While they may look similar, concrete and cement are different things. One big difference is that cement is one of the things that concrete is made up of. Concrete is actually something called an aggregate. That means that it is made up of a whole lot of things, including cement.
Concrete has been used for many things over the centuries. In ancient Rome, they used concrete for things like aqueducts, some of which are still standing today. Today, concrete can be found in everything from decorative outdoor items, like bird baths, to homes built completely from concrete, to high-rise buildings that use a lot of concrete.
It’s used in all those places because it is strong and has a long lifespan. Concrete’s myriad uses also show how versatile it actually is.
A good concrete mix needs several things. The most basic things it needs are particles to be made up of and a glue to hold it all together. The particles that make up concrete are rocks and pebbles. The glue is cement. In most cases it’s Portland cement. Portland cement is made up of things like limestone, clay, and gypsum. The final ingredient is water. That water mixes with the powdered cement and turns it into the glue that holds the concrete together.
All these things have to go in to the mix in the right proportions. How much of each depends on a lot of things. One is what the use is. Different uses need different strengths of concrete. For example, the concrete that is used in a high rise building needs to be stronger than the concrete that your backyard fountain is made of.
More or less of one ingredient will change how strong the concrete is. Another variable is what the weather is like. That primarily affects how much water goes into the mix. It’s almost an art to make sure that everything is done correctly.
When the concrete is getting mixed, other things can be added to the mix as well. That includes decorative additions. Powdered dyes can be added to the mix so that the concrete is colored. Decorative stones are another option. That could mean things like colored stones or things that sparkle. Those things would add some visual interest to the concrete, especially for decorative concrete uses.
Concrete has had many uses over the centuries, and continues to have many uses. To learn more information, try contacting a company like Mid-States Construction Inc. with any questions or concerns you have.