Sunday, 28 September 2014

Architectural concrete and color

 Bayferrox® pigments from LANXESS benefit from the megatrend of urbanization 


Spain: Bodega Antión, La Rioja
Site-mixed concrete, pigmented with formirapid® yellow, based on
Bayferrox® 920
Construction time: 2004 - 2007
Architect: Jesús Marino PASCUAL

Urbanization – a trend currently prevailing around the world and particularly in the growth markets including, of course India. This tendency is characterized by migration from country to town, rising populations in larger cities and an expansion of urban catchment areas. This is accompanied by an increase in demand for buildings and improved infrastructure. Concurrent to this phenomenon of urbanization, a growing need for more quality has made itself felt – more quality in living space design and thus also through the use of color.

Colored concrete materials, such as concrete roofing tiles, paving blocks and paving slabs nowadays make an important contribution to making our environment more attractive, and they are getting more and more accepted by the general public also in India.
With these materials, builders are able to combine technical functionality with an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Nevertheless, concrete frequently has a rather negative image even though the outstanding technical properties of this all-purpose material are acknowledged by even the layman. Terms like "concrete jungle" and "as grey as concrete" are often used to describe an environment in which man does not feel particularly contented. The architectural design and, in particular, the color of a building tend to be the decisive factors in whether a project is viewed as successful or whether it is seen more as a dismal and monotonous structure.

There are many ways of giving concrete a colored appearance

The most simple method, of course, is to paint the concrete surface, but the problem is that a coat of paint only has limited durability, and renewing it would in many cases be a particularly arduous task. Setting up the scaffolding and applying a new coat of paint not only involves considerable cost, it is also in many cases technically impossible.
Another method is to give the concrete a more lively appearance by using different aggregate materials. The possibilities for producing a colorful design with this method are nevertheless very limited.

In most cases, the method of choice is to integrally color the concrete, and a wide range of suitable pigments is nowadays available for this purpose. They enable almost any shade to be achieved, and have virtually unlimited durability.
The production of colored concrete mixes does not basically differ from that of a grey concrete. We shall now look at what points need to be considered to produce attractive concrete surfaces through the addition of pigments.

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