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Concrete is a composite material wherein a binding material mixed in water on
solidification binds the inert particles of well graded fine and coarse aggregate.
 Freshly prepared concrete till it has not yet set is called wet or green
 After it has thoroughly set and fully hardened it is called set or just concrete.
Concrete = Cement + Sand (Fine Aggregate) + Stone ballast/gravel (Coarse
aggregate) + Water

Based on cementing material used, Concretes are classified as lime concrete and
cement concrete.
1) Lime concrete: It is a mixture of lime mortar and coarse aggregate. In lime
concrete, lime is used as a binding material, but this type of concrete is not
used nowadays because the setting time is very slow as it requires CO2 for
hardening and gains strength in time greater than the time in which cement
concrete gains same value of strength. Also, it takes a long time to cure
which is very time consuming and uneconomical.

2) Cement Concrete: It is a composite material wherein a paste of cement,

made with water, on solidification binds firmly together the various particles
of inert materials like sand and stone ballast. The inert materials called
“aggregate” is well graded in size from fine sand to pebbles or stone ballast
or brick ballast.
Cement concrete is an extremely versatile material of construction which is
used for variety of works ranging from small drains and cottages to massive
bridges and dams. Cement concrete is quite strong in compression but weak
in tension. To make good this deficiency of concrete, steel bars
(reinforcement) are embedded in concrete which is known as reinforced
cement concrete (R.C.C). Concrete without reinforcement is known as plain
cement concrete (P.C.C).

The two basic types of physical stress are compressive stress and tensile
stress. Consider a length of material, be it a stone slab, steel bar, or piece of
lumber. If one were to hold each end of the material and squeeze, one would
exert compressive force.

If, however, one were to pull outward (as though one were trying to stretch
the material), one would exert tensile force.


Concrete forming materials should be carefully selected to get quality

1) Cement: Normally ordinary Portland cement satisfying requirements of
Indian standard institution is used. However, for special condition the
type of cement suiting the requirement to be used.
Cement being hygroscopic, attracts moisture quickly and sets. So, storage
of cement should be carefully attended and no set or partially set cement
should be used.
2) Fine aggregates: Sand is commonly used as fine aggregate in cement
concrete. Particles of fine aggregate range from 4.75mm to 0.15mm in
3) Coarse aggregates: Those aggregates whose particle size is bigger than
4.75mm and less than 7.5mm are called coarse aggregates. Usually stone
ballast, gravel and brick ballast are used as coarse aggregates.
4) Water: Only good clean water should be used for making concrete. It
should be free from silt, salt or any organic matter. The most suitable
water for concrete preparation is the drinking water.