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What causes honeycomb in concrete?
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Honeycomb is the hollow space in what should be solid concrete, so-called because of its loose resemblance to the honeycomb in a bee hive. It can be caused by inadequate vibration of the concrete after placement, low slump (lack of liquidity to allow the concrete to flow easily), an excessive amount of large aggregate in the mix, or spacing of reinforcing steel bars too close to the surrounding forms or each other.
Although it is usually only a cosmetic problem when seen at the exposed sides of the concrete, honeycomb can lead to spalling when it reduces the necessary thickness of the concrete covering over the steel reinforcing bars, allowing moisture to reach the steel and cause it to rust. See our article What is concrete spalling? for more on this.
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