Concrete in the construction industry
Concrete plays an important role in every construction project. Interestingly however, not many people have a clear understanding of what it is and how it’s used. This article will explore concrete’s components, properties and uses, as well as its importance for building projects and structures.
Let’s start by defining and explaining the difference between cement and concrete. Cement is a water-based binder used to bind other building materials together. Concrete on the other hand is a mix of various materials such as cement, water, sand and gravel. In other words, cement is used to produce concrete.
Why is concrete so important to the construction industry?
The answer is simple: concrete is a malleable product which when hardened creates an artificial rock-hard material. Concrete solidifies and hardens after mixing water with cement in a chemical process known as hydration. This reaction causes water and the other elements in the concrete to bond together, creating this artificial stone-like material.
Thanks to its malleability and its versatility before hydration, concrete has a wide range of applications in different projects. In a sense, concrete can become any structure we can imagine, and is used across many real-world applications i.e. roads, sidewalks, buildings etc. it. As a matter of fact, approximately 2/3 of buildings and infrastructures are made of concrete and this material is so versatile that it is also used in superstructure construction through the use of structural concrete, slab construction, stair construction, and architectural feature.
Lastly, it is important to point out that the construction industry is one of the main pillars of any country’s economy. In fact, the construction industry is the first industry to grow when an economy experiences growth because of its ability to provide jobs. In saying that, concrete is the most important element within what could be the most important industry, which suggests that this material will “stick” around for a while.