Ever seen the beautiful hydrating clay mixture right before it becomes a simple block that comes together on your building? And sometimes we don’t know if we should call it cement or concrete? What are the correct terminologies behind the process?
However, oftentimes, we interchange the name cement with concrete. Many are unaware of the actual difference between the term concrete and cement in the world of construction. If you have ever seen cement, you can easily recognize it either in the dry powder form that is grey and dusty. And can be made into a paste instantly. On the other hand, there are other forms of cement such as portland cement that is made of sand or clay or limestone. They are already in hardened form after being mixed together. Technology has given us many different forms of cement.
So what is concrete then? Concrete uses cement. Cement is the binding agent. Concrete needs this binding agent to make up structures. Concrete consists of four different ingredients that are much of the sand, water, cement, and stone. The binding agent, cement, combines all of these together into a block or a mass.
Concrete can be molded into any shape or form depending on your needs. People use concrete to make different forms of art and build different forms of houses, build bridges and highways, skyscrapers and the list goes on.
Concrete and it’s strength are heavily influenced by many different factors. It involved the concrete additives Malaysia uses and sometimes it is dependent on the quantity of water. less water makes for the harder concrete but too much water makes an inflexible and dry concrete. It takes a few perfect measurements to make good quality concrete that is perfect for your little project. It is important to keep in mind the perfect ratio of cement to water for the perfect concrete.
The quality of concrete is also defined by the cement material and additives we use too. In ancient times some people used lime or blood to make a perfect difference to the concrete mix. The addition is dependent on the function of the additive. Some are used to delay the concrete setting times while others are used to improve the properties against frost and ice, some are also used to improve the durability of the concrete, and others are used to improve its strength along with permeability.
There has been a simple analogy used to understand the difference between cement and concrete over the years. To the construction newbie, we can demonstrate cement as the flour of the bread. It is one of the main ingredients of the bread and without flour, you cannot have the final hard results.
Concrete is the bread. Proper good quality bread also cannot be simply made by mixing water with flour. Flour is simply a primary ingredient that needs other additives to make the perfect fluffy mixture and doubt for the bread. They need baking powder, oil, butter, salt, and sugar, or even fruits depending on the type of bread you are making. Bakers have to understand the perfect ratio of water to flour to get the optimum consistency of the dough. Much like the way we measure the ratio of cement to water in the concrete mixture.