Today’s concrete mixtures remain relatively unchanged from the past. However, the range of uses and delivery of this material has evolved to match today’s demands. Society relies on concrete for much of its infrastructure and structural needs. Where would we be had it not been for the Romans? Today we are going to dive into the versatility and composition of modern ready-mix concrete.

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RM Concrete is a combination of admixtures, water, cement, and aggregates. Admixtures can be described as any ingredient in the mix that is not H20, cement or aggregate. Typically these “miscellaneous” ingredients fall into five categories based on their purpose. Admixtures are key in changing the concrete at a chemical level, seen as customizing the concrete. In this sense, admixtures are the construction chemicals that make the pour happen right. Aggregates are divided into two categories- fine and coarse- and can be simply thought of as sand and rocks. This ingredient actually makes up more than half of the volume used in a typical mix design. Cement, aka the prime ingredient, is vital to binding materials together and giving the concrete its strength. Water can be seen as the activator in this relationship and is key for determining the slump (wetness) of fresh concrete.

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The composition of today’s ready-mix concrete makes it a top contender in the construction materials industry. The ability to tailor a mix to your client’s specific needs is paramount to maintaining a successful job site. Concrete brewed in this fashion is soft and pliable upon mixing, giving crews roughly a 90-minute window to fill their order. This differs significantly from precast concrete, where a mixture is poured at an offsite facility and arrives pre-made and ready to put into use. In its pliable state, concrete is transported via a concrete truck to where the pour is actually occurring. From batch plant to the end of a truck’s chute, your concrete should remain soft and give you ample time to pour into forms, pads, etc. This process does quickly dirty the trucks used in the field and that can be easily rectified with Green Wash.

Concrete in its modern form can be seen as an artform. Like any craft, we can go on about its intricacies in great detail. And we will, with the next part of this series coming soon. As always, Concrete Chemicals is your one-stop shop for concrete removal and cleaning chemicals in Zimmerman. Check out our store today to see how we can help you!