This article is for people who would like to know some introduction on concrete. Concrete is basically a mixture of four ingredients namely, cement, water, fine aggregate, and coarse aggregate. The amount of each component or in other word the mixture ratio of each component is determined based on multiple factors including the type of construction, type of materials used and so on.
The aspects that we are going to cover here are the fundamentals of concrete mixing, concrete mixing ratios, the safety when dealing with concrete, the curing speed.
Fundamentals of Concrete Mixing
The mixing process of concrete ingredients involves putting all the components together and mixing for a certain period of time until we reach the homogeneous mixture that we call concrete. Concrete should be under mixed all over mixed. Under mixing of concrete will result in poor mixture that is heterogeneous with a lot of gaps and voids within the output product. On the other hand, over mixing of concrete will result in the separation of the ingredients and will also lead to a poor-quality concrete. Specifications and codes usually give some guidance on the duration for mixing ingredients.
Ratios of Ingredients
It is very important that you select the appropriate amounts of ingredients. If this wasn’t achieved, the consistency and homogeneity of concrete will be compromised and also, the final product will not achieve the required goals for which it was produced.
There is a methodology when it comes to selecting the amount of each component of concrete. This methodology takes in consideration the types of materials used, the environment that the structure is serving in, and limitations on the maximum or minimum amounts of each component. Following the procedure for designing the concrete mixture, as is specified by codes, will produce concrete that is capable of surviving the entire service life of the structure.
Safety of Workers
For those who work in construction, safety is very important for you and your family. Construction workplace is a location with high possibility of you getting injured. Thus your safety in the workplace depends on you taking care of and you due diligence taking care of the safety of others surrounding you.
If you are starting to work in construction with concrete, you should read the safety data sheets of the components of concrete and have to act in case of an accident.
For example, cement, which is an ingredient that exists this in almost every concrete mixture, can cause burns on the skin when water is added to it. So, once there is a fresh concrete or cement paste touching your skin, wash it with plenty of water.
Also, you need to put your safety glasses on to protect your eyes from dust, cement grains, flying objects and so on. If you’re going to touch concrete, wear gloves. If you will be there while mixing the concrete components, put your mask on.
concrete needs to have water maintained to gain its full strength. The process of keeping the water available to concrete is called curing. Curing should continue until concrete gains its design strength. You can do that by either spraying the concrete with water or using a curing compound.
Finally, keep in mind “do not remix concrete”: once concrete starts to set, do not add water at that stage because it might negatively affect the strength of concrete which is its ability to resist the loads. Wait until concrete is hardened and then start the curing process.