Top 10 categories of Concrete used in Construction Projects

In this civil engineering article, we will give a detailed explanation about the usage of Concrete and its different types used in Construction Projects.

Difference Between Cement and Concrete

The terms cement and Concrete always go hand in hand,but one must keep in mind that cement is one of the components in Concrete whereas Concrete consists of three main ingredients:

  • Water
  • Aggregate[Mixture of sand, rock, and gravel]
  • Portland Cement

Functionalitites of Concrete

Concrete Posses high strength and unit weight, so it is mostly used in the construction of Dams.

The main structural foundations of any buildings, villas as well as modern high rise apartments are done with Concrete.

Concrete also helps in the foundation of Commercial building. Since concrete is more economic than steel and it has less maintenance so it frequently used in Commercial projects.

The long-lasting characteristics of concrete and it’s low maintenance always make it the first choice while constructing the highways and the roadways.

Top 10 varieties of Concrete

In this section, we are going to have a detailed discussion about the different varieties of concrete

Normal Concrete

Normal concrete are those concrete in which the normal components are used like water, aggregates, and cement. It is also known as normal weight concrete and normal strength concrete.

The setting time of Normal concrete are between 30 -90 minutes depending on the moisture of the atmosphere and the durability of cement.

High Strength Concrete

High strength concrete can be defined as concrete with a cube strength between 60 and 60 and 100 N/mm2. High Strength cement are mainly used in crafting columns for tall buildings, different types of bridges, and highway structures. The water-cement ratio for producing high strength cement should be in the range of 0.30 to 0.35.

High Performance Concrete

High performance concrete can be defined as a concrete mixture which has high strength and high durability. High performance concrete are produced by high quality ingredients These kind of concrete has a low water cementing materials . The ratio ranges from 0.20 to 0.45.Mainly these type of concrete are used in building bridges,tunnels and tall building.

High performance concrete VS High strength Concrete

High Strength Concrete

High Performance Concrete

High strength concrete are those concrete who has a high durability and compressive strength

High performance concrete not only have strength but other components as well

Air entrained is not present in High strength concrete

High performance concrete can be used in exterior part of the building, it must be air entrained

This resistant characteristics is absent in high strength concrete

It is more resistant to freeze thaw in cold climates

Air entrained Concrete

Air entrained Concrete consists billions of microscopic air cells. These air cells relieves internal pressure on the concrete by creating small chambers for water to expand when it freezes. The primary advantage of Air entrained concrete is offers resistance to free thaw damage and scaling caused by de-icing salts or chemicals.

Reinforced Cement Concrete

Concretes consists of structural concrete reinforced with steel is called Reinforced Cement Concrete. Two types of steel bars are infused with the concrete 1) Mild Steel bar

2)High yield strength steel

The steel bars compensate the concrete’s incapability for tensile resistance, effectively taking up all the tension, acting monolithically with concrete. So, when concrete and steel bars combine to act against forces result in good strength.


Shotcrete is a mixture of cement and aggregates carried by compressed air to the nozzle of a spray gun where water is added.The mixture is then sprayed in placeor curved immediately. The shotcrete requires less form work and is more pocketfriendly than conventional concretes.Since it can be moulded to any shape any colours and can be sculpted as well so it is used for fancy concrete structure like canopy roofs ,zoo enclosures, artificial rock walls.

Pervious concrete

Pervious Concrete is also known as porous concrete. It posses high porosity used for flat work application that allows water to pass directly.

It comprises of cement water and course aggregate,chemical admixtures and little to no sand.Pervious concrete are mainly used in parking areas,pedastrian walkways,residential pathways and streets and of course in green houses. The main utilization of these type of concrete is in Storm water management.

Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Fibre Reinforced Concrete is a type of concrete which consist of fibrous material that enhances its structural integrity. It consists of cement, concrete and uniformly dispersed suitable fibres which are used to control cracks due to drying shrinkage or plastic shrinkage. The fibres include steel fibres , plastic fibres, synthetic fibres and natural fibres. Some of the advantages of Fibre Reinforced concrete is mentioned below

  • These type of concrete improves the impact strength of concrete
  • It leads to a greater strain capacity of the composite material
  • Since fibres are added to the concrete , thus it improves the freeze thaw resistance and enhances its attractiveness for a longer period.
  • It increases resistances to explosive sprawling
  • It minimizes steel reinforcement requirements

Light weight concrete

Concretes whose density are lower than normal concrete i.e (2200 kg/m3 or 140 lb/ft3 ) is known as light weight concrete. It has an expanding agent in it to increase the volume of the mixture. Lightweight concretes can either be lightweight aggregate concrete, foamed concrete or autoclaved aerated concrete.

The main advantages of lightweight concrete are specified below:

  • Reduction in dead loads making savings in foundations and reinforcement.
  • Improved thermal properties.
  • Improved fire resistance.
  • Savings in transporting and handling precast units on site.
  • Reduction in formwork and propping.

The lighter the concrete, the greater are the differences to be accounted for in the properties of the concrete. The tensile strength, ultimate strains and shear strengths are all lower than a normal weight concrete with the same cylinder strength. Lightweight concretes are also less stiff than the equivalent normal strength concrete. However, this is mitigated by the reduction in self-weight to be carried, so the overall effect tends to be a slight reduction in the depth of a beam or slab.

Self-cleaning concrete

The other name of Self cleaning concrete is photocatalytic concrete . It mainly used in Japan and parts of Europe. Titanium Dioxide is added to the fresh concrete mix. When it is under the sun Titanium Dioxide activates thus resulting to hardening of the concrete.The activation changes titanium dioxide’s electric charge, causing a repelling effect between the concrete and the dirt and pollutants on the concrete surface.

 In Japan, photo catalysts have been popular to remove odours and improve indoor air quality, neutralising VOCs from photocopier toner dust and cleaning chemicals. The white colour of photo catalytic concrete also reflects much of the heat from the sun, reducing heat gain, keeping urban areas cooler and reducing air conditioning use.

Final Thoughts.

Thus we have seen the various types of concretes and its usage in construction. Wherever you will find an infrastructure concrete is present in that very spot. From the Romans we came to know about the secrets of concrete. After few centuries concrete has undergone a rapid development and in today’s time we are using the most advanced form of concrete.

Top 10 categories of Concrete used in Construction Projects