Why Is Concrete So Strong?

Concrete is one of the most used materials in the world, and has created some of the biggest and long lasting structures in the world. Concrete is so diverse in what it offers from pavements and roads to skyscrapers and bridges, and the strength of concrete very rarely fails. So, what makes concrete so reliable in strength?

Production

The strength of concrete primarily comes from the production process of concrete. For both small or large aggregates, water and cement is made to join these together and a chemical reaction otherwise known as hydration causes the concrete to harden and the mixture gains maximum strength.

The Science Behind Strength

The science behind the strength of concrete is much more complex than mixing cement and water. Concrete is a composite material, which gains it’s strength when mixed with an aggregate and cement paste, hydration then allows the concrete to cure.

Tricalcium silicate compound is the most important element to concrete strength, releasing calcium ions, hydroxide ions and heat, this will speed up the reaction process.

When the material is saturated with calcium and hydroxide ions, calcium hydroxide begins to crystallise and calcium silicate hydrate forms.

Stronger Concrete

With the science of concrete being full proof, is there an opportunity to strengthen concrete and adapt on the already largely reliable concrete production process.

Higher strength concrete is easily achieved by adjusting the ratio of cement to water, as well as the quality of the aggregates too. Although using less water in your cement mixture will offer a much stronger concrete solution, it is important that you use enough water for the hydration process so that the mixture can saturate at a high level to achieve optimum strength and create a long lasting bond.