I’ ve previously talked about what is the exact process of how to make concrete.
But since that article, there has been a lot of people that asked me what are the 3 main focus points on how concrete is made, so no mistakes can be done.
That’s why I made this piece of content.
Proportioning means the ingredients of the concrete mix should be carefully mixed in the right quantities.
This is because; the water-to-cement ratio is equal to the weight of the mixing water divided by the weight of the cement. This determines the quality of the paste which in turn determines the quality of the concrete. The lower this ratio, the better the quality. This enables the concrete to be easily workable, placed, consolidated and cured when fresh. And desirably strong and durable when hardened.
When water is added to the cement mixture, it chemically reacts setting, hardening and strengthening it.
This chemical process is called hydration. In this process, basically, a node appears on the surface of each cement particle, which further grows, expands and links up with the nodes appearing on other particles or aggregates.
For continuous strengthening of the concrete, continuous hydration of the cement is required. This can be done by the process called Curing. This process begins after the exposed surfaces of the concrete have hardened enough to resist marring. It can be done by sprinkling with water fog or by using fabrics that retain water like burlap or cotton mats. An alternate method of curing is to seal the surface of the concrete with plastic or special sprays called curing compounds to prevent evaporation of the water. The more moisture the concrete has, the more durable it becomes.
Concrete is made up of cement, water and aggregates. The cement used is the Portland cement, which is a hydraulic cement. The water has to be natural, drinkable, tasteless, odorless and pure. The aggregates are either coarse and large like stones or fine and small like sand. As they comprise of 60 to 70% of the total value of concrete, they need to be chosen carefully. For thin building sections, small coarse aggregates are required whereas for large dams around 6 inches of diameter-sized aggregates are preferred. Further, even they should be clean and free from unwanted matter.
For thin building sections, small coarse aggregates are required whereas for large dams around 6 inches of diameter-sized aggregates are preferred. On top of that, even they should be clean and free from unwanted matter. Usually a concrete composition includes around 10 to 15 percent of cement, 60 to 75 percent of aggregate including coarse and fine both, 15 to 20 percent of water and 5 to 8 percent of entrained air. It is important that these ingredients are carefully and proportionately mixed to create a strong and durable concrete.
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