two Dynamic Concrete Pumping pumps working on a project

What Goes Into a Concrete Mixture?

What Goes Into a Concrete Mixture?

Posted By:Dynamic Concrete Pumping , Date: Apr 17, 2020

What Goes Into a Concrete Mixture?

Concrete is a durable construction material that has been used by builders for centuries. Crews are quick to use concrete as it’s affordable and molds into various shapes, thicknesses and sizes for structures and surfaces. Concrete offers plenty of benefits such as low maintenance costs, recyclability and thermal insulation, but what are its key ingredients?

It turns out that concrete is still produced with the same core ingredients seen thousands of years ago. However, more options exist today to help craft concrete for your specific application.

Concrete Ingredients

Concrete mixtures include three key ingredients — water, Portland cement and aggregates. Air also plays a pivotal role in creating cement as ratios of these ingredients alter the properties of cement products.

Water must be clean in a concrete mixture. The amount of liquid you add to concrete powder influences how easily solutions pour. More water produces thinner concrete that is lower in strength.

Portland cement is responsible for binding ingredients together into a paste after making contact with water. Portland cement typically consists of the following materials for concrete solutions:

  • Alumina
  • Silica
  • Lime
  • Iron
  • Gypsum

Aggregates are the rough, smooth and fine particles of sand, gravel and rock you see within concrete powder. Sustainability practices are continuing to grow more prominent in the construction industry, so it is common to see recyclable materials as aggregates for concrete mixtures. You may include more than one aggregate in a mixture for diverse results.

The ingredients of water, Portland cement, aggregates and air allow concrete to reach hydration. Concrete never truly “dries” even after settling. Instead, the reaction hardens and intense pressure gets applied across slabs, structures and foundations.

Types of Concrete Aggregates

Selecting aggregates for a concrete mixture can be one of the most important decisions for the performance of your solution. Concrete aggregates typically account for 60-80% of a mix ratio and are either natural, recycled or manufactured materials. Common concrete aggregates include the following:

  • Stone: Industrial crushing equipment will break up particles into coarse and fine aggregate categories.
  • Gravel: Gravel is involved in thick concrete mixtures for additional strength and durability.
  • Recycled concrete: Recycled concrete is effective as a coarse aggregate. This material creates higher drying shrinkage and absorption rates for concrete.

Concrete Mix Ratio

A general rule of thumb for mixing concrete is to follow the rule of four-two-one. This seven-part ratio breaks down as four parts rock/aggregate, two parts sand and one part cement. Each “part” of the mix ratio is up to your discretion based on the project and amount of concrete necessary to complete a job.

Measurement scales might be by the shovel-full, bucket load or bag. Keep in mind that adding water to a mixture is not always an exact science. Add water slowly, and watch the consistency of your concrete mixture. Too much water weakens the solution, and not adding enough liquid will create solutions that are difficult to spread.

Contact Dynamic Concrete Pumping Today

Dynamic Concrete Pumping provides concrete placing solutions to those in the construction industry. Our pumps with a 360-degree continuous swing boom help speed up cycle times and take the hard work out of mixing concrete materials. With over 30 years of user experience, we take concrete utilization to a new level.

Contact Dynamic Concrete Pumping today to discuss your next concrete placing project.

request a custom quote