Have you ever wondered what the difference is between concrete and cement?
Both of these materials are very important in the construction industry. The term concrete and cement are often used intermittently to mean the same thing. When in fact, concrete and cement are two different materials and should be differentiated.
The terms cement and concrete can be confused by people who do not work in the construction industry and are attempting a DIY project.
Although the two terms are typically used synonymously, concrete and cement are actually very different materials. Cement is a fine material that is part of both concrete and mortar and is never actually used alone. While concrete is a very strong and reliable material composed of sand, cement and gravel.
Cement can be thought of as an ingredient that is used in both mortar and concrete. It commonly consists of clay, limestone, quartz, shells and sand. These materials are pulverized and mixed with the other elements which includes iron ore, then heated to almost 1,500 degrees Celsius. The results of this process produce a fine ground powder. Cement is also commonly referred to as Portland cement which was created in the 1800's. Portland cement is the most commonly used type of cement in modern construction. It is considered “hydraulic cement” that hardens when water is added.
Concrete has a wide variety of uses in construction. The main ingredients of concrete are sand, cement and crushed stone (or another type of coarse aggregate). The cement that that is put into the concrete mixture is activated when there is water added to the mixture. For small tasks you can purchase ready-made mixtures of cement. For large projects you are able to purchase large cement packets and mix them with gravel and sand.
Concrete and cement: the basics you need to know
If you are unfamiliar with these materials you may have a lot of questions, here are a few answers for you
How can I make the cement stronger?
The factor that is most crucial in predicting the strength of the concrete is the ratio of water to the cement paste that binds all of the ingredients together. The higher this ratio is the weaker concrete products. Less water, more cement equals stronger concrete.
What causes concrete to crack?
When concrete dries the volume will change. Concrete professionals mitigate cracking by integrating concrete joints on footpaths or floors. This allows the crack that is inevitable to be in a straight line through the joint. These cracks are caused by the concrete drying and decreasing in size.
Does concrete strengthen underwater?
As we talked about earlier, Portland cement is a hydraulic cement, meaning that the cement will harden because of a chemical response with the water. This means that yes, it will harden underwater.
We hope that this article has shed some light on the difference between concrete and cement. If you have any additional questions or like us to do your concrete work for you please call us at 720-605-2740
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