Understanding the Difference between Concrete and Cement

Our team at Neighborly Concrete are experts when it comes to your commercial and residential concrete needs. One of the most common questions is what the difference is between concrete and cement. The simple answer is cement is just one ingredient that reinforces concrete as one of the most durable building materials available.

What is Cement and how was it created?

Cement has been used in many forms since the beginning of human civilization, though it has changed over time. Volcanic ashes, crushed pottery, burnt gypsum, and hydrated lime were some of the earliest forms of cement. The first hydraulic cement was invented by the Romans during the Middle Ages but was later replaced by Portland Cement in 1850s.

In the 19th century, Frenchman Louis Vicat laid the foundation for the chemical composition of Portland cement. In Russia, Egor Cheliev published methods of making cement and spread the word about the advantages of using it.

The man credited with bringing Portland cement to market in England is Joseph Aspdin. His son, William Aspdin, pioneered the “modern” form of the product which quickly became popular. But the real father of Portland cement is considered to be Isaac Charles Johnson. He published the processes for developing meso-Portland cement in kilns, a contribution that was instrumental in its success.

All of this history means Cement is the result of trial and error from many generations. People around the world slowly developed better compositions and so long as they documented the information, more were able to improve upon their work.

So What is Concrete in comparison?

Concrete is a building material made from cement, sand, water, aggregates, and admixtures. The main use of concrete is to provide strength, durability, and stability for buildings. It is used to construct roads, bridges, floors, walls, columns, foundations, dams, parking garages, and other structures. Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world. For residential purposes, it fulfills many needs simply and efficiently while allowing customization and style.

You rarely build anything with only cement when you’re looking for durability and strength. Concrete is much stronger than a pure cement mixture due to the other ingredients, such as aggregates, and is cheaper than just building with cement.

Aggregates are particles of rocks, sand, or gravel that are combined with cement to form concrete. In addition to providing weight and strength, aggregates provide air spaces that allow concrete to dry faster and resist cracking and shrinkage during drying.

In general, concrete contains about 70% cement, 15% fine aggregate, 10% coarse aggregate, and 5% water. However, the percentages vary depending on the type of concrete being produced.

That’s Enough History and Science

The most important thing we want you to take away from this is that our staff has years of experience working in the residential and commercial world fulfilling our client’s requests with the skills and knowledge to handle any job.

Call or message us today at Neighborly Concrete with your next concrete job and we’ll demonstrate why we’re the preferred company in our local community.

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