Opinion of:

Marco Albelice

Technical Services, Mapei SpA

From Realtà Mapei International n° 85 - 5/26/2021

Exposed-aggregate decorative paving

Mapei Color Paving® for modern concrete paving.

When we are out strolling in a public park, cycling on a track or waliking on a foothpath in a historic town centre, at some point we will have found ourselves walking across a surface in loose gravel.

The natural appeal of this type of paving with a rustic-effect finish adds a touch of style to any setting where it is used. Needless to say, this is a type of paving that requires regular and careful maintenance: it has to be cleaned constantly to remove leaves and grass, repairing hollows and rutting, especially where vehicles pass, and wetting surfaces to eliminate dust.

The answer to these inconveniencies may well be modern concrete paving with an exposed-aggregate finish. This type of decorative paving is usually coloured, it is easy to apply and is very strong, durable and resistant.

It is made from locally sourced aggregates and natural stone, to remain in line with the local geographical context in which it is applied. Compared with traditional gravel paving, it is more compact, uniform and resistant, and is also easy to clean and drive over by vehicles, with no need to be regularly maintained. For this purpose, Mapei proposes Mapei Color Paving®


Where can decorative MAPEI COLOR PAVING® be installed?

Gardens, parks and villas, private and public footpaths, pavements, courtyards and porticoes, historic town centres and driveways leading to historic or modern homes: wherever you wish to create decorative paving in coloured, exposed aggregates with a surprisingly natural finish.


What is the Mapei Color Paving® system?

It is a system for decorative washed concrete paving with an exposed-aggregate finish. It is the result of a project which aimed at obtaining a natural, custom-made effect, able to fully match the surrounding environment, combined with the mechanical strength and durability typical of concrete floors. The system is composed of three elements: concrete, COLOR ADMIX PAVING admixture, and MAPEWASH PO surface set-retardant.

What does COLOR PAVING ADMIX actually do?

COLOR PAVING ADMIX is a pre-blended, fibre-reinforced, multi-purpose mix of powder admixtures that guarantees the durability and mechanical strength of the paving, helping concrete mixes achieve exposure class XF3, as specified by European standard EN 206:2016 for this type of use (featuring high mechanical properties, resistance to freeze/thaw cycles).

COLOR PAVING ADMIX improves the workability of concrete, helps reduce the amount of mixing water required to prepare the mix, improves the resistance to freeze/thaw cycles, guarantees uniform viscosity throughout the mix, limits the formation of cracks during the plastic phase of concrete, colours the cementitious matrix, impedes the formation of unsightly saline efflorescence and helps keep the exposed aggregates stable when the paving is in service. The usual rate is 25 kg of COLOR PAVING ADMIX for every m3 of concrete to be prepared.


And what is MAPEWASH PO for?

This product is a surface-set retardant made from biodegradable vegetable oils with a curing effect. As the concrete is levelled off and smoothed over, MAPEWASH PO is gradually applied over the surface with a low pressure atomiser spray to form an even, seamless film. The function of this admixture is to delay setting of the concrete at the surface so that it can then be blasted with high-pressure jets, which removes the top few millimetres of the cementitious matrix to reveal the coloured stones or gravel chosen for that particular project.


What is the general procedure to create this type of paving?

Depending on the final area of use, the type of base-layer, the pattern of the paving and any other requirements, a concrete slab has to be designed with proper thickness, mechanical strenghts, and, if required, steel/fibre reinforcement and joints. Concrete is then produced using the aggregates in the desidered size and colour, adding COLOR PAVING ADMIX to the mix before placing the mix. While the concrete is being placed, gradually apply MAPEWASH PO over the surface. After around 24 hours, hydro-blast the surface to remove the sand and cement from around the aggregates (gravel) and this gives you the finish required, which also depends on the concrete mix used.


Why choose Mapei?

Because from the design stage of the concrete mix to the placing of the concrete, Mapei’s Technical Services work alongside the client, their designers, and the team on site. MAPEI COLOR PAVING® technology guarantees reliability and total respect for the environment by using locally-sourced resources, contributing to our perceived sense of wellbeing in the surroundings we live in.

Realtà Mapei Tags: #insights #urbandesign

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