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Cement Vs. Concrete: What’s The Difference?

Confused about the difference between these two seemingly identical building materials? We get it. They’re both tough-as-nails, grayish in color, and seem like they’re mixed and poured the same way. But make no mistake, there is a difference. Today, we’re breaking down what that difference is.

The first thing to know is that cement is a part of what makes concrete, one ingredient in a whole recipe of sand, gravel, crushed stone, paste, and portland cement. So what does cement do for concrete? Essentially, it hydrates the mixture, and along with water ensures that all of the other ingredients harden and bind together. As it ages, concrete gets even stronger, and cement is mostly to thank for that. Cement offers this benefit because it is comprised of things like limestone and clay, making it a natural binder. That property is put to best use when it’s applied to the making of concrete. Once it’s in the concrete mix, cement helps that concrete age beautifully, like a fine wine.

It’s crucial to understand that cement is never the main substance of a structure on its own, but an aspect of the concrete that is. In fact, it’s cement that makes concrete so flexible and fluid, allowing it to be molded and poured. The fact that it can be shaped makes concrete an incredibly attractive choice for all kinds of super structures, from bridges and skyscrapers to public facilities and underground infrastructures. Concrete wouldn’t be the same without it.