Today, plastic concrete with polymer additives, which is featured in articles as decorative concrete, is rapidly gaining in popularity. This name is determined by its great potential in contrast to ordinary concrete: low fluidity, high stickiness and ease of artistic processing.

These properties are similar to the properties of decorative cement-based plaster. By the way, many enthusiasts add a small amount of it to the cement mixture to give concrete a corresponding plasticity. How effectively it can be read in the article this topic.

Many garden lovers want to further decorate it with their works related to the manufacture of decorative stone. It can be a tile for paths and grounds, vases and flowerpots for flowers, as well as simple garden figures. To use decorative concrete in your work, you need to be familiar with its composition and manufacturing technology. For the shape and reinforcement of future small architectural forms, basins, worn tires are used, old buckets of various sizes.

To obtain an unusual light form, impregnated with cement mortar used clothing or thick fabric is used. In this way, original concrete vases can be made that will not be afraid of the effects of our adverse weather (especially in winter).

If you plan to manufacture something large-scale, heavy and complex, you will need to first prepare a durable frame of metal reinforcement, which is covered with a galvanized grid. Then a concrete mix is ​​applied on it in layers of different composition.

At enterprises where complex products are mass-produced, special forms (usually made of steel or fiberglass) are used and decorative concrete is practically not used, since a standard solution is also suitable for casting.

Small products really make yourself and at home, the main thing is to have the desire to learn this. Many homemade for a long time want to use decorative concrete in their work, experimenting and proving that it is real and economically beneficial if you do everything yourself.

Finished concrete products can be painted with acrylic paint, as many craftsmen do, and you can also use pre-prepared colored concrete using various iron oxide pigments. Combining these operations, you can get a very close to the natural surface of artificial stone.

If you learn how to work with decorative concrete, then it will not be difficult to make various figures of animals, birds or fairy-tale heroes for garden decor.

Show imagination, attract to the work of their loved ones, children. So it will be much more interesting to create and change your world. Start small, experiment, do something small, feel the plasticity of the concrete and get used to it, then everything will definitely work out.

Today, concrete is one of the most common building and decorative materials. It is used in the construction and decoration of houses, as well as the implementation of projects on landscape design. Among other decorative elements, garden paths, vases and flower beds are the most popular.

Making a concrete garden walkway with your own hands

Of course, if you wish, you can buy ready-made paving slabs, but it is much more profitable and more interesting to make a garden walkway yourself.

All you need for this is special rubber molds for paving slabs and concrete mortar.

If you want to paint the tiles in different colors, you can add special dyes to the mixture.

The marble top gives a pleasant relief and a special attractiveness to a garden path. It is added in small amounts. The rough surface of the finished product will prevent slipping in the winter season.

Step-by-step instructions on how to make a garden path: Step 1. Create a reinforcing frame of steel reinforcement with a minimum section. The armature in the form of a grid is laid in the form, and then sealed with wire. Step 2. The grid should be laid after the form has been treated with technical oil and half filled with mortar.

This will ensure the ultimate strength and reliability of the finished product. After the reinforcement has been laid, we fill the mold with the compound to the end and tamper it. Step 3. For 2-3 days after pouring, we wet the surface of the product with water.

In addition, we make sure that direct sunlight does not fall on the mold. Step 4. Using a wire stencil, you can apply a pattern on the front of the tile, or lay out a mosaic of broken glass, which should be pressed a little into the drying solution.

Manufacture of concrete sculptures

Fabulous concrete sculptures, stumps, mushrooms, etc. look beautifully and spectacularly in the localities.

Bowls are poured from the solution and the banks of the ponds are drawn up, bridges and arbors are made. However, the most popular are small sculptures of fairy-tale characters and animals.

Main steps:

From reinforcement weld frame. At this stage, you need to try to convey the form as accurately as possible. The more precisely the frame is made, the more convenient and faster it will be to fashion the sculpture.

The product can be hollow or monolithic – it depends on your preferences. If you decide to make a hollow sculpture, before you apply the solution, wrap it with a fine metal mesh. Throw the solution in layers. Moreover, each subsequent layer is applied after the previous one is set.

Thus, the formation of the product. The last layer of the concrete solution should convey the slightest features and details of the character. After the concrete has set, we paint the sculpture. Move the finished product to its place. If you made a monolithic shape, you may need a crane to move it.

How to make a concrete mushroom?

For beginners in the manufacture of concrete sculptures it is better to try to make the simplest figure – a mushroom.

In order to make the leg of the fungus you need a form. For these purposes, you should take a piece of linoleum, roofing material or a plastic bottle. The material should be rolled up into a pipe, after which the solution is poured inside.

An armature is placed in the middle. The mushroom cap is made even easier – we create a depression in the sand (using a bowl) and put a burdock leaf on the bottom (so that the structure of the mushroom cap is wrinkled). Then pour the resulting deepening concrete solution. Approximately in half an hour we insert several long nails into the center of the cap and allow the product to dry. At the final stage we install the sculpture leg in the right place, slightly deepen it into the soil. Fill the upper part of the leg with mortar and install the cap.

After 4-5 days your mushroom is ready. We paint the product.

Making a pot

As forms for vases or flower beds, you can use any available materials. For example, you can take a metal canister or a cardboard box. If you were able to find containers with a complex geometric shape, your pot will become real masterpieces.

So, we take 3 parts of sand, 3 parts of gravel, 2 parts of cement and prepare a concrete solution. The higher the grade of cement used for the mortar, the higher the strength of the products.

We mix sand and cement, then add gravel and also mix. In the resulting mixture make the hole and begin to pour water in small portions, while constantly stirring. As a result, the solution should have a thick consistency.

