Concrete or mortar: definition components dosage and manufacturing

The durability of any construction depends on the quality of the materials used, but it also depends on the craftsmanship. When it comes to solid construction, cement is the main ingredient.

Most mortar or concrete, the composition differs, the wrong dosage can harm the entire erected structure. Before determining the ideal composition and the steps to follow, let’s first recall the difference between mortar and concrete.

Difference Between Mortar and Concrete

A wall is made of either brick or stone. To hold them in place, to connect them, you need a glue. It is the mortar that plays this linking role between the different parts. Without the mortar, you’ll just have a sandcastle that will crumble at the first jolt. The mortar is also used to plaster the wall, so that the bricks and stones do not remain bare in order to bind them even more.

Concrete, on the other hand, is used to erect a solid structure that will support a weight, such as a beam, a post, a crosspiece, constituting the skeleton of a construction. If the mortar is mainly made of cement and sand, gravel is added to the concrete to perfect the resistance. Finally, the main difference between concrete and mortar is the presence of this gravel. In some cases, steel reinforcement is added to erect the posts and beams to obtain reinforced concrete.

The components of mortar or concrete

To make concrete and mortar, you need cement. There are different types of cement and different standards adapted to each work, to each environment. The most common standards are represented by the acronyms CEM, I, II, III. So take care to take the cement that will be adapted by reading the information on the bag. Otherwise, you can ask the specialized salesperson of the department before choosing. Sand is the next ingredient for making mortar or concrete. The best is to take fine sand, especially for the mortar used as a coating. The rendering will be smoother and without breakage. Last common ingredient, water. It will allow you to have a sandy paste that is easy to work and pour.

For concrete only, you will need gravel. Gravel is usually made up of small stones called chippings, but it can also be made up of other synthetic aggregates. The important thing is that they are solid materials capable of forming a whole when the mixture solidifies. For reinforced concrete, a steel structure will provide the necessary strength and flexibility.

What dosage of water, cement and sand?

To achieve the correct dosage of mortar, use the formula 1, 3, 1/3. For one dose of cement, add three doses of sand sprinkled with 1/3 water. For more precision, mix 1m3 of cement with 3m3 of sand and 0.33m3 of water. You can of course do the calculation for a smaller quantity. Start by mixing the cement and sand in a tub or bucket, turning them several times until the mixture is perfectly homogeneous. Make a crater and pour the water into it, leaving 1/3 aside. Cover the water with the cement-sand mixture and mix vigorously. Add the remaining water gradually until you obtain a very muddy paste. Your mortar is ready.

To make concrete, if you don’t need a large quantity, work on the ground with a shovel. Arrange all the ingredients according to the formula 1, 2, 3, ½; double the cement for sand, 3 times for gravel, and ½ water. After having mixed the first 3 materials, proceed by crater as with the mortar and add the water. Mix vigorously while adding water little by little to obtain the necessary paste. You are ready to pour your concrete.

Manufacturing steps with a cement mixer

When you are planning large-scale works, a whole house to be concreted and erected, all the walls to be plastered, it is better to use a concrete mixer. You will get the desired quantity without tiring your arms turning over 3m3 of cement and stone. The dough will also be more homogeneous and more compact. Here is a few steps how you should proceed.

Put your cement mixer on a flat surface, so that it is stable. Preferably work on a clean surface. Also clear the bottom of the cement mixer of any residue and debris that may be there. This will guarantee the quality of the concrete you will have. If necessary, clean it with a jet of water.

When you’re ready, start the mixer and tilt it 30° back, so you can work on the bottom. Operate the concrete mixer with the steering wheel. Then pour 2/3 of the water provided into the tank while it is rotating. Then add the sand and gravel you need. Remember the previously prescribed dosage. Wait 30 seconds for everything to mix well.

Add the cement to the tank, taking care to distribute it throughout the mixture. When adding the remaining water, be careful not to drown the paste and ruin your concrete. It should have a sticky consistency. You can now stop the mixer since the preparation is ready. Allow 3 minutes for this whole process. To collect the concrete, tip the mixer forward with the steering wheel.

That’s all you need to know about mortar and concrete. By following the steps outlined above, you shouldn’t miss your composition. When buying materials, do not hesitate to seek advice from the supplier to choose the best products and above all the most suitable.

You can mix by hand if you only plan to do small jobs, or mix with a cement mixer for larger pours. Just be aware that in order for your cement mixer to provide you with the best consistency every time, before storing it, you must clean it thoroughly after each use.

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