Concrete, if you do not work with it every day, can be a little confusing at times. There are several questions many people have when they need concrete work done. If you are building a home or office building that will need concrete work, you may be asking some of these questions to make sure you are fully informed and prepared for anything that may occur throughout the building process. If you have questions about concrete, this list of frequently asked questions should help you out.
What is Concrete?
Concrete is actually a mixture of many different elements. The materials used typically consist of water, additives, coarse aggregates, fine aggregates, and Portland cement. When it is fresh, the concrete can be molded into different shapes, and will only get stronger and stronger after the initial set time is reached.
How is Concrete Strength Measured?
Concrete strength is measured with compression and flexural tests. These tests can then determine the strength of the concrete. The ratio of water to cement has a large effect on the strength of the concrete, as does the aggregate quality and the paste in the cement.
What is the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?
Concrete is the preferred material for finished products, such as sidewalks, road surfaces, and foundations. Cement is only an ingredient in concrete, and is the primary source of hardening and solidifying.
How is Concrete Measured?
Cubic yard is the way to measure concrete. Some may be listed as three feet by three feet by three feet, which is twenty-seven cubic feet, and equals a cubic yard. One cubic yard of concrete will weigh about four thousand pounds.
Does Drying Out Strengthen Concrete?
Hydration is actually the way concrete gains most of its strength. As water comes into contact with the cement, a chemical reaction occurs and forms new crystals and compounds that will then latch onto and interlock with the aggregates in the mixture. This adds to the strength of the concrete. Most of the hydration process occurs within the first month, but additional reactions can keep occurring as every last bit of moisture is used up. As the concrete dries out, it stops gaining strength.