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What is Plain Concrete?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 17, 2024
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The term plain concrete is used to describe any concrete mass used without any strengthening materials. The physical properties of plain concrete are very similar to stone and include the ability to withstand great pressure. Concrete is a combination construction material made of cement, ash, gravel, limestone, and granite. Some types of concrete include sand, chemical mixtures, and water.

Concrete is a material used to build a wide range of structures, ranging from residential homes to bridges. Concrete itself is a solid material that is transported as a gravel mix. The mix is stored in large bags and is sold at both commercial and retail outlets.

Plain concrete is combined with water and then hardens in place after being poured. This process is known as hydration. The cement reacts with the water, creating a new chemical bond between the different materials in the concrete mix. As the water dries, the cement cured into a stone-like material.

Pure concrete is the most commonly used man-made material in the world. The materials required to make plain concrete are taken from a series of mines located around the world. Special equipment and training is required to take the components that make concrete from the mines.

Transporting these materials is very expensive. As a result, most production facilities that create concrete are located next to the mine itself. The amount of water and staff required to create plain concrete are constant challenges for production facilities. There are significant costs associated with the production of this material.

When selecting a supplier for plain concrete, there are three items to compare: quality, price, and delivery terms. There are a small number of firms that produce concrete in the world. Take the time to review the different manufacture firms and their current quality ratings. It is important to think about what type of structure you plan to build with the concrete and review the assurance rating.

The price of plain concrete is tied to supply and demand, as well as commodity trading. People responsible for purchasing large quantities of concrete develop relationships with traders in the industry. There are cycles in any industry, and knowing the ebbs and flows of the supply cycle is critical to purchasing the commodity at the best possible price.

Concrete is a heavy, dense material best stored in dry conditions. Most firms involved in the construction industry do not have large, temperature-controlled storage facilities. Instead, it is standard practice to arrange for just-in-time delivery of the concrete to the site. The price and schedule required to coordinate this delivery are essential parts of the contract.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By wavy58 — On Apr 18, 2012

@shell4life – I have often said that one of the only things that can destroy concrete is concrete itself. I have a bunch of concrete blocks that I use to hold down tarps and for various tasks around the yard, and though they have suffered lots of abuse, they have held up incredibly well.

The only time that one of the concrete blocks got damaged was when another concrete block fell onto its corner from about five feet above. The weight and hardness of it caused the corner to chip off.

I believe the only other time I have seen damaged concrete was when a car rammed into a concrete post in front of a building. A few large chunks fell off the post, but amazingly, it still held up. Just to be on the safe side, the owner of the building had the concrete post repaired, because the building relied on it for support, but I think it would have been fine as it was.

By shell4life — On Apr 18, 2012

I have always been impressed by how strong concrete is. It really takes a lot of force to bust it up.

Out in front of our church, we have several concrete planters full of flowers. They were built to remain in one spot, because no one could move them without the aid of heavy machinery.

Last month, we had a hailstorm that destroyed parts of the church roof. After the storm, I arrived to assess the damage. Though the flowers were beaten down and the planters were full of baseball-sized hail stones, the concrete itself was unharmed.

By seag47 — On Apr 17, 2012

My dad built two shops in our backyard himself, and he had to buy several bags of concrete to use for the floors and steps. I still remember the powdery substance and how we had to avoid touching it after he mixed it with water until it was dry.

My dog didn't know this rule, and she stepped on the wet concrete. The good news is that I have a permanent record of her paw print!

One of the bags of concrete mix got wet when the roof sprung a leak, and when my dad went to lift it the next day, he found that it was way heavier than it should have been. Some of the concrete had solidified inside the bag. It is important to keep it away from any moisture until you are ready to mix it.

By StarJo — On Apr 16, 2012

I have often seen concrete mixer trucks going down the highway. The big drum in the back is constantly spinning to keep the concrete mixture from hardening.

My cousin works for a concrete company, and he told me that they often have to deliver and pour large loads of concrete. The mixing truck helps save them time by having the concrete mixed with water inside the drum and ready to pour when they arrive.

It has a spiral blade inside that is always turning. As long as it is being stirred, the concrete won't solidify.

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