Since the day man discovered the marvels that he can build by using the proper composition of ingredients, concrete has always remained one of the most important of those constituents. The ancestor of the modern day concrete was based on dried mud, straw and other such materials that were chosen by individual civilizations to strengthen their respective architecture. Modern day concrete comprises of two components, namely paste and aggregates.
The component of “Paste” is made out of mixing water and Portland cement. Portland cement was patented in 1824 when Joseph Aspdin from England created it. It is referred to as Portland Cement since the color of the cement resembles that of the natural limestone that is quarried on an English Channel peninsula, namely Portland. The fundamental purpose of the “Paste” is to ensure that the elements of the aggregate are powerfully bound together to ensure a strong yield of concrete.
The Aggregate is the constituent of the concrete that is used to give the concrete its strength. While the paste serves to bind and hold the whole product together, the aggregate serves to give the concrete strength and make it more flexible to increased amounts of stress. Depending upon the nature of building, a builder can choose between varieties of aggregates. Desired levels of reinforcement can be obtained by the concrete by adding the right amount and the right type or aggregate to a concrete mix. Sand, crushed stone, slag and even recycled concrete is used as an aggregate.
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