Although both terms are often used interchangeably, ready mix cement and ready mix concrete are not technically the same thing - cement being an ingredient in concrete.
We frequently find ourselves asked by clients for a batch of ‘ready mix cement’, when in fact they intended to request a batch of ready mix concrete instead. We are used to both terms being used and are unlikely to be confused by such a request, however, we are more than happy to clear up the confusion whenever it may occur.
How are cement and concrete different?
Simply put, cement is a basic ingredient in the finished product that is ready mix concrete and acts as a binding agent. In order to turn cement into a binding agent, you mix it with water to form a paste, which then acts to hold the aggregates together as the concrete sets.
Working out the correct water-cement ratio of a concrete mix is one of the most important steps in creating ready mix concrete, as this will determine the overall workability and strength of the finished concrete. Adding more water means that the concrete mix becomes easier to work but weaker overall, whilst adding too little water makes the concrete more difficult to work with.
Can I mix ready mix concrete myself?
Whilst hand mixing is possible, achieving the correct water-cement equilibrium can be a big challenge when mixing concrete, which is why so many people choose to employ experienced concrete contractors such as ourselves to do the hard work for them; it’s usually not worth risking a less effective concrete slab by attempting the complex task of mixing concrete yourself.
Working alongside a professional ready mix concrete supplier means that you are guaranteed to receive a batch of concrete that is tailor made to suit your specific requirements, with the correct water-cement ratio and any required additives.