Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in the world.
It’s made of cement, sand, aggregates, water and admixtures which are added to control the characteristics of the mix and its setting time. It can be moulded when in its wet state and solidifies over time, gaining strength and durability.
Cement is the ‘glue’ which binds the ingredients of concrete together. It is a powdery material which when mixed with water, sand and gravel forms concrete.
There are more than 500 different types of concrete, from fast-setting and high-strength to self-levelling and water-permeable mixes.
How is concrete made?
A concrete plant is like a giant food mixer.
Raw ‘ingredients’ – aggregates, cement and water - are mixed together with admixtures. There are no chemical processes involved and no emissions from the plant itself.
Once mixed, concrete can form all sorts of shapes. It can be made in a factory and used as precast concrete or blocks, it can be put into a ready mix truck which delivers it to a construction site to be poured.
Its great simplicity lies in the fact that its constituents are readily available almost anywhere in the world.