We really do live in a concrete jungle since people use it two times more than any other material in the world. That’s 5 billion cubic yards of concrete each year.

Why is concrete so popular? If you want a durable, easy, and environmentally-friendly building element then you have found it in concrete.

Read on to discover all the different types of concrete that make it so versatile and useful in today’s construction industry

1. Normal-strength Concrete

All concrete classifications include a simple mixture of cement, sand and/or other aggregates, and water. A normal ratio of material to produce the most common and standard strength is 1:2:4. This ratio creates a density of about 2,200 and 2,500 kg per cubic meter and takes about 30 to 90 minutes to dry.

It doesn’t need any reinforcement since it’s made for sidewalks and small buildings that don’t require high tensile building requirements.

2. High-strength Concrete

Reducing the amount of water by .35 in your mixture will produce a stronger formula. This creates a strength that exceeds the normal 40 MPa (megapascal) measurement.

While you produce dense concrete building materials with this type of strength, it makes it difficult to work with. ts density of 3,000 to 4,000 kilograms per cubic meters, reserved for special projects, require thick aggregates like barytes and crushed rock.

Dense concrete keeps harsh environments, such as radioactive materials from leaking out of the structure.

3. Rapid-strength Concrete

If a road needs repairs, the most commonly used concrete is rapid-strength. It works well in cold weather as it doesn’t need heat to dry quickly, making it perfect for quick pot-hole fixes.

This type of concrete is so sufficient and strong that it can be used in underwater construction of tunnels and other submerged projects.

4. High-performance Concrete

High-strength doesn’t always mean high-performance. As a high-performance material, the concrete needs to quickly gain strength, be easy to set, have certain density standards, handle the heat of hydration method, and contain a long lifespan.

High-performance concrete also considers the impact on the environment, making it compatible with its surroundings.

5. Roller Compacted Concrete

Instead of cement used as the primary adhesive, a roller is used to compress the concrete. The cement amount is reduced, however, the density is maintained from the pressure of the roller.

You will see this used in road construction to handle the weight of vehicles. Using this method on extensive projects like roadways is more eco-friendly as it generates less emissions and requires fewer production time.

6. Asphalt Concrete

There are different types of concrete used for roads, parking lots, and airport runways that use asphalt instead of cement. Asphalt creates better traction on roads since it is a grainer substance.

These types of roads dry much faster than cement concrete (in under an hour). However, asphalt is usually a petroleum-based material, making it a less organic, more impactful to the environment, and harder to repurpose.

7. Reinforced Concrete

When concrete is used for vertical and stand-alone structures, such as a building’s walls, a reinforcement is needed. Metal rods, bars, and netting are encased with concrete to create strength and form.

This is particularly useful in bridges, beams and columns, and ceilings. The pressure used to bond the reinforcer with concrete increases tensile capability while maintaining the concrete’s solidity.

8. Shotcrete Concrete

When it comes to concrete types this one differs in its application. Placed in a hose, the concrete is shot into frames using extreme air pressure.

The force of the projectile concrete automatically sets in place and compacts on impact. This is a quick process for building uniform structures that don’t need much customization.

9. Lightweight Concrete

When lightweight aggregates are used in your mixture they create lightweight concrete as well. The airy aggregate creates a thinner density of 1920 kilograms per metric meter or less.

Light-weight aggregates include perlite, pumice, vermiculite, and scoria. These materials create a very insulating concrete, which has low thermal conductivity.

What is concrete used for when it is considered lightweight? It is used to protect structures from extreme climates, from steel frames to expanded bridge platforms. It is even used for bricks to easily lift and stack for exterior construction.

10. Vacuum Concrete

In this type of concrete, extra water is added to the aggregate and cement technical ratio. The water is sucked out once the concrete is in place to quicken the strengthening process.

Instead of waiting over 28 days for the concrete to dry, the vacuum process does it is 10 hours by slowly removing the water.

During the drying procedure, the concrete’s strength is improved by 25% and the support beams can be removed in under 30 minutes. Reuse the beams for the next set of frames, saving time and money by buying fewer support structures.

11. Pervious Concrete

Innovations in concrete happen all the time, like this type of concrete used to prevent water runoff.

It is made using the same elements of water, cement, and aggregate, however, it eliminates the use of sand. The absence of sand makes it more open for drainage.

Use this type of concrete in driveways to soak up 3-5 gallons of water at a time and limit the use of sewage runoff. Runoff pollutes nearby bodies of water and creates erosion in some areas.

It is also used to prevent hydroplaning by reducing floods on the roadways that don’t get a lot of heavy traffic. It can’t be used on highway or busy streets since the density and tensile are too low for it to support consistent heavy objects.

Using Different Types of Concrete at Home

If you are thinking of doing home improvement then you should know which types of concrete to use. As you can see from this article, not all concrete is the same. Consult a professional to see which method, weight, and aggregate type you should use on your project to ensure it is safe and appropriate.

Visit our Home Improvement section for more tips on DIY projects.

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