As one of the most durable material mixtures in the world, concrete has become utilised worldwide for many applications but we mainly associate it with buildings and construction projects and for good reason.

At its essence, concrete is a mix of paste, aggregates and/or rocks which gives it many dimensions of strength. By consisting of cement and water, the paste is excellent at covering coarse aggregates and upon hydration reaction, the paste will become solid and eventually what we know as concrete.

This evidences that concrete is one of the most adaptive materials for the industrial world as it is multi-purpose depending on its condition. When newly mixed concrete is formed, it is more of a plastic that is easily malleable but when hardened, it is one of the strongest materials which is ideal for building large constructs.

To perfect the process of making concrete, you first need to make sure that your proportions are all correct. This entails checking that the pastes and aggregates are both in relative measurements to provide a serviceable mixture. Getting the balance wrong will result in a poor end product that can pose long-term hazards as it is more likely to wear over time.
Water is the enabler of the mixture and in turn, the overall quality of your concrete. Being overzealous with your water can result in an inconsistent and weak mixture or even in some cases, no mixture at all. The quality of the paste itself will also alter the effectiveness of the final mixture of concrete – do not invest in cheap paste if you want longevity and reliability from your concrete. 

When selecting the water for your mixture, you can choose any regular natural water but beware that tainted water may have implications on the consistency and quality of your concrete. Although it may seem obvious to say, water varieties that are carbonated or flavoured are not suitable for concrete mixtures as these impurities can cause aesthetic issues in terms of staining but can also be the cause of some instability for your mixture. Always check the water’s source before using.

During the hydration process, mixers should be present to ensure that it is a smooth one. Upon mixture, ensure that all concrete is mixable beforehand and is transferred into forms before it hardens too much. To properly finish off your concrete, ensure that it is thoroughly smoothed off on the surface. Rough slabs will often be inconsistent and in the case of severe inconsistencies, be entirely unusable. Use a metal handfloat to smooth out the surface.

Curing is the final process of making concrete and is possibly the most pivotal in its overall quality. With the correct amount of curing, concrete’s efficiency is determined and especially so when it comes to extenuating weather conditions. Whether hot or cold, mixers will apply water gradually to the concrete to cure it properly and increase its life and strength.

Find out more about the above by visiting our concrete pumping and liquid screed pages.