What is the difference between Concrete and Cement?

The difference between concrete and cement

This question might not have even crossed your mind, especially since we use the two words so interchangeably. Is your sidewalk is made of concrete or cement? What about dams and other structures?

In fact, those are trick questions. The truth is that all of these structures are. The real difference between concrete and cement is that cement is a component of concrete. Concrete is the result of combining cement and some other components.

Cement

Cement, itself, is a mixture. It tends to consist of limestone, clay, shells, and sand. These ingredients are combined with iron ore and crushed at extreme temperatures to form cement. It’s combined at a temperature of about 2,500° F. Cement has soil-like look. The obvious difference between cement and concrete is that cement is soft, while concrete is completely solid. For example, you’ve surely seen someone spread concrete for a structure or between bricks.

Trucks that contain cylindrical barrels tend to contain concrete, not cement. You’ll see these trucks parked near workers who are building parking garages or highways.

Concrete

Cement is combined with gravel, sand and water to create concrete. These components are combined in the cylinrical barrel. Concrete is normally made up of 10-15% concrete, 60-75% sand and gravel, and 15-20% water (according to the Concrete Contractors Assn.). The chemical reaction between cement and water is called hydration, which results in the creation of concrete. In fact, the hydration process continues for a number of years, resulting in a stronger surface. This is why concrete is so sturdy and can hold so much weight without wearing down.

As you can now see, the difference between cement and concrete a simple one. Cement is a component of concrete.

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