Although the words “concrete” and “cement” are used in place of the other very frequently, both are not same. Cement is an ingredient in concrete like other ingredients like aggregates, pebbles, air and water. The property of the concrete depends a lot on the proper mix ratio of concrete ingredients.
What if Concrete Mix Proportions of the Ingredients Go Wrong?
There are four ingredients of concrete, namely, cement, sand and pebbles. Let’s discuss the effect of the individual ingredients:
- Cement: Cement provides strength to the concrete. So for obtaining more strength cement proportions can be increased, but excessive cement quantity could lead to cracking.
- Aggregates and pebbles: Aggregates and pebbles provide strength to the concrete, but excessive use of pebbles will reduce the proportion of cement and thus will reduce the strength and increase the brittleness of the concrete.
- Water: Water is very essential in a concrete mixture. Portland cement is a hydraulic type of cement (hardens with the reaction with water). Also, water will increase the flow ability of the concrete, but excess water content in the concrete will cause cracks.
- Air: Tiny air bubbles actually provide extra room to the water molecules while freezing. Also air helps preventing crack formation in concrete.
Recommended Concrete Mix Proportions
The key to achieving a strong and durable concrete is mixing the ingredients in proper proportion.
Typically a concrete mixture should have the following proportions of the ingredients:
- Cement content: 10 to 15%
- Aggregates and pebbles: 60 to 75%
- Water: 15 to 20 percent
- Entrained air: 5 to 8 percent.
Concrete consists of different ingredients. The ingredients have their different individual properties. Strength, workability and durability of the concrete depend heavily on the concrete mix ration of the individual ingredients. Since the process of concrete formation is an unidirectional chemical reaction, concrete gets its different properties all together.
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