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Concrete mix basics
Materials: What goes into
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How to design a concrete
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CONCRETE MIX

Learn why it's important to get the right mix for concrete and what materials go into a good concrete mix
By Bill Palmer, Concrete Network Columnist

When most contractors think about concrete mix


design-if they think about it at all-the rst thing that
comes to mind is "bags" or "sacks." In the old days,
when most concrete was mixed on site, cement was
purchased in bags. A bag is 94 pounds of
cement-about 1 cubic foot. But if you order a 6-sack
mix, all that tells you is how much portland cement is
in the mix. That mix could be completely wrong for
your application and could even be inferior concrete. What slump do you need? What strength? Do you need
entrained air? What happens if the day is particularly cold or hot? What size of aggregate is best? Should
you ask for y ash in the mix?
The right concrete mix ratio can solve problems or it can create them. What you really want in a concrete
mix is one that is easy to place, strong enough to meet the needs of the application, durable for the life of
the oor or wall, and that will look good when you're done with your decorative eorts. Don't rely on bags!
Rather than only specifying how much cement is in the mix we should be specifying things like permeability,
shrinkage, workability, pumpability, stampability, and stainability.
Throughout the following sections, one thing will become very clear: good concrete is good concrete and
decorative concrete needs to be very good concrete. For decorative concrete we are seldom looking for high
strength, so the wise contractor will focus on low permeability and low shrinkage. If you get concrete with
those attributes, it would be rare indeed that you would have to worry about strength.

Special Concrete Mix Designs

Decorative concrete mix


design

Concrete Mix Information

Placing decorative
concrete in cold weather
Hot weather concreting
The correct mix for
concrete driveways

Concrete Mix Design Basics

Concrete Materials

Designing the Right Concrete Mix

Ordering Concrete

Concrete Admixtures

Ready Mixed Concrete Buyer's Guide

Learn how to order the right concrete, in the right quantity, and delivered at
the right time.

Learn about the common types of admixtures for concrete and the
applications for each type to help you control set time.

Here you will nd a buyers guide for ready mixed concrete.

Related Information:

Concrete admixtures: Tips


for using in the concrete mix
Concrete Mix Design in
Southeast Asia

Related Information

Ordering concrete from


ready-mix suppliers
Buyer's guide to
ready-mixed concrete

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02/11/2016 07:23 PM