Concrete or Cement – What IS the Difference?

In the world of construction, two words are used quite often – “concrete” and “cement”. Most people assume that they both refer to the same thing, but this couldn’t be more untrue. Though both cement and concrete are used in the same field, they are different materials used for different purposes. Let’s find out the differences between the two.

What is Cement?

Cement is just a small component of concrete, usually comprising 10-15% of concrete. Cement is basically the glue of any structure, which hardens and gives it a firm shape. Most of the cement varieties used today are hydraulic in nature, including the common Portland cement. Upon coming in contact with water, the cement hardens permanently. The process is irreversible and can occur even underwater since the amount of water present makes no difference to the chemical reaction. Apart from concrete, cement is also used in brick walls.

What is Concrete?

Concrete is the most common material used in construction, akin to building blocks. Premix concrete is composed of various materials like aggregates and paste. The aggregate is made up of smaller materials like sand or crushed stone, while the paste is a mixture of cement and water. A concrete mixture is made depending on the properties like strength and slump, which is why concrete suppliers Brisbane ask the specific purpose for using the concrete. It is then molded into different shapes and used for various construction projects.

While dried cement is the last stage for the material, dried concrete is only halfway there. While both concrete and cement form integral parts of construction projects, it is important to remember the difference between the two.