Concrete is considered as a chemically combined mass where the inert material acts as a filler and the binding materials act as a binder. The most important binding materials are cement and lime. Inert materials used in concrete are termed as aggregates. Most common aggregates are sand, brick chips, stone chips, gravel, shells, etc. The concrete plays a very important role in all branches of civil engineering.
Advantages of Concrete
- Ingredients of concrete are easily available in most of the places.
- Unlike natural stones, concrete is free from defects and flaws.
- Concrete can be manufactured to the desired strength with an economy.
- The durability of concrete is very high.
- It can be cast to any desired shape.
- The casting of concrete can be done in the working site which makes it economical.
- The maintenance cost of concrete is almost negligible.
- The deterioration of concrete is not appreciable with age.
- Concrete makes a building fire-safe due to its noncombustible nature.
- Concrete can withstand high temperatures.
- Concrete is resistant to wind and water. Therefore, it is very useful in storm shelters.
- As a soundproofing material cinder concrete could be used.
Disadvantages of Concrete
- Compared to other binding materials, the tensile strength of concrete is relatively low.
- Concrete is less ductile.
- The weight of compared is high compared to its strength.
- Concrete may contains soluble salts. Soluble salts cause efflorescence.