How concrete is made by Concrete Design Team
Have you ever wondered exactly how concrete made? Well, here at Concrete Design Team we are experts in making sure that concrete looks its best, so we thought that we would put together our guide to exactly how concrete is made.
The basics of concrete
Concrete starts its life as a mixture of small grains of rock, an aggregate. The small grains is made with Portland cement combined with water and forms a coating on the coarse and fine rock mixture.
This mixture is relatively plastic and easy to mould during these easy stages which may surprise you when you think that is then used to build bridges, buildings and even motorways and other huge constructions.
So, how does it become the tough material that we all know and love?
A chemical reaction, known as hydration, occurs which hardens the paste and gives the appearance of a rock-like mass, which gives the concrete its strength and durability.
Getting the right mixture
Making sure that you have the right mixture for concrete isn’t easy and it does take careful proportioning to ensure that the mixture is durable and resilient.
If you do not add enough of the cement, then it will not attach itself to the rough surface of the aggregate and will lead to a porous concrete with plenty of rough surfaces.
Too much cement and you will get a smooth concrete at the end of the mixing process, but you will find that it breaks easily and is not as long-lasting as concrete should be.
The best quality concrete is made by lowering the water to cement ratio as much as you can without sacrificing that initial durability of the concrete.
Often the mixture is 10-15% cement with 60-75% aggregate and 15-20% water.
It isn’t only important to add the right amount of paste to your mixture. You will also want to make sure that you use the best quality. After all, this will form an important part of the character, not to mention the strength of the concrete.
The water that is used within the paste is the standard natural water that you can drink. Water that contains too many impurities will result in the mixture taking longer to set and can also effect the strength of the concrete too.
When it comes to finding the right aggregate, this needs to be chosen much more carefully. The ones that are chose will have an impact on the thickness and purpose of the concrete that is made.
Hydration and curing
Once the mixture has been combined it will start to harden (cure), all thanks to the chemical reaction between the water and the Portland cements. You should ensure that your mixture is thoroughly worked through and combined before it becomes too hard. Once the mixture has hardened, it is time to allow the concrete to cure.
There are also special techniques that are used for curing concrete ready for the variable in weather and to protect it from the elements.
So, there you have it. All the secrets of how they make concrete. If you want to see how the very best, most beautiful concrete can be made, why not get in touch with us here at Concrete Design Team and see just how great concrete can be?
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