What is Ready Mix Concrete?
In its basic form ready mix concrete is a mixture of sand, stone, gravel, cement and water. The cement (a dry fine powder) is combined with water to form a paste, which is then mixed with fine and coarse aggregates (sand, gravel, and stone respectively) to form a solid material when cured. The sand acts as a filler between the larger pieces of stone in ready mix concrete. The paste, which is made of water and cement is the foundation or basis of the strength of the concrete. The paste is quantified by the water to cement ratio. The lower the water cement ratio the stronger the concrete mix. Simply put, water is both a friend and enemy to ready mix concrete. Water is needed to form the paste that binds to the sand and stone, but too much will break down the concrete mix and weaken its strength. Just enough water should be used to make the concrete workable. There can be other cementitious ingredients added to concrete such as fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag and silica fume in addition to a range of admixtures that can be used to enhance and change the properties of ready mix concrete.
Many people confuse the terms concrete and cement. Cement is the dry powdery material used to make concrete. The cement and concrete used in today’s construction is similar to that used by the ancient Romans. Cement from the Latin term caementum, meaning rough-cut stone, is made by heating crushed limestone and clay from shale in a kiln. This process forms a huge mass called a clinker, which is then ground into a powder becoming cement. Click Here to see how cement is made
There are various types of concrete mixes that can be designed based on specific job applications. Concrete mix designs can produce strengths in excess of 12,000 psi (pounds per square inch) for high rise applications to mixes with as little as 50 psi flowable-fill, which can be used as back fill and easily dug up and removed by the contractor later.
Ready mix concrete mixes are referred to in terms of psi (pounds per square inch). The most common residential mixes are as follows:
- 3000 psi
- 3500 psi
- 4000 psi
Special conditions and situations occur on almost every project. A pour in extremely hot or cold weather will require a mix with an extraordinarily high slump (consistency). Essex Concrete dispatchers and sales team are always available to assist you in your mix selection to insure the best possible results.
Essex Concrete provides a full range of ready mix concrete, from average residential use to heavy duty commercial use, to special mixes such as those required by VDOT.
We also provide additional products to enhance style, strengthen or retard and quicken the hardening process such as:
- Fiber Reinforcement
- Accelerators – Chloride & Non Chloride
- **Special additives upon request**
To answer all your questions and help you with your concrete needs, call our Sales Team:
Stanley Langford (804) 445-5341 – Doswell to Fredericksburg Area
Todd Vanlandingham (804) 836-3872 – Richmond, Essex and Northern Neck Areas
To order your ready mix concrete now, call our dispatchers at:
1-800-CONCRETE (1-800-266-2738) or 804-443-8218. Our team of dispatchers will work with you to make sure you get the proper concrete design mix, in the appropriate quantity for your project.
For your custom concrete needs, please call the salesman for your area to discuss your unique requirements.