If you want to be guided when it comes to the construction works that you are undertaking, it pays that you are familiar with some important words. Understanding the basic definitions about concrete and its uses will make you see a much bigger picture of it. You will therefore enable yourself to utilize your understanding so that you will get an in depth overview of when it comes to construction works.
When you are well informed with all construction details, then it will be much easier for you to get an informed decision in any matters that will come your way in the course of the construction process. You will essentially get the upper hand in whatever it is that you are going to decide along the way.
A few useful basic definitions follow, since the meanings of the words ‘cement’ and ‘concrete’ are rather blurred in general use.
Portland Cement: Material made by heating a mixture of limestone and clay in a kiln at about 1450 C, then grinding to a fine powder with a small addition of gypsum. Portland Cement, the main subject of this site, is the most common type of cement – ‘basic cement’, if you like. In particular, ordinary Portland cement is the normal, grey, cement with which most people are familiar. Other types of Portland cement include White Portland Cement and Sulfate Resisting Portland Cement (SRPC).
Clinker: Portland cement is made by grinding clinker and a little added gypsum. Clinker is a nodular material before it is ground up. The nodules can be anything from 1mm to 25mm or more in diameter.
Cement: Usually taken to mean Portland Cement, but could mean any other type of cement, depending on the context.
Aggregate: Cobbles, pebbles, gravel, sand and silt – the ‘rock’ component of all particle sizes in concrete.
Concrete: Synthetic rock made using cement (usually, but not necessarily, Portland cement) mixed with aggregate and water. Read more!
So how does the concrete being extracted so that it can be used in any construction works? That is really an interesting question that needs to be put to rest. Mining concrete is an important aspect that needs to be tackled to fully get a good look at its astonishing advantage.
And creating all the concrete relies on mining sand and gravel, collectively known as aggregates. Aggregates are extracted from the earth at an astonishing rate – exceeding 40 billion tons. A year. In the US, for example, the market for mined sand has been growing at 10% annually since 2008, meaning it is a billion-dollar business annually.
Now, although the deserts are awash in sand, it is considered unusuable for making concrete. This happens because it is subject to so much wind erosion, causing the grains to become too round and blow away. (Which is why Dubai, located in the desert, ships in sand for its beaches from Australia.) Desert sand also fails to bind well. Instead, we source the bulk of our sand from land quarries and riverbeds, so much so, that we’re running out and have turned to the coasts. “River and marine aggregates remain the main sources for building and land reclamation,” notes a recent report by the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) on the dwindling sand situation. Details explained here: http://ift.tt/2fK8Uio.
These few facts will give you a deeper perspective to what concrete is really all about, it will encourage you to get a whole picture of how it is mined and, in the process, being utilized. There are so many great things that you will learn from the use of concrete which you can apply during the construction works in your property.
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