Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The difference between concrete and cement?

What is the difference between concrete and cement? Many people confuse the two, or use the terms interchangeably.

A cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens as it dries. Cement, therefore, "cements" things together. Cement is only an ingredient - an important ingredient, in concrete.

The type of cement used in concrete (or grout, mortar or stucco) varies depending on what the resulting structure is to be used for. The cement used will be either hydraulic (meaning it will be able to set in water) or non-hydraulic (meaning it will be used on dry land).  ("Hydro" is the Greek for water, and any word that begins with "hydro" invariably has something to do with liquid. Hydraulic brakes, for example, are so called because they use brake fluid, as opposed to air brakes, that use air.)

Concrete can be poured into a variety of shapes, using "forms" that hold the concrete together in the required shape.  When you see a column of concrete, it has been achieved by pouring the concrete into a circular, card-board tube strong enough to hold the accumulated weight of the concrete until it sets.

This article sponsored by Pac Rite Inc, purveyors of shipping tubes, storage tubes, and label cores.

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