In construction sites where solutions are required to speed up work times and at the same time raise the level of safety, opting for precast walls may be the best option.
Precast walls such as a precast concrete retaining wall are the most popular thanks to the many advantages they offer and their versatility. However, it is convenient to know the different options that exist in the market, their characteristics and benefits, so you can choose the one that best suits the specific requirements of the project in question.
We will talk about the different types of prefabricated panels that can be used as walls in your construction, their advantages and disadvantages.
Types of Precast Walls
Precast walls can be cataloged according to the material that constitutes them:
- concrete panels
- gypsum panels
- polyurethane panels
- polystyrene panels and polyethylene panels
We can also distinguish them by their structural design:
- screen panels with strap
- complete or in slat panels
Concrete panels are usually the most commonly used in civil engineering and are characterized by providing great rigidity. This type of panel is manufactured in a plant and then transferred to the work site where they will be used, or they can be manufactured directly on-site and their main function is to contain the land to allow residential or commercial works to progress.
Embedded panels are made up of a continuous or discontinuous flat element of reinforced concrete embedded in a base. The recesses are used to contain and support the earth, so their placement requires excavation work that deprives it of a lining function.
Screen panels, also called in-situ footing, are another type of wall that has continuous ribbed sections and is embedded in a footing. These panels receive the thrust from the ground, are the outer part of the wall and can absorb shear forces.
Tie-rod screen panels can be flat or ribbed and are anchored with a tie-rod to a shoe. They are used in retaining walls, mainly in constructions located on the terrain of considerable height.
Complete prefabricated panels include the panel and the shoe in one L-shaped piece, expanding its decorative and functional possibilities.
Slat concrete panels have transverse plates that are placed in buttresses that are embedded in the footing. These types of panels usually have plant covers and are placed with a certain inclination that allows the growth of vegetation.
Panels made of plaster, unlike those made of concrete, have a non-combustible core with special treatment to prevent the material from absorbing water. They also have fiberglass covering on both sides.
- This type of panel has the advantage that it is built dry, installed quickly, offers dimensional stability, resistance against fire, humidity and fungi, resistance to cracking and noise transmission.
However, it is necessary that before they are installed they are perfectly stored to protect them from the weather conditions because they should not get wet. Another disadvantage of this type of panel is that it requires the application of a final finish and different complementary products for its installation.
Polyurethane panels are sandwich-type insulating walls made of a polyurethane foam core covered with two sheets. Polyurethane panels offer the advantage of reducing costs. Thanks to the insulating properties of the panels, other needs are minimized, such as air conditioning and lighting. Also, they require minimal maintenance and are made from fully recoverable materials, unlike drywall.
- The polyurethane panels are modular and light, they are installed quickly and easily, they offer an aesthetic finish and flexibility in construction since modules can be added and removed in case extensions are necessary.
- Polyurethane panels can be used both in interior and exterior walls due to their great resistance and construction time is saved. Also, they offer a good separation capacity between construction supports without large investments are required in its structure.
However, like any other solution, there are disadvantages. The installation must be carried out by a specialist and special tools are required.