Concrete vs. Cement: What's the Difference?
Concrete and cement...they're the same thing, right? Actually, no! While the two terms are often used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete, just like milk is an ingredient of ice cream. Let's explore this:
Concrete vs. Cement
Cement: "a powdery substance made with calcined lime and clay. It is mixed with water to form mortar or mixed with sand, gravel and water to make concrete."
Concrete: "a heavy, rough building material made from a mixture of broken stone or gravel, sand, cement and water, that can be spread or poured into molds and that forms a mass resembling stone on hardening."
While cement can be used on its own as a construction material, concrete cannot be made without cement. Make sense?
How are concrete and cement used?
Today, concrete is the material of choice for everything from sidewalks to schools and bridges. Builders and amateur handymen use it to construct projects of all kinds — kitchen countertops, walkways and architectural features — because of its strength and longevity.
Cement, by comparison, is more often used in smaller jobs as grout or to repair cracked or crumbling concrete. Because of its tendency to become brittle and crack, using it on a large-scale project like a building would be a massive mistake! Better to not mix up the two.
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