June 13, 2022

Michael Bailey

What are the different types of concrete that exist today?

First of all, yes, there are different types of concrete. And each type is ideally suited for certain construction projects.

For example, standard concrete is cheap but not that strong. It’s strong enough to use in sidewalks, though.

Stronger types of concrete, like fiber-reinforced or prestressed concrete, are used to support heavier loads. And did you know that the asphalt used for paving roads is a type of concrete, too?

If you’re trying to choose the best concrete for your needs, this guide has the vital information you need. Go through this checklist to discover more about the various types of concrete.

1. Standard Concrete

Concrete is a mixture of cement and aggregate. The cement is like a glue that holds the mixture together and hardens. And the aggregate is particulate matter like pebbles and sand that strengthen the concrete mixture once it dries.

Plain concrete is cheap and generally sturdy. It’s good for paving driveways and sidewalks.

2. Lightweight Concrete

Lightweight concrete is a low-density concrete made with lightweight aggregates like pumice. This concrete is not good for supporting weight.

But its thermal insulating properties make it great for other uses, like protecting steel structures. You can learn more about the ideal applications of lightweight concrete at https://www.specifyconcrete.org/.

3. Heavyweight Concrete

Conversely, heavyweight concrete uses heavy aggregates, namely large pieces of crushed rocks. This high-density concrete is commonly used in nuclear power plants to block harmful radiation.

4. Reinforced Concrete

While plain concrete is strong against compressive forces, it’s weak against tensile forces. In other words, it supports a lot of weight while it lays flat on the ground. But if you balance a concrete tile on two metal posts with space underneath, a small amount of weight will break it.

Thus, you can’t make a bridge out of concrete without some kind of reinforcement. Reinforced concrete has metal bars, cables, or mesh inside it to enhance its tensile strength.

5. Prestressed Concrete

Prestressed concrete is a special type of reinforced concrete. Compressive and tensile stresses are applied during and after the hardening of this concrete. This makes it extra-strong against any type of force.

6. Precast Concrete

Not all concrete has to be laid and hardened on-site. For some applications, you can use precast concrete that’s prepared offsite at a third-party facility.

7. Air-Entrained Concrete

Air-entrained concrete is great for outdoor areas that have a lot of wet/freezing weather. You may already know that concrete is porous and absorbs moisture. When this moisture freezes and expands, it can crack the concrete.

Air-entrained concrete is mixed with foaming agents so that it hardens with tiny air bubbles trapped inside. These air bubbles allow trapped moisture to expand without cracking the concrete.

Types of Concrete

So, what’s the best concrete type for your next project? Whatever it is, it’s most likely on this list. Keep this guide bookmarked in case you need to compare these types of concrete for a future project.

Next, discover 5 questions to ask your residential exterminator or learn how to protect your home from scorpions. Find these posts and other great content on our Lifestyle blog.