In some countries, concrete is used not only for foundations but also for floors and kitchen counters. This material is also ideal for pillars, but few people know this. This may be because it is more practical than aesthetic. One thing is for sure; you can easily see concrete columns made with sonotubes in the countryside or the city. Moreover, these elements are used in commercial and residential projects. Find out everything there is to know about sonotubes in this article.
What Exactly Is a Sonotube?
The sonotube is the element that allows concrete to have a cylindrical shape and to be solid. It is a cardboard tube in which the concrete is poured. It has several characteristics depending on the nature of the construction project. In a residential project, the sonotube is mainly used to make pillars to support a balcony and a patio.
Anyone with minimum construction skills and the right tools can install them. For commercial projects, sonotubes can be used to make structural elements. This will allow the structure to support more loads.
What Is the Relationship Between Sonotube and Residential Projects?
In a residential project, the sonotube is used for medium-scale work, such as installing balcony columns, fences, and other small jobs. To allow for the pouring of concrete, it is recommended to use tubes with a diameter of more than 20 cm. This element is easy to install, transport, and find: in most hardware stores.
How To Install a Pillar With Sonotube?
During the installation of a sonotube for concrete, it must be left at least 20 cm above the ground surface. You must also solidify the pillar by inserting reinforcing bars inside it. But first, be sure to dig into the ground and remove the soil, taking into account the depth of the tube. Then, place the sonotube in the hole and fill it with concrete. Also, be careful when pouring water into the concrete to avoid reducing its performance.
Although it is possible to do this yourself, it is still recommended to call a professional. This company specializes in the sale and production of concrete in Saint-Alphonse-de-Granby.
What About Institutional Projects?
For institutional projects, the concrete sonotube can come in different forms. Therefore, it can be used for the construction of significant works, involving qualified contractors to realize the works and professionals to make the load calculations.
There are two types of sonotubes, including:
The Smooth Sonotube
The smooth sonotube is mainly used on structures intended for the public, because it can offer aesthetically exciting effects. This element eliminates imperfections on the surface of the concrete and therefore avoids the need for manual finishing. Inside this element is a smooth film, allowing it to give the desired effect. You can see the result after removing the cardboard.
The Empty Sonotube
The empty sonotube is used for the fabrication of beams, bridge decks, and concrete slabs, but also piling projects. The technique consists in placing 2 sonotubes in a formwork. During the pouring of concrete, they are supported and retained by fasteners.