Despite the terms cement and concrete being used rather interchangeably, the truth is that cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is a mixture of aggregates such as water and cement along with paste.
It needs to be understood that Portland cement is not the name of a specific brand of cement but is a generic term for cement. The percentage of cement in a mix varies from 10 to 15 by volume. It is through a process of hydration that cement and water bind together to harden to form rock like aggregates. This hardening process continues for years and is the reason why concrete gets stronger with the passage of time.
Basics of Concrete
At its simplest form, concrete is a mixture of paste and aggregates such as rock and sand. The paste, on the other hand, is made up of cement and water. The paste which coats the surface of sand and rocks and binds them together into a rock-like mass which is better known as concrete.
One of the best traits of concrete is that it can be molded and formed into any shape once it hardens. This is why concrete is the preferred choice of building material when it comes to construction of bridges, dams, skyscrapers and sidewalks.
Achieving the Best
The key to achieving concrete which is durable and strong depends entirely on the way the ingredients are proportioned and mixed. For this reason, a concrete mix which does not have the required amount of paste will not be able to fill all the voids and the end result will be a honeycombed surface. Conversely, a mixture which has an excess of cement paste will produce a smooth surface but the resulting concrete will be more prone to cracks.
Thus, in order to achieve the best mixture of concrete, which will have the required durability and strength, the mixture should ideally have 10 to 15 percent cement, 60-75 percent aggregates and the remaining should be made up of water.
Achieving the right concrete mix which would be long lasting and durable is something which can only be achieved by the experts. So if you are planning to do any kind of concrete-related work then feel free to reach out to us.