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Finer Choices for the best Concrete Work

October 22, 2019

You have a project of earthworks, re-grouting, making a screed, patching, mounting a wall in blocks rubble, you have questions about choosing between concrete and mortar to realize your work? What are the specificities of these building materials and how to use them? After these few lines, concrete and mortar will have no secrets for you. Using the right superplasticizer will be a wise decision there.

Above all, it is important to remember that you must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling cement, lime, and adjuvant. These products are irritating to the skin and fine particles released during use may be hazardous to the eyes and the respiratory tract. Bring a pair of gloves, goggles and face masks.

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Concrete: the right choice?

Let’s start with the concrete, it is composed of a mixture of cement or lime, aggregate gravel, chippings, sand and water. The mixture can be completed by additives to modify the concrete properties:

Accelerator: increases the mechanical resistance and reduces the setting time, it is used for concrete in cold weather.

Self-timer: increases the mechanical resistance as well as the setting time, it is used for concreting in hot weather.

Plasticizer and super-plasticizer: they allow improving the viscosity which increases the handling during concrete implementation.

Antifreeze: promotes setting and hardening in very cold weather.

Water repellent: makes the concrete waterproof and resistant to water, sea, industrial, it is used for deep works such as foundations, tanks, rafts.

Concrete is intended for the realization of structures of structural elements such as foundations, walls, slabs, floors. It offers after its hardening period varies according to it is component’s excellent resistance to compression vertical forces. To withstand traction horizontal forces, it is reinforced, that is to say, strengthened by metal reinforcements. At each work, its type of concrete, our technical advisers, specialists in masonry can guide you in the choice of components. Concrete is also used in the manufacture of manufactured products such as blocks, manholes, joists.

Mortar: for finishes

Continuing with the mortar, it is composed of a mixture of cement and lime, sand and water. The mixture can be completed by additives to modify the properties of mortar as for concrete: accelerator, retarder, and plasticizer. The mortar is intended for the realization of works of finishing and fitting elements such as joints, covers and fillings, screeds, coatings. There are three types of mortars which have different properties and uses:

Cement mortar: it is used for the most common works, it is composed of water, sand and cement. The type of cement used will determine the properties of the mortar.

Lime mortar: it is mainly used for facade and finishing plasters, it is composed of water, sand and lime. An adjuvant may be added to obtain the desired color in the context of a facade for example.

Bastard mortar: It allows the realization of an assembly of bricks, the sealing of tiles, shores. It is also used to make decorative coatings. It is composed of water, sand and a mixture of lime and cement.

How to prepare concrete or mortar?

To prepare your mortar or mix your concrete it is essential to choose, according to the work to be done, the type: binder cement and lime, sand different grain sizes and provenances, gravel different grain sizes and provenances and water clear water. Be sure to follow the dosage on the back of your cement or lime bag.