How Concrete is Made

Making concrete is a time-sensitive task; workers must ensure it gets in its place before hardening too significantly.

Concreting Melbourne is composed of cement, sand and aggregate (course gravel). When mixed together with water to form a paste that binds together these ingredients – water is important as its use triggers chemical reactions known as hydration reactions that activate an important chemical process known as hydration.


Cement is made from limestone or other sedimentary rocks quarried and mixed with industrial byproducts like slag or fly ash, before firing it in a kiln at 2,700deg F to produce clinker, which is ground down into fine powder together with other ingredients used to form concrete.

When cement is mixed with water, an irreversible chemical reaction known as hydration begins. Calcium silica hydrates (CSHs) form supertight bonds that make concrete strong and durable; yet these pores allow water to seep into it and keep its own balance for prolonged moisture-retaining properties.

Concrete mix proportions must be precisely designed and measured in order to reach desired strengths. Once ready, this mixture is poured into a form for setting. After curing has taken place, civil engineers test its compressive strength using cubes or cylinders, with results graded according to required strength levels for construction projects.


Concrete relies on aggregates for strength and durability. Aggregates include inert materials like sand, gravel or crushed stone that together with portland cement form the core of concrete structures. Aggregates may come from natural sources or man-made sources like perlite, vermiculite clay shale and recycled concrete.

Size matters when it comes to aggregates; their sizes determine how much binder is necessary to fill any voids between them. Larger particles tend to increase void content while tighter grading and smaller particle sizes reduce it.

Quality concrete requires clean and hard aggregates without organic matter, dirt coatings or chemicals that could deteriorate its structure. Aggregates must also be washed regularly in order to eliminate dust, silt, clay and any impurities which would interfere with bonding between cement paste and aggregate. Sometimes recycled aggregates are also used economically and for aesthetic value – they come in various shapes and colors while some even feature tumbled finishes for decorative exposed aggregate finishes.


Concrete is a composite material composed of cement, aggregates (such as sand and gravel) and water used to construct buildings, roads, and bridges.

Water is used to activate a chemical reaction with cement that produces hydration products which increase strength as the concrete cures, as well as aiding aggregates in bonding together.

When making concrete, an optimal balance must be struck between water and cement use – too much can erode its strength while too little makes the mix unworkable.

Utilizing a proportioning chart is the preferred method for creating the ideal concrete mix, and then mixing or pouring on site using either an automatic concrete mixer or manually. When adding additives such as plasticizers, superplasticizers, air-entraining agents etc to improve workability and reduce set times as well as accelerate or delay strength gain, an advisory chart should also be utilized.


Concrete is one of the most prevalent construction materials. You’ll find it everywhere from sidewalks and roads to building foundations; and even its strength continues to improve over time! Today’s WONDER explores this amazing material’s strength by investigating hydration: its chemical reaction that gives concrete its strength.

Concrete making relies on a precise blend of aggregate, Portland cement and water. A civil engineer custom designs this mix based on each project’s individual specifications; setting material ratios as required while potentially including various additives to customize its performance.

Chemical admixtures such as plasticizers and superplasticizers increase the fluidity of concrete mixture without altering its water-cement ratio, while air-entraining agents accelerate or retard set time of concrete. Such changes reduce energy requirements for production while over time decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

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