Concrete is a material composed of fine and coarse aggregates joined with a fluid cement (cement paste) that hardens (cures) over time. Types · Reinforced concrete · Concrete (disambiguation) · Precast concrete. Portland cement is the basic ingredient of concrete. Concrete is formed when portland cement creates a paste with water that bonds with sand and rock to harden.
In its simplest form, concrete is a mixture of paste and aggregates, or rocks. The paste, composed of portland cement and water, covers the surface of fine (small) and coarse (larger) aggregates. Through a chemical reaction called hydration, the paste hardens and gains strength to form the rock mass known as concrete. In the 19th century, concrete was mainly used for industrial buildings.
The first widespread use of Portland cement in housing construction was in England and France between 1850 and 1880 by Francois Coignet, who added steel rods to prevent the outer walls from extending.