Details of cement vs concrete

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Cement looks very similar to concrete,so people often can’t distinguish them. From cement vs concrete, let’s explain the difference between them.

First, let’s take a look at what is cement.

cement vs concrete

What is cement

Cement is usually made of limestone, clay, shells and silica sand. Moreover, it is rich in calcium and silica. Among them, limestone is the most common ingredient.

Then, people crush these materials. And, people mix these materials with other ingredients. Next, people heat it to 2700F. This is clinker grinding powder—cement.
Moreover, cement is the binding substance in concrete and mortar. Therefore, people usually do not use it alone.

In addition, Polish cement is not a brand, but the most common type of cement in construction materials.
It means that cement and water will set and harden when put them together. Therefore, people also call it hydraulic cement. Meanwhile, it is also one of the lowest cost materials in the world.

Then, let’s take a look at the characteristics of cement.

a picturer of cement


Cement generally has the following characteristics:

  1. In applications that do not require special properties, people generally use cement.
  2. It has moderate sulfate resistance.
  3. Cement has relatively high early strength. Therefore, its strength is faster than Type I cement. In this way, people can remove templates faster.
  4. It has a low heat of hydration. In other words, its strength of development isslower than other types of cement.

After understanding its basic properties, do you know the types of cement?


Even though there is no difference when we look at the cement, there are various types of cement.

Let’s take a look at the most common types.

White silicate cement

It is an aesthetic enhancer used in architecture.

hydraulic cement

It is a fast-hardening cement. Moreover, it can solidify when there is water. But other cements require drying conditions to complete hardening.
Therefore, people use hydraulic cement to prevent water leakage in concrete and masonry.
After understanding cement, let’s take a look at what concrete it.

What is concrete

Concrete is a dry mixture of cement, sand, and rock. Among them, sand and rocks are aggregates. Moreover, sand is fine aggregate, and rock is coarse aggregate. Moreover, the cement glues them together.

Therefore, the paste composed of cement and water has a surface of fine aggregate and coarse aggregate. This forms rock-like concrete.

Usually, people use it for concrete slabs, foundation walls of buildings, terraces and many other masonry structures.

And, people can also make it into a flexible semi-liquid material in any mold or shape. Meanwhile, they can also harden into rock material.

Sometimes, people will add metal reinforcements to concrete to increase strength. And this can minimize the cracking that may occur in solid concrete.

For projects of different scales, people make concrete in different ways.
When working on small projects, people directly mix cement, sand and gravel to make concrete.

And for large projects, people use wheelbarrows or other large containers to fill cement bags, and then mix them with sand and gravel. Sometimes people also use trucks to transport ready-mixed concrete.

So, if people want to make durable, strong concrete, the key is the ratio of its ingredients.
If people do not have enough cement to fill the aggregate, this concrete is difficult to place. Moreover, it produces rough honeycomb surfaces and porous concrete. In addition, if people fill the aggregate with an excessive amount of cement, the concrete is easy to place. Moreover, it produces a smooth surface. However, such concrete is not economical and easily cracks.
Next, let’s take a look at the proportions of it ingredients.


First of all, it has ingredients as follow:

  1. Cement: This is an adhesive used to bond other materials together.
  2. Aggregate: coarse aggregate and fine aggregate.And for coarse aggregate, it is longer than 3/8 inch in diameter. Moreover, the type and size of the aggregate mixture depend on the thickness and usage of the final concrete product.

For example, thinner building parts require smaller coarse aggregates. In addition, the aggregate should be clean and free of any substances that may affect the quality of the concrete.

  1. Water: Water is the most important in the quality of concrete production. It can react chemically with cement. Moreover, it contributes to the work-abilityof concrete.

For water type, almost all natural water that is drinkable and has no obvious taste or smell is suitable for concrete. Moreover, some water that is not suitable for drinking may also be suitable for concrete. However, some impurities in the water will affect the time of concrete solidification and the strength of concrete. Even some impurities can make concrete bubbles and affect its durability.
People can test the water to know if it has a negative impact on the performance of concrete.

  1. Additives: Besides cement, water and aggregates, people add other ingredientsto the mixture immediately before or during the mixing process. For example, accelerators, water reducers.
  2. In addition, people will add different components to concrete according to its strength, appearance and local requirements.

The volume of the mixture is about 10%-15% of cement. Moreover, the proportion of aggregate is 60%-75%. And for the ratio of water, it is 15%-20%. In addition, bubbles in many concrete mixtures are also account for 5%-8%.

So, what kinds of concrete are there?


