How is Concrete Made in North Texas? And Why it Matters
Builders have used concrete for more than 6,000 years and possibly longer. However, there have been many different types of concrete mixes developed, so modern concrete is not the same as the concrete that the Romans used in their building products. During the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the dawn of the industrial age, concrete became less common and saw only sporadic use. By tonnage, the global use of concrete is double the combined total of steel, aluminum, plastic, and wood. Therefore, it is relatively safe to assume that residential concrete pourers are at work somewhere within the United States on virtually any day, constructing foundations for skyscrapers and homes, building roads and dams, or creating dozens of other types of structural or decorative features.
How Concrete Is Made and Why It Is So Important
What Materials Are in a Typical Concrete Mix?
Although local concrete companies employed a wide range of recipes during the 1800s, the mixture has become fairly standardized. There are three basic elements: aggregates, binder, and water. Aggregates include crushed stone, gravel, and sand. Different mixes require aggregates of different sizes. The sieving or screening process sorts the material by size to ensure that only those meeting the specific requirements for the job will make it into the mix. Typically, the binder is cement, a mixture of gypsum, limestone, clay, and other chemicals or minerals. Concrete companies usually do not add water to the mix until they are certain that the other materials are in their proper proportions. The ratio of water to cement is extremely important. Most concrete specialists recommend that a mix of water content of 15 and 20 percent, a cement content of between 10 and 15 percent, and an aggregate content of between 60 and 75 percent.
Do Concrete Contractors Prepare Their Own Mixes?
There are products available that contain the dry ingredients to prepare a concrete mix. However, manufacturers target these products to homeowners or those who need only a small amount of concrete. Professional concrete slab contractors will almost always choose to have a central-mix concrete plant deliver the slurry directly to the job. Mixer trucks keep the slurry from hardening prematurely and ensure that the aggregates do not fall out of suspension.
How Do Contractors Install Concrete?
Virtually all concrete slurries are introduced into forms. Prior to the arrival of the concrete mix, workers will handle any grading or leveling needed, build the forms, and place reinforcing mesh or rebar if required. Once the concrete arrives, work must proceed quickly. The workers must ensure that the slurry is evenly distributed or properly shaped. They will then apply the finish, which may be textured or smooth.
Concrete Industry Facts
A cement mill or plant is the facility where cement is produced. This is the fine powdered product that is used in producing concrete. People often confuse cement with concrete, when cement is actually an ingredient in concrete. Cement is produced by taking natural aggregates such as limestone and sand, combining them with other materials containing iron and aluminum in a processing kiln at temperatures of 2,800 degrees. The cement plant is often located adjacent to a quarry where the raw materials are mined and extracted. After the cement is produced it is usually shipped from the plant in tanker trucks or railroad cars.
Quarry Or Sand And Gravel Operation
These facilities mine and extract aggregates (rocks and sand) for use in concrete, asphalt, other construction materials, or simply for use on their own. A quarry is an operation where aggregates must be extracted via blasting or other means of breaking the rock loose from the ground. Once large pieces are broken loose, they are crushed and processed into smaller pieces that are sorted by size, and then sold by the ton. Sand and gravel are typically found near riverbeds or water sources. The materials are dredged or excavated from the ground, processed over screens, sorted into various sizes and sold by the ton.
Concrete Batch Plant
Concrete batch plants combine cement, water, sand and rocks together to create concrete. These plants employ rotating drum trucks where the raw materials are combined and mixed enroute to a jobsite. Ready-mix concrete is typically sold in volume by the cubic yard.
Interesting Concrete Facts
Residential Home = 100 yards of concrete
1 mile of 6 lane highway = 15,000 yards of concrete
Hospital = 30,000 yards of concrete
High School Football Stadium = 100,000 yards of concrete
Does Alpha Paving Install Concrete?
Texan Concrete Specialist is a full-service concrete contractor offering both installations and concrete repair. We also offer a full line of asphalt services, including paving, overlays, crack repair, sealcoating, milling, and patching. We also offer driveway installation and repair, road construction, parking lot signs, and thermoplastic markings. We have a reputation for providing exemplary work and outstanding customer service at affordable rates. For a free quote, call our office at (682) 970-5887 or fill out the online form.