World of Concrete 2015: Our Impressions

As seen at World of Concrete 2015. A unique sample of a concrete wall.

As seen at World of Concrete 2015. A unique sample of a concrete wall.

Did you make it to this year’s World of Concrete? The World of Concrete event is the third largest convention in Las Vegas, after NASCAR and the Bull Riders Association, with more than 50,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors. At this year’s World of Concrete there were two outdoor exhibit areas with heavy construction equipment (including test drives for novices), concrete demolition demonstrations, concrete slab finishing, and concrete sculptures and artwork.

This year’s event was host to many fascinating indoor exhibits. Among the most interesting were those featuring waterproofing products for use on concrete walls and slabs. There were hundreds of chemicals displayed, and they could all be used to waterproof below ground basement walls and slabs, or above ground walls and roofs. Some products were mainly for use on new construction, while others were “after-market” products for use on existing structures.

One of the companies that really interested me was Xypex. The company offers a slew of crystalline waterproofing products. One product we saw got us really interested, it’s a solution used to waterproof concrete. It reacts with water, creating a watertight seal, and will treat a typical 6-inch thick concrete slab or wall in about 14 days. Although we have recommended this product on prior jobs, the literature and information we got from the booth reinforced our decision and we will continue to specify its use.

We also saw several companies that specialized in decorative concrete walls and counter tops. Some of these companies are really artistic, with construction as a means to an artistic end. We got some excellent ideas for making concrete walls that look like artwork, rather than prison walls. Some of what we saw used embedded glass, shells, or lights in the walls. We also saw some great concrete slabs that looked more like fancy stone than concrete.

If you did get to World of Concrete, what was your favorite exhibit? Are you planning to use any equipment, materials or techniques you saw displayed? Let us know in the comments.

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