What’s the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?

What’s the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?

Do you know the difference between Cement and Concrete?

Most people don’t know the difference between cement and concrete. While cement and concrete do stem from the same family, they are nowhere near the same thing. Cement is a fine grey powder which looks very much like grey flour. Most people wouldn’t encounter cement in their everyday lives. Concrete is the actual mixture of cement, sand, rock, water, and small amounts of additives. Concrete is the material we encounter in our everyday lives, such as roads, sidewalks, and parking lots.

Cement 101

Cement comes in two forms: hydraulic and non-hydraulic. Hydraulic cement refers to any cement that uses water to begin a chemical reaction that hardens the mixture and, when fully formed, creates a water-resistant product. This reaction is independent of the water content of the mixture so allows for the material to harden even underwater. This makes it a very versatile construction material. Most all cements used today are hydraulic cements. Non-hydraulic cement uses materials that do not harden when exposed to water. While this type is much cheaper than hydraulic cement, the problems of long drying times, combined with the inability to use it in wet environments makes it a poor choice in most applications. The most common type of modern cement is Portland cement also known as OPC.  This type of cement is typically made by grinding small rock-like bits of sintered limestone and alum inosilicate minerals into a very fine powder.

Basics of Concrete

Concrete is made by mixing cement, water, course fine aggregates and admixtures. The aim is to mix these materials in measured amounts to make concrete that is easy to transport, place, compact, finish and which will set, and harden, to give a strong and durable product. The amount of each material affects the properties of hardened concrete. Concrete mix is designed to produce concrete that can be easily placed at the lowest cost. The concrete must be workable and cohesive when plastic, then set and harden to give strong and durable concrete. The mix design must consider the environment that the concrete will be in, for example exposure to sea water, trucks, cars, forklifts, foot traffic or extremes of hot and cold.

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If you want to protect your asphalt and ensure it has a long lifespan, choose PTG Enterprises for your sealcoating and asphalt maintenance needs. We offer commercial concrete, masonry, asphalt installation, repair, and paving throughout Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and P.G. Counties. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 636-8777. For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Flickr.


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