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Concrete Driveway Strength & Design

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Concrete Driveway Strength

The majority of concrete used in residential pavements and driveways is ‘Normal’ class concrete with a minimum strength of 20MPa (i.e. N20 concrete) in accordance with AS13791

.A higher strength may be required in certain situations,for example:

Heavier Loads. If the pavement is being used by vehicles between 3 ton and 10 ton gross mass, and infrequently by heavier vehicles that do not exceed the statutory limits for tyre, wheel and axle loads, anN25 concrete is recommended. Pavements for heavier vehicles than this will require more detailed design by a qualified engineer.

Concrete Abrasion Resistance.

This is the ability of the concrete surface to resist wear. It is directly related to the strength of concrete and the quality of the surface finish. An N20 concrete is satisfactory for most residential paving applications, including typical driveways. For use by heavier pneumatic-tyred

vehicles up to 3 ton, an N25 concrete is recommended, and for pneumatic-tyred vehicles

over 3 ton, an N32 concrete will be required(AS36002).

Freezing and Thawing

An S32 concrete should beused if the pavement is subjected to occasionalexposure to freezing, and an S40 concrete where more than 25 freezing cycles occur each year. Also an air entraining agent should be used in theconcrete mix to achieve air content between 4% and 8%. (See AS3600 2).

Concrete Driveway Thickness

Pavements for foot traffic only (e.g. paths and patios) should have a minimum thickness of 75mm. Pavements for vehicles less than 3 tonnegross mass should have a minimum thickness of100 mm. Pavements for vehicles between 3 tonneand 10 tonne gross mass and infrequent use byheavier vehicles that do not exceed the statutorylimits for tyre, wheel and axle loads, should have a minimum thickness of 150 mm. Pavements for heavier vehicles than this will require more detailed design by a qualified engineer.


The use of steel reinforcement or mesh does noti ncrease the load capacity of the pavement, or affect its thickness. Its function is mainly to hold tightly closed any cracks that may form. In general, the amount of reinforcement required to provide the appropriate degree of crack control will depend on the thickness of the slab and the joint spacing. A guide to the minimum reinforcement used in slabs for different conditions is provided in AS36002 sections relating to “Crack control for shrinkage and temperature effects”. These requirements on common slab formats are given in Table 1.

Concrete Driveway Benefits:

Concrete driveways can be a great option for homeowners who are looking for a durable, low-maintenance, and cost-effective driveway material. It's important to consult with professional concrete contractor to ensure that the installation meets the industry standards and local building codes.


Concrete is a strong and long-lasting material that can withstand heavy loads and extreme weather conditions. It is also resistant to cracks and stains, making it a great option for driveways that will experience heavy use.

Low maintenance:

Concrete driveways require very little maintenance, and they only need to be sealed every few years to protect them from stains and weather damage.


Concrete driveways can be poured in a variety of colors and designs to match the aesthetic of your home and landscape. It can be stamped, stained, and polished to resemble natural stone, brick, or other materials.


Concrete driveways are a cost-effective option compared to other materials such as pavers or asphalt. They can be less expensive to install and maintain over time.

Environmentally friendly

Concrete is a locally sourced and abundant material, it can be made with recycled materials, and it has a long service life, reducing the need for replacement and disposal.


Concrete can be used for a variety of driveway designs and configurations, including curved and circular driveways, and it can be used in combination with other materials like pavers for a unique look.

Easy to repair

In case of any damage, concrete driveways can be easily repaired and restored to their original condition.


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