Concrete is a hardened building material created by combining a binder i.e. cement (commonly Portland cement), aggregate (generally gravel and sand), water and admixtures. Although people commonly use the word cement as a synonym for concrete, it is only one of several components in modern concrete. As concrete dries, it acquires a stone-like consistency that makes it ideal for constructing roads, bridges, water supply and sewage systems, factories, airports, railroads, waterways, mass transit systems, skyscrapers and other structures.
Concrete is used more than any other man made material on the planet. It was in 1824, when Joseph Aspdin and Isaac Charles Johnson refined synthetic cement, that Portland cement came into existence. However, it was not widely used until World War II, when several large docks and bridges were constructed.
Today, different types of concrete are categorised according to their method of installation. Ready or pre-mixed concrete is batched and mixed at a central plant before it is delivered to a site. This type of concrete is sometimes transported in an agitator truck and is also known as transit-mixed concrete. Shrink-mixed concrete is partially mixed at the central plant and its mixing is then completed en route to the site.
The secret of good concrete lies in the degree of quality control and technical parameters of the mix. UltraTech, the Aditya Birla Group company, which makes good concrete better, maintains a high level of precision in its quality assurance procedures and produces world-class concrete that comes in a package of highly reliable durability, strength and performance.
The making of concrete is a science as well as an art. Science because the right proportions of all the ingredients as per the standard Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) code assures the desired strength and durability. And an art because it is not just the accurate proportioning which determines the quality of concrete, but the way it is mixed, placed, compacted, cured and protected also play a great role.
UltraTech Concrete makes good concrete better because the company takes extra care to make sure it is perfect both ways — proportion wise and handling wise. To ensure quality, each and every sample of concrete passes through stringent tests in fresh and hardened state to ensure strength, durability and performance.
How does UltraTech Concrete make good concrete better?
Right from selecting the raw materials to batching and mixing, transportation, placing of concrete till testing of concrete — UltraTech ensures flawless operation in every stage. Clearly, it's all about putting together the right ingredients for that perfect recipe.
Fresh cement, protected from weathering conditions and influence of external environment such as air, moisture etc., is an important ingredient of concrete. UltraTech Concrete plant uses fresh cement directly procured from the cement plants through cement bulkers, which in turn pump it directly into the concrete silos thus protecting it from the external environment.
Coarse aggregates — free from clay, weeds and other organic materials, cubical or rounded with a combination of different sizes and not elongated or flaky — ensure proper strength of the concrete and make it non-porous. These coarse aggregates are a vital ingredient of good concrete. UltraTech Concrete directly sources the aggregates from selected and approved suppliers, tested as per BIS for size, shape, gradation, impact value and crushing value etc.
Sand, the fine aggregate used in concrete must be free from silt, clay, salts and organic materials to prevent shrinkage cracks, which affect the concrete quality and durability.
UltraTech Concrete directly purchases sand from selected and approved suppliers tested for moisture content, sieve analysis for fineness modlous and silt content. To maintain the correct water-cement ratio, UltraTech Concrete plants use moisture sensors and an automatic water correction procedure.
Potable water, free from impurities such as oil, alkalies, acids, salts, sugar, organic materials is ideal for concrete. UltraTech Concrete uses water tested at frequent intervals and uses water purifiers whenever necessary.
Admixtures used in concrete during mixing ensures its workability (the ease of placing of concrete in moulds) and the setting time is carefully chosen from reputed companies. The workability is measured for every batch through the slump cone and is controlled using a scientific method of dosing.
UltraTech Concrete is equipped with computerised batching and mixing plants to strictly monitor the quality of the concrete. It uses a computerised recipe for the raw mix design (cement : sand : coarse aggregate : water : admixture) and quantities of raw materials are weighed automatically as per the design mix. The water-cement ratio, very important to satisfy the strength and durability criteria of concrete, is pre-designed through a scientific mix design as per the BIS standards and kept constant throughout to maintain the consistency in quality for a particular mix. Mixing is generally done through high efficiency pan mixers (machine mixers / turbo mixer) to ensure uniform and consistent quality concrete.
The transport of concrete from its place of mixing to the delivery point is very critical, as there is possibility of the concrete drying out and losing its workability and plasticity.
UltraTech Concrete transports concrete from its ready mix concrete plants to the site through transit mixers. Further, the concrete is pumped to the actual point of concreting using high efficiency concrete pumps, thus maintaining the homogeneity of the concrete throughout the transit till the final deposition. Placing the concrete is expedited scientifically by specialised delivery trucks. Qualified and experienced engineers monitor the entire operation.
At UltraTech, we give concrete its enduring strength that engineers insist; after all UltraTech is the engineers' choice.
We look forward to receiving your feedback on this article. Share your comments with us at: email@example.com