versatile and has been adapted for use in a wide of different applications such as bridges, housing and pathways.  

concrete slabs

In 1891 Portland Cement (named due its colour resembling that of the stone quarried on the Isle of Portlandwas used to create the first fully concrete street in America, which had never previously been achieved.  

In 1950 Brad Vowman expanded on a formula for concrete overlays first patented by John Crossfeild in 1938 which allowed for the use of colour in concrete.  

Vowman developed this further in order to create the first fully decorate concrete which was used in architectural concrete paving.  

This was achieved by using colour and applying textures through wooden moulds to achieve a unique textured finish 

Today concrete slabs are used in everything from ceilings and floors to driveways and patios. Advancements in modern technology have allowed for the combination of new materials such as fibre reinforcements and polymers to be added to the concrete mix for extra strength and stability ensuring a longer lasting, more durable product.  

Ground Bearing or Suspended? 

Concrete slabs can typically be broken down into two groups – ground bearing slabs and suspended slabs 

Ground-bearing slabs are those that rest directly on a foundation, whereas other slabs are classed as suspended. 

There are many different types of concrete slab however the most common tend to be flat slabs – reinforced slabs supported directly by columns or caps, without the use of beamsand conventional slabs which are supported by beams and columns.  

Conventional slabs can either be one-way slabswhich are supported by beams on opposite sides designed to carry the load along one direction and twoway beams which are supported by beams on all fours sides in order to carry the load in both directions. 

To learn how Maxi are perfectly placed to help with projects involving concrete slabs click here.