Durability of Architectural Concrete Shown in 40-Year Study

The question of architectural concrete’s durability has finally been answered.

Performance of Architectural Concrete Panels in the PCA Outdoor Display, published by Portland Cement Association (PCA), examines the impact to concrete decorative panels after 40 years of exposure to typical Midwest weather conditions.

In the early 1960s, PCA’s Research and Development Laboratories erected 60 concrete wall panels illustrating a wide variety of decorative surfaces. In 2001, PCA dismantled the panels to make way for development of the property. After a thorough power-wash cleaning, inspection revealed that the panels weathered extremely well with little change to color, minimal loss of aggregate particles and little or no noticeable loss of surface paste.

In fact, 93 percent received an “excellent” or “good” rating. In the 40 years since the panels were built, much has changed in concrete construction. Yet many of the methods used to create the panel surfaces are in use today because they remain the most effective.

In fact, improvements have made some of the construction techniques used in the study even more viable today.

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