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  • What is Concrete? A Helpful Overview

What is concrete? While it’s fair to say most people visiting the General Chipping website probably know concrete and cement aren’t the same thing, not everyone is in the same boat. In fact, you might be surprised to learn just how many people are unclear when it comes to this simple fact. If you find yourself needing to explain the difference to a client or a subcontractor, we’re here to help with this quick concrete breakdown. (Pun absolutely intended.)

First, cement is a component of concrete, but the two materials aren’t interchangeable. Concrete is what you get when you mix a cement paste (Portland cement and water) with another aggregate such as sand, crushed stone or other materials. Concrete technology is constantly changing, with new blends that are better for the environment regularly joining the mix.

A typical concrete mix will be comprised of 7-15% cement, 14-21% water and 60-75% coarse or fine aggregates, depending on how durable it needs to be and what substrate is being covered. Different mixes can be used to pave roads, create sidewalks and even to build walls for homes, skyscrapers and dams.

Working with concrete requires specialized knowledge and tools to get the best results. At the heart of the process is hydration, which is the chemical reaction that causes hardening. Professional mixing and placement will help eliminate flaws and create the desired finished texture. And during hot or cold weather, special curing compounds may be added to help the concrete set.

Once concrete is cured, it tends to get stronger over the first few months following installation. Beyond that, if it contains the right cement ratio and has been properly mixed, it should remain strong for years with minimal maintenance.

When it comes to cleanup, concrete chipping is essential to keeping your ready-mix concrete trucks in prime condition. And as always, the General Chipping team has you covered. Our crews are available nationwide — and all year long — to help keep your concrete equipment maintained. Contact us to learn more!

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