Wet cast paving Vs Dry Cast paving

In today’s Modern age the general population or consumer has expressed their interest and demand on the appeal or aesthetics of paving and similar simulated stone or concrete products. This demand by no means diminishes the importance of producing a product that is not only appealing to the eye but does not hinder the integrity of pavers, cobble stones or simulated stone product/s. Keeping these things in mind, will ensure that the paving product is suitable for the (job) intended application and will also ensure an extended lifetime of your project.

If we have a look in today’s paving industry, we will find that there are two main processes that paving manufactures or paving suppliers make use of to produce the finished concrete paving stone or paving blocks. There are also various common paver moulds used to produce wet cast pavers and dry cast pavers. Let’s discuss the two manufacturing processes in further detail.

Two manufacturing processes, wet cast paving process & dry cast paving process

Although the pavers might look similar and make use of similar raw materials, there are differences which we will cover in the topics below.

Wet Cast Pavers and similar concrete products

Once again, the name would suggest that a high volume of water is used in this process and regarded as liquid based. This mixture has a high slump allowing for transfer on trucks with specialised concrete mixes built on the back or place in industrial concrete mixtures found on the manufactures production line

Slump explained

This is a form or term used for the measurement of consistency and workability of the paving mix. This measurement or test that is conducted involves the use of a slump cone, the slump cone is filled with the paving paving mixture, then with precision the moulded cone mixer is turn out from the slump cone and later measured in height thus determining the slump value.

Wet Cast paving process continued

Let back track just a little in this wet cast paving manufacturing process. The wet cast paving mixture as we know has a high-volume water content mixed with exact amount of specific raw building materials such as sand, gravel and pigment. All these are added to what is referred to as a concrete mixture which allows for the proper agitation of raw materials thus ensuring the materials are properly combined and mixed. These concrete mixtures can tilt allowing the release of the internal liquid based  paving mixture.

If you search the internet, you will find that some process included other materials as well. For the purpose of this article, we will focus primarily on the most commonly used material mentioned above.

To speed up the hydration process, additives, colourants, black and white efflorescence inhibitors are added including strengthening fibre materials. The paving mix is poured into flexible paving moulds and levelled off. These are placed on a surface that is designed to vibrate, the purpose of the vibration is to ensure the voids are filled and that any possible air pockets present are released to the open surface. This process ensures the integrity, strength and appearance of the individual paver once removed from the paving mould.

The paving mixture in the paving mould are carefully placed in a designated area to allow for curing or setting. Once this period has lapsed the mould/s are turn out and the pavers removed.  Paving quality controllers inspect each paving bock for defects and removed from the paving batch. Only those that meet the quality requirements are then placed on pallets, secured, and prepared for shipping to its destination.

The wet cast paving process is labour intense and requires more time to produce, its often referred to as hand crafted paving. The same wet cast paving process is applied to the following simulated stone / concrete products:

1`) Pavers or paving bricks

2) Cobble stones

3) Bullnose stones or Coping Stones

4) Flagstones or steppingstones or concrete slaps

5) Landscaping circles

6) certain lines of natural stones products

Dry Cast Pavers and similar concrete products

As with both paving manufacturing processes the name would suggest the quantity of water that is used in the process.  Dry cast paving requires little water in the concrete mixture. Once all raw material mainly comprising of a dry mix of sand, gravel, concrete, and pigment has been sufficiently mixed it is transferred into paving moulds. The paving moulds containing the paving concrete mixture is then passed through by means hydraulic machine that has been designed to place immense pressure on each mould compressing and combining the mixture into a solid state. The solid-state dry cast paver is then removed from the paving mould/s, placed on racks to allow for air curing to ensure strength of the individual paving brick. After the curing period has lapsed and complete paving is placed on pallets, wrapped in some cases and are now ready for transport.

The dry cast process produces a higher yield of production than that of the wet cast method…since they are manufacture quicker, they tend to be more affordable

Wet cast paving products VS Dry cast paving products and the difference that are present when compared in terms of colour, durability, and strength

  1. Colour and appearance

The colour richness or tones for wet cast paving are generally bolder in appearance. Furthermore, the texture of the surface is smoother with refined detail which allows for natural stone appearance, this detailing or impressions are found in the moulds itself which is transferred onto the finished paving product

If we take a closer look at dry cast pavers, they are commonly simplistic in appearance with basic colouring and texture.

2. Maintenance

Once you have determined or identified the pavers best suited to your project, some treatment should be considered to ensure that the finished project is protected and resilient against conditions like the natural element such as storms, sunlight, rain, and temperature fluctuations in the change of seasons etc.

Sealing both wet cast and dry cast pavers could furthermore offer protection against chemical deterioration caused by acids and salt build ups over time, prevents staining and slows down decolouring.

3. Strength 

Both wet cast and dry cast pavers are suitable for applications such as, paved driveways both at home and business properties, paved walkways, patios, paved residential complex roads and paved sidewalks.

Dry Cast Paving benefits

  • Suitable for areas with high traffic and durable
  • Wide variety of shapes and sizes which can be applied to many different projects
  • Precise dimensions for quick installation.

Benefits of using Wet cast Pavers

  • Wet cast pavers and related wet cast concrete products with it’s integrate details is far more appealing and adds to the overall aesthetics of any application.
  • Wet cast paving also has the advantage and ability to produce some interesting varieties of paving shapes, paver texture and sizes.
  • As mentioned in the begging of this article, consumers have expressed the importance of aesthetics, wet cast paving seems to serve this demand well with diverse and interesting wet cast moulds that imitate or simulate the natural stone look.
  • Wet cast pavers and simulated stone products are versatile in their application to
  • paved driveways
  • paved walkways
  • paved sidewalks
  • Patios
  • Entertainment areas
  • Pool areas
  • Boma’s
  • Business paved building apron
  • Residential paved building apron
  • Paved covered parking areas and much much more

In conclusion to this article, we believe here at Tuscan Stone Paving Co that wet cast paving is our preferred paving product and have over the years become one of the leaders in the industry in terms of producing and supplying quality wet cast paving and related stone products to the general public, paving and building contractors and paving stock holders. Our paving products are inspired by nature and supports a growing modern and sophisticated lifestyle.

For more details on our locally manufactured and supply of pavers/paving and simulated stone products check out our website or call us and we will gladly assist to answer any questions you may have.