Dry Bulk

Cement and Concrete Are Not the Same Thing

Posted by on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 in Dry Bulk, News

Dry Bulk trailer moving cement down the road

Cement storage pigs are enormous storage silos that bear a resemblance in shape to their mammal counterparts, and are used to store great amounts of cement on a construction site. They are conveniently movable and used in concrete production but never to store concrete, for cement and concrete are not created equal.

Cement is a binder, a powdery substance made with calcined lime and clay. When mixed with water it becomes mortar, and when combined with sand, gravel and water it forms concrete. Humans have been using cement as a binder in construction material for centuries.

There are two kinds of cement: hydraulic and non-hydraulic. Non-hydraulic cement will not set under moist conditions or underwater. Instead, it sets as it dries and reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air. Hydraulic cement, on the other hand, becomes adhesive due to a chemical reaction of the dry ingredients with the water, but it’s not water-soluble, therefore it sets beautifully underwater.

There are references to cement as a construction material as early as ancient Roman times. Ancient Macedonians used hydrated non-hydraulic lime laced with pozzolan, a volcanic ash, to produce a hydraulic mixture, and Roman engineers used powdered brick or pottery (high in activated aluminum silicates) as a substitute in the absence of pozzolanic ash before discovering natural sources near Rome. This ancient cement, mixed with rocks and sand, is what made the concrete used to build the Colosseum, the Baths of Caracalla and many of the antique structures that still stand today.

Cement is the binder needed to mix the concrete necessary to complete your construction needs, and the most practical way to keep that cement available on-site during a big project is to bring a cement pig to the project’s premises. The concrete pig can decorate your front lawn.

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