Concrete is the most commonly used man-made building material in the world. It has been used for thousands of years to create a wide variety of structures. Cement is a main ingredient in concrete, but cement and concrete are not exactly the same.
What is Concrete Made of?
Concrete is a composite material made up of cement (most often Portland cement) and other rocky materials. Ingredients commonly found in concrete in addition to cement include crushed granite, crushed limestone, sand, fly ash, coal ash and other aggregate materials.
The use of concrete and cements date back to ancient times. Today, due to the incredible strength and durability of both cement and concrete, their use supports a large industry. Concrete and cement can be used in such an array of residential, commercial and industrial applications that they are found in and around nearly every home and workplace imaginable.
Where Does Concrete Get it’s Strength?
While concrete is renowned for it’s high level of compressive strength, it’s tensile strength must usually be augmented with steel or other materials. Rebar, laid under concrete floor surfaces, is an example of this. All concrete will inevitably suffer from some cracking, however a qualified cement and concrete worker will guide you to the proper type of cement and concrete for your structural and environmental requirements. In addition, concrete is superior to wood in terms of fire resistance because concrete does not burn.
Safety Issues When Working With Concrete
Concrete is relatively safe in terms of building materials, as long as proper care is exercised during mixing, pouring and curing. Wet concrete must be handled with gloves and safety gear to avoid burns. It is the cement contained in the concrete that can cause caustic burns and skin irritations. .