When searching for cement contractors, you may come across lots of words and phrases you haven’t heard before. Most homeowners don’t know much about cement or concrete or the process behind the installation. It’s up to the cement contractors to ensure that you are left with a beautiful patio or driveway or another concrete project.
There are many different kinds of concrete available to homeowners, and each kind has a different purpose and strength. Many of them, however, are known by names not readily recognizable. Here’s some information about different kinds of concrete in the hopes that when it’s time for you to hire a cement contractor, you’ll know what you’re talking about.
Here are some of the different kinds of concrete:
Normal strength concrete
Normal strength concrete is made by mixing cement, water, and aggregate (sand, gravel, crushed stone, etc). It has a strength of 10 MPa to 40 MPa (MPa stands for megapascals) and typically sets in 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the cement and weather conditions.
Plain concrete is similar to normal strength concrete. It is made by mixing cement, aggregates, and water, usually in the proportion 1:2:4. Plain concrete has no reinforcing material added to it. Plain concrete is typically used for walkways and buildings that don’t require high strength materials.
High strength concrete
High strength concrete has a smaller ratio of water to cement. It has a strength of over 40 MPa but has a lower performance level.
Reinforced concrete is concrete that has been reinforced with bars, steel rods, meshes, or fibers. Reinforced concrete has high tensile strength. It’s often used in bridges, driveways, ceilings, and columns.
Prestressed concrete has the reinforcement materials added before installation. This makes the lower section of the concrete stronger than it would be otherwise and lets it stand more tension. Because prestressed concrete is so heavy, it will be made and assembled at the construction site prior to being placed where it belongs.
Some concrete can be precast at a factory before being shipped to the construction site. This precast concrete is useful because it can be made according to the project’s specifications. Some examples of precast concrete include stair blocks, poles, blocks, and some walls.
Lightweight concrete has a lower density than other concrete. The aggregates used to create lightweight concrete include pumice, scoria, and perlites. Long span bridge decks are built using lightweight concrete blocks.
High-density concrete is simply concrete with a density higher than 3000 kg/m³. It’s made using heavier aggregates such as barytes. High-density concrete is used when building a building that needs to block radiation, such as an atomic power plant.
Ready-mix concrete is mixed at the concrete plant and brought to the construction site ready-to-use. The downside to ready mix concrete is that if it takes too long to get to the job site, it will start to harden and will be difficult to spread and won’t look as good. If you ever order ready mix concrete and it is already starting to harden when it gets to your home, you can send it back and ask for better concrete. Ready-mix is nice because it can be mixed with precise specifications and is meant specifically for your project.
Polymer concrete uses polymer materials to hold it together rather than cement. The polymers reduce the volume between the aggregates, and so uses less polymer in the mixture.
Asphalt concrete is made using asphalt in the mixture rather than cement. Asphalt concrete is used to build roads and parking lots. It’s also known as blacktop or pavement and is very common throughout the world.
Glass concrete is made using recycled bits of glass as the aggregate. Glass concrete is modern-looking, durable, and provides thermal insulation. Glass concrete is very different looking from other concrete and a cement contractor can show you how it would look on your property.
Limecrete is made using limestone instead of cement. Unlike other concrete types, limecrete has many health and environmental benefits. Limecrete is often used in floors, domes, and vaults.
Concrete can be pumped to reach a construction site or to provide the concrete easier access. Pumped concrete needs to be fairly fluid and be made of fine materials in order to flow easily through the pump. The rigid pump discharges the fluid concrete to the desired area and makes it that much easier to reach and spread around.
Stamped concrete is when a stamp is placed into semi-dry concrete and the pattern is then a part of the design. Patterns for natural stones, wood, and other materials can be used on your concrete to create that look for a lower price. Stamped concrete can also be premade in blocks.
Stained concrete is similar to stamped concrete in that the concrete is changed to a specific appearance. Concrete can be stained any color to form a pattern, design, or overall look. Many homeowners opt for stained concrete in patios, driveways, and basement floors. Ask a cement contractor for more stained concrete options.
If you’re looking for a cement contractor in southern Utah, look no further. M3 Industries can help with all of your cement and concrete needs, whether you need a driveway, patio, walkway, foundation, or basement. As a local cement contractor, we know that it’s important for you to receive high-quality service for an affordable price, and that’s what we do. We offer all sorts of concrete services, all for affordable prices.
If you want to take your tired old concrete and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece or turn part of your empty backyard into a concrete patio where you can sit and enjoy the sunset or watch the kids play, give M3 Industries a call.