Applications for Concrete Pavers
How well a surface will support heavy loads depends to a great extent on the strength of the sub-base, which is one of the concrete paver applications. A drive that has to take the weight of one or more cars obviously needs a stronger sub-base than a path. Some paving materials need a sub-base of gravel, crushed rock or small rubble, and others need a concrete layer as well. On soft ground or where heavy traffic is likely, this concrete paver application may need to be deeper than recommended on the chart. For soft soil, some steel reinforcement will be necessary; if you are unsure, include it anyway just to be safe.
A drive needs to be at least 3 m wide for car doors to be opened or for people to walk past a parked car. All drives needs to be sloped from side to side so that rainwater will not lie on the surface. A crossfall of about 1 in 40 is suitable for a drive. A drive should also slope away from the house, so it may need a lengthways slope of 1 in 100 – or steeper if necessary to follow the natural slope of the ground. Consult with local authorities if a new driveway needs access onto a main road. The sub-base, which is one of the most basic concrete paver applications, can be made from almost any solid stone or masonry material. Old bricks must be cleaned of plaster and crushed into small pieces. About 50 mm spherical diameter is the maximum size for any sub-base material. Crushed rock, gravel, old tiles and even concrete rubble (if you can crush it small enough) can be used.
If you buy a load of rubble fill, remove any bits of wood, cardboard, vegetable matter and other degradable material before compacting it into the excavated area.
Another of the concrete paver applications type is edging and kerbing, which is for providing fixed edging on an area of paving blocks laid on a sand bed, or to confine loose or soft surfaces such as gravel or asphalt. Paving blocks can be edged with a header course of the same blocks used for the paving. Path edging is usually available in straight lengths only; standard kerbing, which is thicker and deeper, is also sold in curved lengths. Tops may be flat, chamfered, rounded, bull-nosed or scalloped. Kerbing can be laid to finish above the paved surface, flush with the paved surface, or just below the paved surface so that it is covered by grass or soil and only the paving shows. However, it is one of the complex concrete paver applications as it has to be carefully set up in position on its concrete bed to finish at the correct height in relation to the surface.
The use of concrete pavers is growing rapidly on both commercial and residential construction projects. Pavers interlock together to form a patterned surface which can be put into service immediately. Pavers are manufactured in various textures and colors. A big benefit of pavers is that they can be removed and re-installed, which reduces future service interruptions.
Pavers are often used for the following applications:
- project entrances
- a walkway through a city park
- pool decks
- entrance to corporate offices
- around fountains
- streets (most of Germany is paver streets)
- airport runways
The popularity of concrete paver applicaations is expanding rapidly in the United States. There is plenty of growth to go: in Europe there are 100 square feet of pavers installed per person annually, in the United States it is only 1 square foot per person. Insiders in the paver business say the market is on fire and poised to continue growing as the benefits of concrete paver applications become more well known.