Concrete Ingredients

When you see wet concrete pouring out of a cement truck, you might think that concrete is a raw material like iron or coal that the company extracted from a quarry somewhere. After all, concrete often looks like it’s just mud and rock mixed together. But manufactured concrete is a complex material that uses specific materials to get the best result in varying climates, different weather situations, and for vastly different projects.

What Makes Cement?

The cement used in concrete is starts as a combination of dry ingredients. Modern cement began as limestone and clay baked in a kitchen stove. Over the years, research and development altered and industrialized the process, adding other ingredients to the mix. Today’s cement still includes limestone and clay in the component list, but also added based on need are slate, chalk, shale, sand, iron ore, or other items. Mixing these components in various combinations makes cement suitable for a wide variety of technical specifications.

The desired components are crushed together and loaded into a large kiln, which cooks the mix with temperatures as high as 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The mix is thus baked into marble-sized balls called clinker. Once cooled, the clinker is ground up into fine powder. Depending on the desired result, other ingredients like gypsum or more limestone are added to the powder, and the final result is cement. Adding the cement to other components eventually makes concrete.

What Makes Concrete?

When cement is combined with aggregates, like sand, gravel, or recycled concrete, it’s ready for adding water. The water, cement, and aggregates turn into a malleable paste that flows into a prepared area or mold. As the paste dries, it hardens into what we know as concrete. This strong, durable material is so versatile and reliable that we often see it used in sidewalks, building foundations, bridges and freeway overpasses, multi-level structures, and just about every facet of the urban and suburban lifestyle. In fact, it’s hard to go anywhere in Reno without seeing concrete.

What Makes Concrete Last?

Concrete is renowned for its strength, durability, and reliability, but it’s not indestructible. For your concrete floor to last a lifetime, it needs one more protective ingredient: epoxy coatings from Nevada Custom Coatings. We’ve installed customized epoxy coatings over many concrete floors in Reno and the surrounding areas. To see examples, take a look at our website gallery. Then, give our office a call or use our online form to schedule a free, onsite consultation. We’ll make sure your concrete lasts as long as possible with the benefits of epoxy coatings!

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