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Cement is a powder that is made by combining limestone and other ingredients and then heating them to 1400°C in a roller kiln and then grinding the “clinker” into a fine powder. Concrete is a mixture of cement, aggregate, water, and admixtures. It is the most versatile building material in the world.
Concrete is sampled in cylinders and then the hardened samples are broken under a compression testing machine. The unit of measure is a Mega Pascal (MPa). Concrete strengths range from 5-100+ MPa.
The standard length of time for concrete to reach its design strength is 28 days.
The standard colour for concrete is gray as the raw materials are all gray. Concrete can be made into many colours by the addition of coloured admixtures.
Concrete can last for 100 years or longer with very little maintenance. In damp environments, concrete needs to be cleaned by washing it to keep it free of debris and dirt.
Yes, concrete does crack as it shrinks when it cures. With proper preparation and control joints, cracking can be minimized and controlled.
Concrete is measured by volume. In Canada, concrete volume is measured in cubic metres (m3).
Yes, concrete is recyclable. Leftover concrete is poured into forms that make interlocking blocks that are used for retaining walls and foundations for portable structures. Hardened concrete is crushed up and used as fill for roads and buildings.