Try to imagine modern living without concrete. Sure, it might be a bit old school with all buildings made of wood and all, but concrete is essentially the foundation of the modern world. With it, weather-proof buildings wouldn’t have been possible, and we’d be scurrying around trying to fix structures and buildings during stormy weather, instead of expecting these structures to withstand the elements and protect us. Here are some basic facts about this amazing material.
In manufacturing facilities such as batch plants, concrete is manufactured using five main ingredients: water, air, chemical additives, aggregates, and cement. Water serves as the catalyst of a vital chemical reaction, and air, obviously, dries up the concrete as it sets.
Chemical additives are special ingredients added into a concrete solution that often improves the finished product’s durability, and is commonly poured in before or during the process. Aggregates are granular materials (i.e. sand, gravel, or crushed stone) which also serves as a strengthener, and cement is like the glue that holds all other ingredients together.
Once all the ingredients are gathered, they are all ready for mixing. Smaller projects (i.e. building a small house) typically require smaller bags of ready-mix concrete (a variation that only requires water and manual mixing). However, larger projects like building a condominium complex requires massive amounts of concrete, which prompts companies to use a batch plant to mix huge amounts of ingredients on site. Once the ingredients are mixed, the concrete is now available for pouring.