Most people tend to talk about cement and concrete like they are one and the same. On the contrary, there is a huge difference between these two construction materials. Nevertheless, concrete cannot be made without the use of cement, and this is the major difference. Cement is a fine powder that is mixed with water and helps combine the composite materials used to make concrete.
• Components of concrete and how it is made
It consists of materials such as sand or crushed stone (aggregate), which is then mixed with cement and water. Cement and water forms a paste that is used to coat and bind the aggregate. The water causes a chemical reaction called hydration that causes the hardening that forms the concrete. After being made, the concrete on the other hand, produces a strong and long lasting construction material that is then used in a diverse range of uses such as constructing driveways, home building, skyscrapers, and many more.
• Precautions to take when making concrete
The most key activity here is the mixing of the component parts, that is, the ratio of aggregate to water and cement. If the water used is too little, the result will be a hard concrete mix that will be hard to work with. This however, does not mean that the water ratio used should be in excess because it will result to a weak concrete mix.
Still, the amount of aggregate used is also very important because it constitutes 60% to 80% of the concrete. Good aggregate should contain stones of different sizes though of specific average and maximum size.
You can pour the concrete directly into the required location to create foundations or to floor a new building. You can as well, shape the concrete mix in to building blocks or slabs using molds to suit the project’s requirements. The mix however, should be poured into the mold before the chemical reaction occurs so that the mix can harden into the required shape.
• Components of cement and how it is made
Cement a fine powder-like substance that is made from natural materials. These materials include, limestone, shale, and clay. These components are then heated in a kiln to form the small lumps called clinker. Clinker is in turn grounded down. Gypsum is then added to the clinker to form the more familiar cement powder. When mixed with water, cement becomes a binding agent.
Portland cement is the most commonly used. It derived its name from its similarity as a finished product to Portland stone. Portland cement is hydraulic, therefore, when water is added, a chemical reaction takes place that hardens the cement. The compounds are insoluble in water after the chemical reaction because of their nature. As a result they do not lose their strength and durability even under water.
As you have read, concrete and cement are two separate materials but used for the same purpose. It is also worth noting that as much as cement is a vital ingredient in making concrete, it comprises only of 10% to 15% of the concrete mix. If you need the help when it comes to mini mix concrete services, do contact us.