What is Contraction joint in concrete? Purpose of a Contraction Joint in concrete. Different types of Contraction Joint.
A contraction joint in concrete is a groove or a saw cut that is created in the surface of the concrete to control cracking caused by shrinkage as the concrete dries and hardens. The purpose of a contraction joint is to create a weakened plane in the concrete that will induce controlled cracking at the joint, rather than random cracking elsewhere in the slab. This helps to ensure that the concrete remains structurally sound, and reduces the risk of long-term damage.
Contraction joints are used in a variety of concrete applications, such as slabs, walls, and floors, and are typically placed at regular intervals, based on the thickness and composition of the concrete. The size and depth of the joint is determined by the thickness of the concrete and the expected amount of shrinkage.
There are several different types of contraction joints that can be used in concrete construction:
- Saw-cut joints: These are created by sawing a groove into the surface of the concrete using a specialized saw blade. Saw-cut joints are typically made within 12 to 24 hours of pouring the concrete, and can be used in both horizontal and vertical applications.
- Tooled joints: These are created by tooling the surface of the concrete with a grooving tool, which creates a raised or depressed line in the concrete. Tooled joints are typically used in horizontal applications, such as floors and pavements, and can be shaped in a variety of patterns.
- Formed joints: These are created by installing a preformed joint filler or form in the concrete before pouring. Formed joints are typically used in vertical applications, such as walls and columns, and can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic, rubber, and foam.
In summary, contraction joints are an essential component of concrete construction, and are used to control cracking caused by shrinkage as the concrete dries and hardens. Different types of contraction joints can be used depending on the specific application and environmental conditions, and proper placement and installation of the joint is critical to ensuring the long-term durability and strength of the concrete.