Further Details on Concrete Ingredients

Here at Nevada Custom Coatings we frequently discuss concrete’s history, how it’s made, and its many uses. In a previous article we discussed the primary ingredients of concrete. Now let’s go into more detail on each of them.

Portland Cement — Don’t Let the Name Fool You

The name portland cement sometimes leads Americans to think it came from the city in Oregon, but notice that the name is not capitalized and this form of cement was actually invented in England. For centuries before the development of portland cement, most builders used a form of Roman cement which was a mix of ash, lime, seawater, and volcanic rocks. In the early 1800s, Joseph Aspdin took out a patent for a different type of cement he cooked up using limestone and clay. He called it portland cement (lower case ‘p’) because it resembled the natural limestone found on the Isle of Portland near Dorset, England. During the 20th century, the manufacturing of portland cement spread across the globe. Today, most concrete mixes use between 7 and 15 percent of portland cement.

Aggregates and Concrete

Aggregate materials add to the mechanical strength of concrete. Aggregates control shrinkage in concrete and help to prevent cracking. The most common forms of aggregate used in concrete include gravel, crushed stone, sand, or recycled concrete. Too much or too little aggregate leads to defective concrete. Common amounts of aggregates range between 60 and 75 percent of the concrete, in part because the aggregate is the cheapest part of the concrete mix, compared to the cost of cement.

Adding Water to Cement

Water is a necessary component for concrete to make it workable and to create the cement paste that binds the ingredients together. As water mixes with elements in cement, it creates various silicate compounds. These compounds cause the concrete to harden and to have sufficient strength as a building material. The proper amount of water is crucial – too much weakens the concrete, leading to cracks. Too little water makes the concrete less malleable and causes it to set before it’s fully finished. Most concrete mixes work the best when the amount of water is kept between 15 and 21 percent.

Properly mixed concrete serves as a foundation for structures throughout the world. Despite its strength, it benefits from protection against corrosion, stains, and heavy traffic. Epoxy coatings from Nevada Custom Coatings offer that protection, along with a variety of colors, patterns, and textures limited only by your imagination. We improve the look, function, and lifespan of your concrete floor beyond its original purpose.

If these further details on concrete ingredients lead to questions about the best way to protect your concrete floor in Reno, Sparks, and the surrounding areas, Nevada Custom Coatings is your one-stop shop to get answers and discover the best way to protect and improve your concrete. Give our office a call or schedule a free onsite consultation using our online form.

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