Difference between concrete and cement

Difference between concrete and cement

If you are looking for an answer to what is the difference between concrete and cement? Then this article is all about the concrete and cement differences.

What is the difference between concrete and cement?

The main difference between concrete and cement? The concrete is a composed mix of cement, sand and aggregates. While the cement is an ingredient of concrete, work as a binding material.

Even though both terms often used interchangeably, cement is just an ingredient use in concrete, while the conc is a mixture of sand and aggregates with the cement water paste. Cement is 8 to 20 percent by weight or by volume. Quantity of cement depends on the concrete grade mix ratio.

Cement binds the sand & aggregates through its hydration process (adding water into cement release heat, that initiate chemical reaction) that harden sand & aggregates into a hard rock. The concrete gets its desired 99% strength after 28 days, but initially sets in 24 to 48 hours.

Read types of concrete

difference between concrete and cement
Difference between concrete and cement

What is concrete?

Concrete is a composite material or a mixture of cement and water paste with fine and coarse aggregates in a defined ratios. Concrete is widely use building materials globally. Further there’re different types of concrete and different concrete mix grades.

The ratio of ingredients depends on the concrete grade going to be made. Further the water-cement ratio in conc, should be accordingly. There are different grades of concrete such as M10,M15 up to M80. Each concrete grade has a different use and applications.

Brief history of cement? Portland cement:

Cement is a adhesive or binding material, a fine powder, used to make concrete and mortar. It works as a binding material. It is composition of lime, silica, aluminum and iron. These materials are mix and heat up to the high temperature to make clinkers, then clinkers are grind into fine powder. In 1824 Joseph Aspdin invented the cement.

Portland cement is a general type, which is use in concrete making. Portland name refer to the type of cement used most commonly. Further there’s two types. Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) & Pozzolana Portland cement which is made by addition of fly ash, volcanic ash into OPC.

Difference between concrete and mortar?

There’s a huge difference between both. Concrete is composed of cement, sand & aggregates, while the mortar is just cement & sand mixture. Mortar is use to plaster walls and to make patios surface, while the conc is variety of use e.g. beam, columns, foundation, slab etc.

Is cement stronger than concrete?

No, cement isn’t stronger than concrete. Cement and water paste has less compressive strength as compare to conc. It is use as binder, which binds, set or harden inert materials such as sand and aggregates.

Can cement be used by itself? What is cement used for:

Yes, you can use cement itself by mixing water but its not as stronger as concrete. Itself it can’t be use as concrete. Its paste with water just make a grout, which is use to fill voids & cracks in concrete & plaster. It increase stiffness and reduce permeability.

Why do people say cement instead of concrete?

Its been folk etymology from years and years. USA constructors spent hundreds of dollars on advertisements to make a distinction between calling cement instead of concrete. But still some people refer cement to a conc, while cement is a part/ingredient use in concrete making.

Will cement get hard without sand?

Yes cement will get hard without sand but it will not provide the strength as with sand. Without sand cement can only be use as grout, which is just applicable for filling cracks on surface. Except this cement grout reduced permeability if applied on surface.

Is all cement waterproof?

No, cement isn’t a waterproof nor conc is. Both have high densities by which that can resist water. They both absorb water, if the water stays for too long, but if you make their surface smoother and pour it well, it will not cause leakage problems.

Can I make concrete with just sand and cement?

No, you can’t make concrete with just sand and cement. Aggregate is an essential part of concrete. The mixture of cement-sand is called mortar, which is use to plaster walls.

How long will concrete last?

Concrete can last up to 100 years, if its poured efficiently, cured and cared. If there’s no proper maintenance or less, the life span of concrete will be shorter, can be half.


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