Floor Beam History

A history of Longley’s floor beams

In an article last year about their 70th anniversary, Longley Concrete reviewed what has changed at the company since it was founded in 1947.

Delivering high-quality precast concrete products has always remained a key factor in the success of the business, and this has meant that both materials and production techniques have been constantly reviewed over the years.

As such, today the team is outlining the history of Longley Concrete’s floor beams and explaining how they have been refined and improved over time.

The organisation began producing precast concrete floor beams in 1982. At the outset, Longley Concrete’s beams were manufactured using a technique called ‘high-frequency vibration’. This involved pouring concrete into inverted moulds and shaking and vibrating the moulds until the concrete was evenly spread and free of air bubbles.

In 2005, with Keith Longley at the helm, the company’s management team was keen to invest in the future of the business and invested heavily in an Elematic batching and mixing plant. This led to a transition to self-compacting concrete (SCC), which turned out to be of huge benefit to the business due to them being able to develop an economical concrete mix.

SCC was developed when the construction industry in Japan experienced a decline in the availability of skilled labour in the 1980, which meant that a concrete needed to be developed that would overcome the problems of defective workmanship. It was not until the 1990s that research and development into SCC began in Europe, with Sweden being the pioneer. SCC is an extremely fluid type of concrete that spreads into its form without the need for mechanical vibration. It is a non-segregating concrete that is placed by means of its own weight. SCC does not use a high proportion of water to become fluid. It in fact may even contain less water than standard concretes. Instead, SCC gains its fluid properties from an unusually high proportion of fine aggregate, such as sand (typically 50%) combined with super plasticisers.

Longley Concrete’s T beams are pre-stressed. This involves running steel wires along the moulds and stressing them before pouring in the concrete mix.

The organisation has two manufacturing sites in the UK and one in Ireland, creating a variety of precast concrete products to complement their core product, concrete floor beams. Between the two UK sites, they can manufacture floor beams to supply more than 30,000 new homes a year. Their site in Ireland, on the other hand, manufactures bespoke precast concrete lift shafts, stadia seating and staircases.  Longley Concrete also supply hollowcore and insulated floors.

They continue to look at new and innovative methods for producing precast concrete and have exciting plans for the future, which will once again see changes to ensure that they stay at the forefront of floor beam production and supply across the whole of the UK.

For any more details, please feel free to contact the head office by calling 01924 464 283.