Depending on the different usages, there are many types of concrete.

Mortar concrete

The concrete made with water, cement and sand is mortar concrete.
Moreover, people usually use it to make masonry. If the structure of the masonry is correct, its service life is very long.
However, sometimes in order to increase the work-ability and moisture resistance of concrete, people will add some hydrated lime.

Sidewalk cement mixture

Generally, people use concrete made from a mixture of gravel, sand, water and cement for sidewalks.
Moreover, the ratio of the components of the mixture is one part cement, two parts sand, and three parts gravel.
Among them, water is the decisive factor. However, it is better for novices to use dry concrete that has been marked with the exact water consumption.

Decorative concrete

People use a variety of methods to process standard gray concrete, so that the concrete has several different colors. And this is decorative concrete.
In addition, they can also mix colors into the concrete, or apply colored points or glazes on the top after pouring.
Moreover, people can also count as etching, embossing and coloring of concrete. Such concrete looks like other materials, such as tiles, granite, bricks or pebbles.

decorative concrete

Fiber Cement Board

People mix the cement mixture with sand and cellulose to form a siding material. And it is the fiber cement board.

Moreover, people can mix cement with gypsum to create a smooth surface. Moreover, people use this concrete for masonry.

Self-setting concrete

The ratio of water to cement in self-setting concrete is about 0.32 instead of 0.48 for conventional concrete. Moreover, it has high liquidity. Therefore, people can spread it out easily.

Polymer concrete

People use catalysts to bond aggregates together. And this is polymer concrete.
Moreover, it is very suitable for environments requiring high corrosion resistance. For example, the hole in the sewer.

Other types

Other types of concrete include high performance concrete, permeable concrete and shotcrete.

Above all, people choose one of them according to their needs and the features of the concrete.

Then, what are the advantanges of concrete?

Advantages of cement vs concrete

Concrete has form-ability. So, people can mold it into any shape. Moreover, the hardened concrete is very strong and durable.

Concrete: In the case of long-term use, other building materials may rot and rust. However, the strength of concrete will also increase with time increasing.

Moreover, people can crush and restore the concrete in old buildings and demolished bridges. And use them as aggregate components in new concrete.

In addition, concrete can absorb heat. So it is an energy-efficient building material.

These are the merits of concrete.

Why people are confused by cement vs concrete

There is cement in concrete. And this is one of the main reasons why cement and concrete are often confused.

Although the terms cement and concrete are often used interchangeably. But cement is actually a component of concrete. Concrete is basically a mixture of aggregate and paste. The aggregate is sand, gravel or crushed stone. The paste is water and Portland cement.

As the age grows, concrete becomes stronger. By volume, cement accounts for 10% to 15% of the concrete mixture. Moreover, through hydration, cement and water harden and combine aggregates into rock-like substances. And this hardening process lasts for several years, which means that as we age, concrete will become stronger.

why people are confused

What’s the difference for cement vs concrete


Cement and concrete look alike, but they are very different materials indeed.

Concrete is basically a mixture of aggregate and paste. And he aggregates are sand, gravel or crushed stone. As for the paste is water and Portland cement. Moreover, it is a very strong building material.

However, cement is a fine bonding powder. Moreover, people will not use it alone.

Therefore, cement is actually a component of concrete.

Features of cement vs concrete

The service life of concrete can be as long as hundreds of years. In contrast, the durability of cement is much worse.

Usage of cement vs concrete

Concrete is suitable for large projects. Usually, people use concrete to build buildings, bridges, sidewalks, highways and dams.
However, cement is more suitable for small projects.

In summary, the ingredient, features and usages of cement and concrete are different.


Cement and concrete look alike. Moreover, sometimes people mix their names. However, they are two completely different substances.
Cement is the binding substance in concrete and mortar.
As for concrete, it is one of the strongest building materials.

For their use, cement is mainly as a binder for concrete. However, white Portland cement is also an aesthetic enhancer used in construction.
The concrete is suitable for constructing various buildings. Moreover, people will add different substances according to the appearance and performance requirements of the application. Therefore, there are many types of concrete. The decorative concrete can also have the same patterned surface as marble granite.

For their use, cement is mainly used as a binder for concrete. However, white Portland cement is also an aesthetic enhancer used in construction.
The concrete is suitable for constructing various buildings. Moreover, people will add different substances according to the appearance and performance requirements of the application. Therefore, there are many types of concrete. The decorative concrete can also have the same patterned surface as marble granite.

That’s all for the cement vs concrete. If you like this article, please share it with your friends or somebody needs it.

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