The concrete ratio varies on the strength you want to attain, but as a general rule, a basic concrete mix would be 1 part cement to 2 parts sand to 4 parts aggregates. A foundation mix of one part cement, three parts sand, and six parts aggregates can be employed. The choice between a basic and a foundation mix will depend on how much weight you want to save by using less-expensive materials or whether you plan to use an internal reinforcement bar.
The quality of the aggregate affects the strength of the finished product. Fine-grained sands are used for foundations while coarser sands are preferred for other applications where better flow is necessary. Sand with large rocks in it is not recommended because they will reduce the overall volume of the mix and lead to a weak concrete job. Also, avoid using gravel from beaches because of the salt it will add to the concrete.
Cement is the main ingredient in concrete. High-quality portland cement is the standard for most concrete structures. It comes in two forms: ordinary (Type I) and accelerated (Type II). Ordinary cement sets slowly, but accelerated cements set faster. This allows you to make larger structures with higher-quality materials than otherwise possible. However, accelerated cements do cost more than ordinary cements.
Sand is the second most important ingredient in concrete.
Half of the cement, sand, and aggregates (for a concrete mix alone) should be measured. Using half of the mixture now will keep it from drying out before you get a chance to use the rest. You may combine the remaining half afterwards. If using cement, add it while stirring.
Mortar is the same as concrete with the addition of water. The more water there is, the faster it will set up. However, if it gets too wet, it will not hold its shape well. Dry mortar has a higher heat content than damp mortar, so it can cause moisture in the air to evaporate more quickly, which could lead to mold growing inside your house.
If the mortar is going into a wall, then you should use damp mortar. This will make it easier to work with and not crack when it dries out. Otherwise, use dry mortar because it holds its shape better and doesn't grow mold like damp mortar would.
The best way to make sure that your mortar is dry is to put it in a warm, dry place for several weeks or months first. Then, when it's time to use it, pour enough water into a bucket to fill it halfway. Set the bucket next to the mortar and let it soak for about 30 minutes. After this time, drain the water and see how dry the mortar is.
This concrete mixture ratio of 1 part cement, 1 part sand, and 3 parts aggregate yields a concrete mix with a compressive strength of 2500 to 3000 psi. When water is mixed with the cement, sand, and aggregate, it forms a paste that binds the ingredients together until the mixture hardens. The amount of water required depends on the type of cement used. For example, if sodium hydroxide is added to portland cement, more water is needed than if calcium chloride is used as a water-reducing agent.
Concrete is made up of two main components: water and cement. Concrete can be any color; however, it must contain a sufficient amount of pigment to make the finished product opaque. The three most common colors are white, black, and red. White concretes are made by adding air-entraining agents such as silica flour or talc to increase plasticity and reduce setting time. Black concretes use carbonates or oxides of iron to give them their dark color. Red concretes are made by adding carotene-based substances to the mixing process. These materials produce concretes with enhanced resistance to heat and chemicals.
Cement is the key ingredient in concrete because it provides it with its rigidity. There are two types of cement used in concrete: ordinary portland cement and rapid-set cement.