19 June 2024

Concrete: how to choose the right grade according to the project

Whether it is building a terrace or setting a sealing coat of concrete, it is important to have a precise idea of your project’s needs in concrete before starting construction. Premix has some suggestions you could follow.

What dosage of cement and aggregates is required to produce fresh concrete? Would it be recommended to make the concrete by yourself or to use the services of a concrete plant? What quantity of cement is needed to prepare concrete for your project? So many questions beg to be answered with precise accuracy before beginning the task.

Components required to prepare concrete

Firstly, it is important to remember the composition of concrete. It is a precise mixture of cement, aggregates such as rocksand and basalt gravel, water and eventually other additives.

Blended with water, the cement acts like a binder ensuring that all the materials present in the concrete are well-combined. The exact dosage is the most important criteria as it influences how resistant and workable the concrete will be, as well as its rheological properties. That explains why concrete grades are commonly-formulated in kilos of cement integrated in the concrete: we often speak of concrete dosed at 250, 300, 350 or 400 kg/m3.

Additionally, gravel and sand are then respectively used to structure the concrete and to fill in the gaps of the mixture, and are available in a range of colours depending on their country of origin.

Finally, the admixture is a product that is incorporated in the mixture of concrete at small dosage during mixing, and that will then modify its properties. The exact dosage of each of these ingredients will help in modifying the resistance and the fluidity of the mixture so as to adapt it to the specific task to be completed.

Production of concrete in a concrete mixer or in the concrete plant: what is the better option?

Depending on the means and the specific circumstances, it is possible to manufacture the concrete in an artisanal manner in a concrete mixer, or to use the services of a concrete plant.

Manual production of concrete is more approximate and leads to a product that is less homogenous. Since each person has their own notion of dosage, each shovel will vary in volume, as a result, producing concrete that is not standardised.

For concrete produced in a plant, the dosages are automated using machines to ensure the quality and the accuracy of the quantities, precise to the millimetre. This guarantees the production of a mixture that is perfectly homogenous that adheres to the needs of each site. At Premix, needless to say, we prefer this option. All of our raw materials conform to British or European standards to ensure the quality of our mixes, and quality control tests are conducted daily in our laboratory to guarantee each step of the production process.

To each (project), their own (concrete)

Whether you plan to build a concrete slab floor, a terrace or a foundation wall, the concrete you choose has to be adapted to your specific need. Below are some examples to further guide you along the way:

  • For blinding concrete: concrete grade 15

It is a thin concrete that does not have any structural purpose, but rather, is used as base preparation and provides a smooth and level base for a seamless surface to pour concrete on and to protect the reinforcements that chairs upon it.

  • For common tasks: between 25 and 35 grade concrete

It is mainly used for common tasks such as beams, columns, slabs, terraces or any other task that requires reinforced concrete.

  • For pavement slabs : grade 25 concrete

This grade concrete is apt for projects that require lighter loads, such as terraces.

  • For screeding: between 30 and 35 grade concrete

Screeding is the process of providing a smooth and level surface before laying floor finishes, and requires a very resilient concrete. The concrete has to be finer and smoother for a surface that needs to be both aesthetic and resistant.

Use our material calculator before taking the plunge

Bring your project to life with our materials calculator that will help you get a better estimate of the costs of your concrete needs.

Any query? Contact our team right away and we would be happy to guide you along the way

Vous êtes convaincu ? Alors contactez notre équipe pour découvrir nos solutions sur mesure et notre accompagnement sur votre chantier, ou découvrez notre calculateur de matériaux pour évaluer vos besoins en béton.

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