What is concrete made of
Concrete is a mixture of paste and aggregates, or rocks. The paste composed of cement and water, coats the small and larger aggregates.
A chemical reaction known as hydration, the paste hardens and acquired strength to form the rock like mass called concrete.
This chemical process brings the significant components of concrete, it’s plastic and malleable when mixed, strong and durable when hardened. Because of these factors, a concrete material can build skyscrapers, bridges, superhighways, houses, and dams.
A careful proportioning and mixing of the components to create a strong and durable concrete. The quality of the paste defines the character of the concrete. And the strength of the paste is based on the ratio of water to cement.
The water cement ratio equals the weight of the mixing water divided by the weight of the cement.
High quality concrete is form by reducing the water cement ratio which makes the concrete consolidated and cured.
A designed mixture have the standard workability for the fresh content and the durability and strength for the hardened concrete.
A mix is between 10 to 15 percent cement, 60 to 75 percent aggregate, and 15 to 20 percent water.
Natural water with no taste or odor can be used as mixing water for concrete. Most drinking water is used for mixing concrete, and aggregates are carefully selected.
Aggregates is composed of 60 to 75 percent of the total volume of the concrete. The type and size of the aggregate used is according to the thickness and purpose of the finished concrete product.
A continuous gradation of particle sizes is ideal for effective use of the paste. Aggregates should be clean and free from any matter that can damage the quality of the concrete.
Special techniques are required for curing concrete during extreme cold or intense heat to protect the concrete. The concrete should be kept moist, making it to be strong and durable.
Hydration and strength occur on the first month of the concrete’s life cycle, and hydration continues for a long period of years.
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