Types of Concrete
When you’re driving down the road, walking down your sidewalk or shoveling off your driveway you may notice the concrete surface. It’s all the same, right? Cement is cement is cement. Whether it’s for a basketball court or a boulevard, cement is everywhere. But it may not all be the same. There are different mixes of concrete which are used for different purposes. Depending on your needs you will probably use a specific type of cement to ensure that it lasts and fulfills its function.
What is Concrete?
The basic definition of concrete is an adhesive cement, mixed with water and other chemicals and then added to “aggregates” – usually sand or rock. The amounts of these ingredients can vary based on the environment, types of chemicals, available resources and vision for the finished product. Ancient societies created their own types of cement and concrete using water, sand, rocks and other materials with which they experimented. Obviously with scientific research and technological advances we have come a long way since then.
Everyday Concrete: You can easily find information, ingredients and instruction for basic concrete on a self-mix bag. Many kinds need only to add water. Depending on the purity of the mix the concrete will be able to withstand up to 5500 psi (pounds per square inch). For your everyday jobs this level of weight-bearing works well.
High-Performance Concrete: This type of concrete is much more durable, load-bearing and responsive. It’s being used for large buildings and super-load-bearing areas like freight pickups and landing pads. Performance concrete has less liquid content, making it stronger – but also far less malleable. It’s thicker and much more viscous, meaning it usually needs the addition of plastics and other chemicals to make it more flexible – at least for the mixing and pouring stage. Amateurs and Do-It-Yourself-ers should look to professionals for installing High-Performance concrete. In most circumstances regular concrete will fill your needs, but if you do feel a need for something stronger just get a little help!
Stamped/Stained Concrete: A cool new type of concrete is designed with decor in mind. After laying concrete a special mix of hardeners are spread on the top and then stamped with a particular pattern or design. It can be as simple as thin, shallow lines for texture in parking lots or on streets. It can be as complex as brick, tile, or wood designs for landscaping or inside your house! Using special acid stain chemicals your concrete can also be stained for a big statement look. Instead of a boring gray concrete for your basement, driveway or sidewalk you can have reds, browns, grays and even greens!
If you need concrete you might want to start doing your research, because you have more options than you think! Don’t be afraid to call some experts like Hard Rock Concrete for help determining your needs and getting the best possible fit.