Water and cement initially form a cement paste that begins to react and harden (set). This paste binds the aggregate particles through the chemical process of hydration. In the hydration of cement, chemical changes occur slowly, eventually creating new crystalline products, heat evolution, and other measurable signs.
How Does Concrete Work?
Concrete is a ubiquitous building material used in everything from sidewalks to skyscrapers. But how does concrete work and what makes it such a good building material?
First, let‘s look at what concrete is. Concrete is a composite material made up of Portland cement, water, and aggregates such as sand and gravel.
In its basic form, the cement acts as a binding agent, the water acts as a lubricant, and the aggregates provide strength and structure. When the concrete is mixed and placed, a chemical reaction, known as hydration, occurs.
This reaction causes the cement, water, and aggregates to harden and bind together into a solid mass. As the concrete hardens, it forms a strong, durable material that is resistant to pressure and water.
The strength and durability of concrete makes it an ideal building material. It is able to withstand extreme temperatures and pressures, resist corrosion, and absorb energy without cracking or crumbling.
This makes it an ideal material for many construction projects. Concrete is also an economical choice. It is relatively easy to produce and can be formed into various shapes and sizes. Additionally, concrete is a sustainable material as it is made with recyclable materials and can be reused and