Concrete vs Cement: What’s The Difference?

The terms “concrete” and “cement” are often used interchangeably. It’s no surprise that people are always getting these two materials mixed up, as they look alike and function similarly. But the truth is that they are very different. For instance, you won’t find very many things created purely from cement. Concrete, on the other hand, is literally everywhere. 


So what exactly are they, and how are they different? Let’s take a closer look at these two sedimentary mixtures.


What is cement?

Cement is a binding agent used to hold building materials together. It is made from calcium and silica-rich materials, such as limestone and clay. In a mixture, cement makes an excellent adhesive, but on its own, it cracks easily.


What is concrete?

Concrete is a durable building material that contains cement as one of its components. Concrete is a mixture of four primary components: cement, sand, stone and water. Cement acts as the “glue” that holds the mixture together.


Qualities of good concrete

One thing to note is that using less water makes stronger concrete. But good concrete goes beyond just the amount of water used. For the concrete to be useful, it needs to be soft and workable enough so that it can be consolidated properly


One other sign of good quality concrete is that it is resistant to freezing and thawing. It must also be resistant to wear and very strong. 


Features and differences

Concrete is usually the star of the show when doing construction projects. Here are a few characteristics of concrete:


  1. It is more durable

Concrete is far more durable than pure cement. In fact, concrete structures can last for hundreds of years, but cement is less durable.


  1. Better for large projects

Larger projects like building structures and residencies are done with more durable concrete mixtures. Concrete mixture is known as the most durable and long-lasting substance known to man.


  1. There are different types of concrete

There are many different forms of concrete out there. You can choose the best one for your project by doing proper research to determine which type your project will need.

And there you have it. The main difference between concrete and cement and what you should look for when purchasing. For even more in-depth knowledge, be sure to check out our Pervious Concrete training.