Most people know what concrete is, but few understand what concrete is actually made of. Since concrete is a mixture of different elements, understanding what goes into the mixture is essential to creating the right concrete for your specific needs. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the four components that every type of concrete has to have.
This component can be a big surprise of a lot of people. That’s because one of the most common misconceptions surrounding concrete is that concrete and cement are the same thing. Much like the square/rectangle conversation, that’s partly true. Every type of concrete has cement in it, but cement on its own is not the same as concrete.
Cement acts as the hydraulic binder in a concrete mixture. That means that cement is the ingredient that actually hardens after water is added to the mixture. The amount and type of cement that is added to a concrete mixture will have a direct affect on the curing time and the final strength of the concrete.
Concrete aggregate is a mixture of sand and gravel. This aggregate is what makes up the meat of concrete. In fact, concrete aggregate is responsible for roughly 80% of concrete’s final weight and nearly the same percentage of volume.
A good concrete aggregate bonds well with the hardened cement paste and does not impede the concrete hardening process.
Concrete admixtures are natural or manufactured chemicals that are added to the concrete mixture in either liquid or powder form. These mixtures are what is used to adjust the curing time, strength and final aesthetic of concrete. The admixtures used in a concrete mix vary wildly based on the project. It’s important to have a clear idea of your goals before deciding what admixtures you are going to use.
This component doesn’t need much explanation. Every concrete mixture needs water. The type and amount of water varies based on what you need your concrete to do. Do your research and figure out what type and amount of water is right for your needs.
Concrete is a mixture. Knowing that puts you ahead of most people in the world. The specifics of the mixture will vary, but every concrete mixture will include each of the aforementioned components. Take your time and do your research before deciding what mixture is right for you.
When in doubt, consult a professional. Reach out to www.razorbackconcrete.com to learn more.