What is concrete? Eleven different types of concrete

Articles > What is concrete? Eleven different types of concrete

Types of Concrete:

Types of Concrete:

Concrete is a constructive material, which is made up of aggregate and the binding material. The aggregate along with the binding material (cement), gives two types of stresses/ strengths, the compressive and the tensile strength. The compressive strength prevents the concrete from deformation caused by compression of the structure, while the tensile strength prevents the concrete from deformation caused by breaking or expansion. The compressive strength of the concrete totally depends on the aggregate and the binding material used in it, while the tensile strength partially depends on the aggregate and binder, and partially on the reinforced material (steel, fiber, and other metallic cables). There are several types of concrete based on its composition, detail of which is as under;

  1. Plain/ Ordinary Concrete:

This is very common and ordinary type of concrete. It is prepared from cement, sand, aggregate, and water at a ration of 1:2:4. Ordinary cement like OPC, and PPC are largely used in this types of concrete. This type of concrete is successful in laying floors, paving roofs, and other plain surfaces. It has equal compressive strength to that of other types of the concretes, but its tensile strength is lower than those in which reinforcing material like steel, iron, metal, and cable are used.

  1. Cellular Concrete:

Cellular concrete is a light weight concrete. The concrete is less viscous. Its flow-ability allows it to reach to corners of the form, and get leveled itself. It is usually used to construct the floor slab, window panels, and the roofs. In this type of concrete the aggregate of lighter rock like pumice, scoria, shale, and clay are used.

  1. Reinforced Concrete:

Any type of concrete would be known as the reinforced concrete, if the reinforcing material like steel bars, cable, mesh, and fibers are used to obtain high tensile strength. This type of concrete is used bear heavy loads, and burdens.

  1. High Density Concrete:

The crushed rocks are used as the coarse aggregate in this type of concrete. The density and weight of this type of concrete is greater than other concretes. The compressive strength of this concrete is obtained from the aggregate of crushed stone, which is invincible, while the tensile strength of the concrete is obtained by means of steel bars. This type of concrete is used in manufacturing of the structure of which are meant to bear heavy load and burden. Their own dead weight is also very high. The beams and the bridges decks and abutments are constructed with high density concrete.


  1. Polymer Concrete:

Polymer concrete is a type of concrete in which the polymeric materials like Furan Resins, Acrylics and Styrene-Acrylics, Vinyl Acetate-Ethylene (VAE), Urea Formaldehyde Resin, Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA), Epoxy Resins, Methyl Methacrylate MMA, Styrene and Polyester Styrene, Methanol Resin, Styrene-Butadiene Resin (SBR), Poly Urethane Resins (PUR), etc are used as binding material instead of cement. Read more about Polymeric Concrete.

  1. Glass Reinforced Concrete:

The concrete is composed of high strength, and alkali resistant glass fibers embedded in concrete matrix. The fibers create the tensile strength in the structure, while concrete matrix gives a compressive strength.

  1. Smart Concrete:

A small quantity of carbon fiber is added to the ordinary concrete mixture in order to modify an electrical resistance in response to strains or stress. This helps to identify the potential problems with the concrete before its failure.

  1. Precast Concrete:

Precast Concrete means the construction of concrete structure completely prepared offsite. The desired structure is prepared, cast, and cured off-site, usually in a controlled factory environment in reusable molds. Precast concrete elements can be joined to other elements to form a complete structure. They are typically used for structural components such as; wall panels, beams, columns, floors, staircases, pipes, tunnels, and so on.

  1. Prestressed Concrete:

Prestressed concrete is a structural material that allows for predetermined, engineering stresses to be placed in members to counteract the stresses that will occur when they are subject to loading. It combines the high strength compressive properties of concrete with the high tensile strength of steel. In reinforced concrete, stresses are carried by the steel reinforcement, whereas prestressed concrete supports the load by induced stresses throughout the entire structural element.

It is now commonly used for floor beams, piles, and railways sleepers, as well as structures such as bridges, water tanks, roofs, and runways.

  1. Air-Entrained Concrete:

This is a form of plain concrete that contains microscopic air bubbles that range in size from a few thousandths of an inch in diameter to a few hundredths, and typically constitute between 4 and 7% of the total volume of the concrete.

The air bubbles create chambers for water to expand into when it freezes, thereby relieving internal pressure on the concrete. It is manufactured by introducing air-entraining agents as the concrete is mixed, or by using air-entraining Portland cement.

  1. Self Compacting Concrete:

Self-consolidating concrete or self-compacting concrete is a concrete mix, which has low yield stress, high deformability, good segregation resistance, and moderate viscosity.

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