Difference Between Cement And Concrete

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We live in huge buildings, drive along the drive way and make sidewalks in our homes. But are we aware of what we are using to make them, cement or concrete? For the ordinary man, both seem to be the same. But there are indeed differences between cement and concrete.

Fact 1 Basic Difference Between Cement And Concrete

The terms cement and concrete are often interchangeably used. The basic difference between the two is that concrete is a combination of cement and other materials while cement is a dust that comprises of silicon, limestone, iron and other water-absorbing minerals. Both the materials are closely related to each other and together they make a complete product.

Fact 2 What Is Cement

Cement is a building material that was developed in the 18th century by A. Briton and Joseph Asotin. They found that limestone and clay mixture when superheated could be set anywhere. Portland cement or original cement is of a hydraulic type of mixture. When water is added to it by the hydration process, a chemical reaction takes place and the cement becomes hard and set by holding the different materials together to form concrete. This type of cement can withstand all weather conditions. Cement is an independent material used in concrete.

Fact 3 What Is Concrete

Concrete is not a single material. It is an aggregate of cement and other materials like sand, gravel, or broken pieces of stones. It is the work of cement to hold all the materials together like a paste along with water. This mixture becomes hard as rock but before it hardens completely, it is poured into various shapes and sizes of molds. The setting time depends on the amount of hardening material which is gypsum, added to the mixture. The process can be accelerated by adding calcium chloride and also slowed down by using sugar according to requirements. The strength of concrete increases over time and if the mixture is well balanced, it can harden even underwater. Concrete is a composite material, a composition of water, cement and an aggregate of other materials.

Fact 4 How Cement Is Made

Cement is a mixture of limestone, aluminum, silicon, iron and calcium and others that are mixed and placed on large kilns and heated that turn into marble-like materials. These are grounded into a fine powder to which gypsum is added. This entire process creates the gray color flour-like material. There are various types of Portland cement and it is mainly used in concrete and mortar.

Fact 5 How Concrete Is Made

Concrete being a masonry material contains cement, water and other materials in appropriate amounts to form a solid material. The proportion of cement and aggregate to be used depends on the type of concrete that is being made. If concrete is left in the open to freeze and thaw, then additional chemicals have to be added to the mixture to prevent breakage and cracking of the solid concrete that is made. The price of concrete depends largely on the proportion of cement and aggregate that is used in it. Since aggregate is less expensive as compared to cement, the prices vary accordingly. Concrete of high quality contains best grade aggregate like rocks of different sizes which should be clean and long-lasting and free of clay and other materials that absorb water easily.

Concrete is a highly durable material and used in skyscrapers, swimming pools, subways, roads, lamp posts, sidewalks and others to ensure safety. Raw materials required for manufacturing cement and concrete are available in nature by the process of making them is detrimental to the environment as carbon dioxide is emitted in large quantities that pollute the air.

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