Concrete is a structural material made up of a hard, Chemically Inert Particle Element called aggregate (typically sand and gravel) that is bound together with cement and water in the building industry.
Concrete and cement are not the same things, contrary to popular perception; cement is merely a component of concrete. Water, aggregate (rock, sand, or gravel), and Portland cement are the three main components of concrete.
When mixed with Water and Aggregates cement, usually in powder form, works as a binding agent. This mixture, or concrete mix, will be poured and solidified into the long-lasting material we’re all familiar with.
Basic Concrete Mix Ingredients
Water Aggregates from Portland Cement (rock and sand)
Portland Cement – A paste made of cement and water coats the aggregate and sand in the mix. The paste hardens, forming a bond between the particles and sand.
Water is required for the chemical reaction of the cement (hydration) as well as the workability of the concrete. The water/cement ratio is the ratio of the amount of water in the mix in pounds to the amount of cement. The stronger the concrete is, the lower the w/c ratio. (lower permeability, higher strength)
Aggregates– The fine aggregate is sand. The coarse aggregate in most mixtures is gravel or crushed stone.
Types Of Concrete
Concrete, Either Plain Or Common
Reinforced concrete was created to address a problem with plain concrete: the addition of reinforcement to plain concrete. Steel rods, wire mesh, or steel rods serve as reinforcement.
The tensile and compressive forces are absorbed by the combination of rebar and plain concrete, which behaves as a single material. This form of concrete is now used in the majority of building structures.
Concrete That Is Lightweight
The term “Lightweight Concrete” refers to a form of concrete that includes an expansion agent. The lightweight aggregate in lightweight concrete is that expansion agent. This chemical increases the volume of the concrete mixture while lowering its dead weight. Pumice, scoria, shales, and clays are used as low-weight aggregates in lightweight concrete.
Lightweight concrete is a good fire-resistant material, but it is sensitive to water, takes a long time to prepare, and can be broken like glass (brittleness).
Glass Reinforcement Concrete
Concrete That Compacts By Itself
Because self-compacting concrete is a non-segregating or non-flowing concrete mixture, it requires mechanical support to disperse the Concrete Mixture. This form of concrete is being used in sophisticated structural frames.
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