What is the lime in concrete?

Lime, in concrete? 

If you are aware of concrete construction, you might be aware of the use of lime in concrete. And you might be asking, why add lime to concrete?  

Well, lime has been used as a construction material since 4000 B.C. It was used extensivly by the Romans and even by the Egyptians for plastering the pyramids! So, why does lime mix with concrete so well? 

What is the lime in concrete?  

Lime in concrete has more beneficial properties than straight concrete mortar. It is these qualities which make it a superior choice due to its ability to withstand extensive weathering.  

Believe it or not, the lime in cement is what allows the cement to remain strong. It has been one of the binding elements of concrete that has made it the most reliable building material. In fact, besides water, concrete is the most widely used substance on Earth.  

But back to lime. Lime is a versatile material which isn’t just used in cement construction. Hydrated lime is used in various construction, environmental, industrial and chemical applications.  

In construction, lime in concrete is used to stabilise roads, airfields, building foundations and dams. Even more than the use of lime in cement, it is used the most in steel manufacturing to reduce the impurities in the steel matter.  

Why do we use lime with cement? 

Lime in concrete works to reseal any cracks that form in the mortar due to building movement. Lime based mortar is flexible and less brittle than other mortars, which means the softer bricks are less likely to break. Due to this softness, it also means it can easily be removed with less damage.  

Our mix of cement incorporates sand to give the strongest foundation possible. With lime based mortar, it helps the two combined elements to remain strong and work effectively in conjunction. This strength allows the concrete to stand the test of time against either harsh elements, whether it is the freezing cold or extremely hot.  

Lime based mortar is also more breathable! When there are damp conditions around a structure, there is a possibility for moisture to get into the walls. In a worst-case scenario, this could lead to mould inside your walls. When lime is in concrete, it is breathable, allowing the water to escape quickly and easily. Lime in concrete aids its water resistance, which stops the concrete structure from crumbling. 

If it is good enough for some of our world’s most ancient structures, it is good enough for us. We hope you’ve learnt why we use lime in our cement mix! 

Cement vs. Concrete: What’s the difference?

The terms concrete and cement are often confused for each other, as many think concrete and cement are the same. It is easy to interchange the meaning, as many do not know that one is essential for the other to exist. So the difference between cement and concrete is that cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is a mixture of aggregates (sand, gravel, crushed stone) and a paste, which is made of water and cement. So now we know the difference, let’s break down the details of cement vs. concrete.

The basics of cement

The generic term for cement is Portland cement, similar to how steel is commonly referred to as stainless steel. Cement is the binding agent used to create concrete, and usually makes up about 10 to 15 per cent of the mixture by volume. The cement is mixed with water, and they react and harden, thus binding the ingredients to create the hard mass that is concrete. The water/cement ratio differs for each project. Head over to our website to use our concrete calculator to estimate the volume and weight of concrete necessary to cover your project area. https://www.midlandminicrete.com.au/services-list/concrete-calculator/

There are many different types of cement that all have other uses. Some of these are:
⦁ General Purpose (GP): for general use in all types of building and construction.
⦁ General Purpose Blend (GB): for general use in all types of building and construction. Early strength gain rates may be lower than GP. Curing may be more critical. 
⦁ High Early Strength (HE): a critical requirement for cold weather environments and in repairs.  
⦁ Low Heat (LH): used for moderate resistance to forms of a chemical attack. 

The basics of concrete

Concrete is a composite material made up of a mixture of cement and fine aggregates. These aggregates range from sand, gravel, crushed up stone, all coarse in texture. The mixture will harden or cure over time to create the hard concrete we all know. Concrete is one of the most frequently used building materials and can be used for a range of projects like roads and footpaths. 

There are a few different types of concrete, and these vary depending on multiple factors. Formulas can differ depending on the binders and types of aggregates used. These determine strength, density, chemical resistance and thermal resistance of the concrete. The three basic categories are lime concrete, cement concrete and reinforced cement concrete. From there, the variants stem out into how ‘ready-to-use’ they are. 

What is the history of cement and concrete?

The Babylonians and Ancient Egyptians were the first to use concrete when they mixed ingredients like clay, lime, gypsum and water to create concrete or mortar. This mixture was used to build many artifacts still standing today like the Great Pyramid. The Romans created their own strong cement when they mixed lime with volcanic sand, then added water to produce cement. They then combined this with aggregates like pumice to make lime concrete for the creation of harbours and buildings, like the Colosseum. In 1882, Australians produced Portland cement in South Australia. Today, the ready-mix concrete and cement industry is the largest area of the concrete market and is expected to pass $600 billion in revenue by 2025. 

How to use cement and concrete today

Concrete is the most used human-made material because of its versatility and reliability. It is durable, cost-effective, and sustainable. We want to use products that will last a lifetime and leave us confident that our structure will hold up against the elements. There is a range of ways cement and concrete are used in our world today. At home, you could create a concrete slab for your desired building project, or maybe a concrete patio? By using a ready-mix concrete mixture, you could DIY your concrete planter box, or to secure some fencing or posts. 

If you are ready for your next project or need advice on what to consider when ordering or choosing your concrete mix, give us a call on (08) 9250 2322 or head over to our website for more information. Let’ get mixing. https://www.midlandminicrete.com.au 

How long does ready mix concrete take to set

We have been Perth’s leading Concrete suppliers since 1991. We believe in affordable, fast and accurate concrete delivery and supplies to anyone in Perth, WA. Our ready-mix concrete and cement delivery services are premium, and our employees have experience dealing with any curveball that the job might throw at you.

Our concrete deliveries in Perth are some of the best! Recently they have noticed a lot of customers asking ‘how long does ready mix Concrete take to set?’. Firstly, It’s essential to understand what Concrete is and how to apply it, so you fully understand it’s setting time.

What is Concrete?

Concrete and cement are not the same. Cement is just one part of premix ready-mix Concrete. Ready-mix concrete is made up of these three components: aggregate rick, water and portland cement. When our customers buy cement, they usually buy it in powder form, so it then becomes a binding agent when mixed with other components like rock, sand or gravel. This cement and ready-mix concrete in Australia is then used to pour over a surface which then hardens. 

How long does ready-mix Concrete take to set?

The short answer is that ready-mix Concrete takes 28 days to set completely. This is the typical time for any premium or industry-standard ready-mix Concrete. However, after 7 days of sitting the premix ready-mix Concrete will have dried up to 70%. If you are putting Concrete in a home area like in your garden, it will usually set after 24-48 hours. But always be cautious when putting any substantial weight on freshly laid Concrete.  If you want to discuss more about how long it takes ready-mix Concrete to set or if you wish to order ready mix concrete then call us on (08) 9250 2322.