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The Most Common Concrete Types and Their Uses

The Most Common Concrete Types and Their Uses

Concrete Types in Construction

Concrete is an essential element in the construction business, but there are many different concrete types; since concrete is a mixture of materials like cement, aggregate, and water, different mixes produduce different concrete types. Concrete is a reliable, durable and versatile material and its strength can be credited with its recurring use in commercial and domestic construction projects.

Most Commonly Used Concrete Types (and why!)

There are a range of concrete types with a variety of applications, and some can be used for the same purpose, but here we will explain some of the concrete types more commonly used in construction.

Standard Concrete and General Concrete

Standard concrete combines the basic ingredients of most concretes: concrete, aggregates and water in a ratio of 1:2:4. These mixes are made with a prescribed quantity of materials in accordance with British Standard BS8500. There is no strength guarantee with this concrete. Typically, this is used for pavements or buildings which don’t require particularly high tensile strength, it would not be suited to other structures as it is vulnerable to stresses caused by the likes of wind loading or vibration.

General purpose concrete is a series of concretes that are used for housing and similar non-structural applications. The requirements specify a minimum quantity of cement to be included, but no water to cement ratio. These concretes have relatively low levels of durability.

Reinforced Concrete

Largely used in industry and modern construction, this concrete type has enhanced strength due to wires, steel rods or cables being placed into the concrete before it sets. Fibres of glass or steel can also be used to reinforce concrete. Plain concrete lacks tension strength but the combination of the concrete fighting against compressive forces, and the internal reinforcements fighting against tensile forces, allows this concrete to function with the combined strength of two different materials. Since it’s invention in the 19th century, reinforced concrete has played an essential role in the construction of building, roadways and bridges.

Prestressed Concrete

Prestressed concrete is used in a number of major concrete projects as it is able to withstand particularly high pressure; this is due to the way that the bars or tendons which are used in the concrete are subjected to stresses in the areas which are likely to endure stress, before the concrete is applied. While the process of making this concrete type requires heavy equipment and skilled labour, and is usually created and assembled on site, its tensile strength makes it an essential component in structures such as buildings, bridges and heavy-loaded structures.

Precast Concrete

Precast concrete is not typically created onsite, elements are made and cast in a factory and these elements are assembled on the construction site. The parts are made in accordance with individual specifications and so this concrete type is incredibly versatile. It tends to be used in projects where the concrete holds other elements in place.


At Utranazz, we are experts in all equipment that produces, mixes and pumps concrete, having a good understanding of concrete is important to our ability to help you make the best decisions; whether it’s a new concrete mixer, cement silo or concrete pump, or you’re after good quality used concrete equipment, we are sure we have the right machine for you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team with any questions or queries you may have; give us a call on 01280 820770 or, alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form and a member of the sales team will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

The Most Common Concrete Types and Their Uses

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