Prepared forms are treated with technical oil – the lower form from the inside, the top – from the outside. At the bottom we place a layer of solution 5-6 cm thick and ram it. We insert the top form so that the wall thickness of the vase is about the same everywhere.

If the wall thickness is insufficient, the product should be reinforced. To do this, take the wire reinforcement section of 2-3 mm and give it the desired shape. The armature is placed in the center of the formed space between the forms and filled with a solution.

The resulting product is left to dry.

To freeze the solution will take 2-3 days. During this period, make sure that the rays of the sun did not fall on the sculpture. After the vase has been removed, enclose it with a wet sacking, wrap it in film and leave it for 1 week. This measure will avoid cracking the structure.

After this period, a drainage hole can be drilled in a vase with a drill. A decorative product created from a concrete solution with your own hands can be painted with water-based, oil, enamel, or nitro paint. Also in the decor you can use ironing, decorate a vase with stones, shells and glasses. Show your imagination and be sure your creation will be a worthy adornment of the household plot. Technologies designed to improve the quality of building materials are constantly being improved, the modern market offers improved new products with unique properties.

One of these innovations is considered to be glass fiber concrete. The desire to choose one of the most popular materials led to the creation of its new variety, which consists of concrete and fiberglass reinforcement, which triple the elasticity of the original material, compared to ordinary concrete. Repair is a costly process, but you can significantly save money by making glass-concrete hands. Production does not require special skills – just follow the recommendations.

Composition and materials

The composition of glass fiber concrete is rather uncomplicated – gray or white Portland cement M 500-700, sifted fine-grained quartz sand, roving (alkali-resistant fiberglass), in some cases alumina cement is used. To enhance the characteristics – aesthetic, shaping, technological – additives are added to the composition.

The most important moment in the process of making your glass concrete is the choice of a binder. The base of alumina cement is characterized by intensive crystallization of formations, the decrease in strength occurs more slowly than in compositions of Portland cement. In association with water, Portland cement prevents the destruction of metal elements, but has a detrimental effect on glass fiber.

The main component of the liquid phase of Portland cement before hardening – calcium hydroxide – leads to glass corrosion, which destroys the silicon-oxygen structure. Based on this, in the manufacture of glass fiber based on Portland cement, it is advisable to use alkali-resistant fiber – otherwise, instead of a reinforced material, you will get a block soaked in liquid glass.

Concrete made on alumina cement is more dense, resistant to unfavorable environments, water resistant, but the cost of this foundation for concrete is much higher, it is more difficult to acquire.

On the other hand, the high price of alumina is absolutely justified. Among their main advantages in application are the following: rapid solidification, increased strength in the drying process, a slight effect of chemicals on the glass, rapid production of material, as a result – a reduction in construction time.

The only drawback is the possibility of changing the strength characteristics. The use of alumina in construction requires the exact implementation of the recommendations on the process – the minimum error will lead to the ultimate loss of most of the properties of the finished glass fiber concrete.

Fiberglass is 3 – 5% of the total mass of concrete.

For the manufacture of materials for interior and finishing, apply plaster on a plaster basis, or gypsum in its pure form.

The environment for solidification practically carries no threat of destruction of the reinforcing elements. There is a risk of corrosion of steel parts, the fiber is not destroyed. Fiber reinforced gypsum is more durable, flame retardant and characterized by low thermal conductivity.

Glass fiber is chosen on the basis of chemical composition, material strength – a wide choice of glass types allows you to choose the right type, focusing on your selection criteria. In the manufacture of glass fiber concrete, the following fibers are preferably used: silicate, quartz, sodium calcium silicate, aluminoborosilicate, zirconium silicate (alkali-resistant fiberglass).

Necessary tools

The use of specific equipment and tools in its production depends on the method chosen. This may be a pneumatic gun or a regular concrete mixer. In the manufacture of small batches of glass fiber concrete, the solution is stirred using its strength, necessarily in one direction – this will ensure uniform distributed fibers over the glass fiber concrete.

The finished solution is applied directly to the surface, or pre-poured into molds – before pouring the mixture in its shape, lubricate them with mineral oil.

For the production of smooth tiles, molds are used that are coated on the inside with polyethylene. Forms with a glass bottom allow you to make polished tiles, and textured products are produced using special silicone molds. The purchased monofilament is cut with special scissors; when cutting the fiber, take care of your personal safety – the use of a respirator, glasses, gloves for protecting hands are necessary.

Production technology

There are several ways to manufacture glass fiber concrete products. Pneumo spray – simultaneous application of a solution of crushed fiberglass to the surface using an airgun. When exiting the device, the fiber evenly interferes with the solution, a uniform layer of glass fiber cement is placed on the surface or form.

Advantages: the mixture is prepared separately, the fiber is chopped just before leaving the gun nozzle, the exact dosage, the result is a homogeneous mass, a quick mixing process.

Disadvantages: Pre-mixing of components – using a concrete mixer or manually (with a small amount of solution). In a concrete mixer prepare the usual concrete solution, add the ready chopped fiber in a ratio of 10: 1. Next, the components are mixed for 5 minutes, immediately form – the mixture quickly sets.

Advantages: production speed; saving on equipment.

Disadvantages: possible variations in the dosage, the solution is better to prepare in small quantities.

Vibroforming is not a separate method for the production of glass fiber concrete, but rather a method of manufacturing oversized products. Concrete placed in molds is saturated with fiberglass on the bench (mounted tabletop on a vibrating mechanism). The fiber is evenly distributed in the concrete mass, but the method is suitable only for the production of small plates.

Today, concrete is one of the most common building and decorative materials. It is used in the construction and decoration of houses, as well as the implementation of projects on landscape design. Among other decorative elements, garden paths, vases and flower beds are the most popular.