Are Cement and Concrete the Same Thing? Answers from Your Concrete Contractor in Lufkin, TX

December 28, 2017 7:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you ever used the term “cement mixer”? Have you ever referred to a walkway as a “cement sidewalk”? Did you know neither item exists? Most people don’t. As a concrete contractor in Lufkin, TX, we can understand that’s hard to believe. Here’s the scoop.

Ingredient vs. Product

Many people interchange the terms concrete and cement. Examples include the terms mentioned above. In reality, they are not the same thing. That “cement sidewalk” is actually made of concrete… which is made of cement. The mixer is mixing concrete, which includes cement.

One is the ingredient. The other is the finished product.

Concrete Defined

Concrete is the finished product.

Concrete is a mixture of aggregates and paste. Aggregates are materials such as gravel, small rocks and sand. The paste is made up of water and cement. Aggregates make up about 60 to 75 percent of the mixture, and the paste makes up the rest.

When the paste and aggregates are combined, they undergo a process called hydration. The cement and water harden and create a rock-like mass from the aggregates. This mass is concrete. Since this process continues for years, concrete continues to get stronger as it ages.

Cement Defined

Cement is the binding ingredient in concrete.

Cement refers to the binder that holds the other materials in concrete together. It is one part of the concrete recipe. Portland cement is the generic term for the type of cement that is used in nearly all concrete. Portland cement, or OPC (ordinary Portland cement), is made by grinding small bits of stone and minerals into a fine powder. It offers a high compression strength and fast drying times, making it a top choice for concrete, grout, stucco and mortar.

Cement comes in two forms. Hydraulic cement uses water to create a chemical reaction that hardens the mixture to develop a water-resistant final product. Most projects today use hydraulic cement.

Non-hydraulic cement includes materials that do not harden when exposed to water. It can’t be used in wet environments and requires longer drying times. Due to these disadvantages, non-hydraulic cement is rarely used.

Aggregate Defined

Aggregates are course materials such as crushed stone, sand or gravel. Builders choose the type of aggregate to use based on the application desired for the concrete. Aggregates affect the aesthetics, strength, weight, shrinkage and durability of the final product.

Concrete Advantages

As a building material, concrete offers several advantages. It offers great durability and strength. It is also fire resistant and requires little maintenance. Concrete also provides environmental friendliness and energy efficiency. With these benefits, it’s no surprise concrete is the most widely used manmade material in the world.

Find Out More

If you would like additional information on concrete and concrete services, contact your local concrete contractor in Lufkin, TX. The experts at Brown’s Paving and Excavation are ready to assist you. Our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you have about the best options for your concrete solutions. When you’re ready to get started, we will help you execute a successful project. Reach out to our team today!

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