We are often asked if it is possible to construct concrete barrier in poor weather conditions, and the answer is YES. There is a common misconception that when the weather takes a turn for the worse, all concrete production activity stops – nonsense. Changeable weather is a fact of life, if we were to stop placing concrete every time precipitation descended, nothing would ever be built.
The biggest obstacles to the concrete industry are heavy rain and hard frost, yet concrete barrier has been slipformed successfully in all climates and extreme environments, from Moscow to Madrid. Production in cold weather can be managed by mix design, heated water, accelerators and external heat sources. Cement alternatives, chilled water, retarders, and curing membranes are viable options to ensure production is efficient in high ambient temperatures. Wind can disrupt the concrete setting characteristics if not adequately managed through protective curing, but generally does not present as a problem for in-situ construction unlike alternate methods of installation reliant upon the use of cranes.
Vertically placed and of low consistence (0-40mm), the rheological properties of freshly slipformed concrete barrier offers an inherent resistance to the surface pitting often associated with pouring or casting in the rain. As a result, most tasks can continue during light showers and drizzle, with only the most torrential of downpours able to affect the barrier surface. BBS Licensed Installers are now employing sophisticated weather monitoring equipment, similar to the pit crews in F1, which allows for forward planning of the worst site conditions.
Incidences of weather causing a stop to concrete barrier production are rare, as developments in concrete technology have meant we can adapt to our conditions, whether it be hot, cold, wind or rain. As a general rule of thumb, if the site is open then in-situ concrete barrier can be slipformed.
Image courtesy of Gomaco.