Learn from Phaze Concrete about one of the most important materials used in the construction industry.
Concrete is one of the most common materials used in construction. It can be found everywhere from the roads we drive on to the buildings where we live and work. Although humans use it all around the world, many people don’t know what concrete is or how it’s made. Phaze Concrete, a leading construction company in the United States, explains everything you need to know about modern concrete.
When you look at the ingredients in a concrete mixture, they consist of two components: aggregates and paste. These materials date back to ancient times when humans used straw as an aggregate and mud as paste. However, in modern times, Phaze Concrete explains that there are a variety of different aggregates and paste options depending on the use of the concrete.
Sand, gravel, and crushed stone can be used to help make the aggregate, which comes in fine (.2 in.) and coarse (1.5 in.) particle sizes. Phaze Concrete notes that some construction companies even make use of oyster shells or ash from coal-fired power plants in their mixes. When it comes to paste, the most common material used is cement. Phaze Concrete explains that dry cement mixes can be made with limestone, clay, and gypsum, among other materials and chemicals. Portland cement is the most common type of cement used for concrete production.
The materials must be crushed and proportionally mixed before they are burned and ground into smaller pieces. Phaze Concrete notes that next, the mixture is mixed with water so that it can be hydrated and poured into a frame where it will dry as a solid form. The mixture used is essential to the concrete’s durability, strength, and permeability. Phaze Concrete explains that even the amount of water must be in perfect measurement as it impacts how the concrete shrinks, cracks, and bonds with reinforcement pieces.
Sometimes, additional ingredients called admixtures or supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) are added, which further complicates the process. Phaze Concrete explains that they are used to improve the concrete in color, hydration, or shrinkage rate. They can even prevent corrosion when steel beams are used in the concrete for reinforcement. According to Phaze Concrete, top leaders in the construction industry work diligently to find the best ingredients and perfect measuring proportions for each job.
Next, the assembled materials are put into a bag or a mixer. Phaze Concrete explains that ready-mix concretes only require water and mixing, which is perfect for small projects around the home. This option can get expensive, however. For bigger projects, most companies will mix the concrete on-site or at the concrete plant with a rotating drum mixer. According to Phaze Concrete, the rotating drum mixers are essential for keeping the mix moist and malleable for up to about 90 minutes.
Finally, Phaze Concrete explains that the concrete is poured into wooden molds where it is compressed and smoothed before drying. Again, temperature and moisture play a critical role in the success of the project. Visit www.phazeconcrete.com for more information on concrete.