The terms cement and concrete are often used interchangeably, but in reality, cement is an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is a mixture of aggregates and paste, with the aggregates being sand and gravel or crushed stone, and the paste being water and portland cement. Cement is rarely used on its own, but it is an essential component of concrete. It is likely that the slab base of your house is made of concrete, which contains cement as well as other ingredients.
Cement is a bonding agent used in concrete, making up 10 to 15 percent of the concrete mix by volume. When combined with water, cement becomes a paste that binds all the materials together. Cement is also used in mortar for plastering and grouting for masonry, but it is never used alone. Concrete strengthens as it ages due to a process called hydration.
Portland cement is not a brand name, but rather the generic term for the type of cement used in virtually all concrete, just like stainless steel is a type of steel and sterling silver is a type of silver. In addition to portland cement, concrete may contain other cementitious materials such as fly ash, ground slag, and silica fume. For large projects, you can buy bags of cement and mix them with sand and gravel yourself or order ready-mixed concrete delivered in a truck. Mortar is another building material composed of cement mixed with fine sand and water, with lime added to improve durability.
Buying concrete mixes in the store can be confusing because proper terms are not used in labeling when it comes to trademarks. Knowing the difference between cement and concrete can help you better understand one of the main building materials used around you every day. For high-quality concrete in Guildford, Surrey and Woking, contact the Total Concrete team today.