How Concrete is Different From Mortar?

by Delmer

Concrete and mortar are two basic materials used in construction. It would not be wrong to say that construction cannot be complete without these materials. However, many people seem confused about whether these two materials are the same or different, while others are unable to understand the difference between these two.

Well, understanding the key difference between mortar and concrete is essential to figure out which one is used for a particular application. This article will explain all the technical differences between these two elements and how you can make them.

If you are about to start the construction task at your home or job, it’s a must-read guide for you.

What Is Concrete?

Concrete is a mixture of cement and aggregates (sand & gravel) in water and other chemicals. The cement and water help the other aggregates and chemicals to make hardbound together and provide strength to the side.

The ratio of elements in concrete is;

  • Water: 14-21%
  • Cement: 7-15%
  • Fine aggregates (0.001-0.25 inch): 24-30%
  • Course aggregates (0.25 – 1.5 inch): 35-50%

When the mixed watery material is poured onto a surface, the water evaporates, leaving a hard covering of materials behind. Special machines are used in the mixing of concrete.

Concrete is the most commonly used element in construction and the second most frequently used material globally after water. This material provides a strong base in building like ceiling and floor making.

Types of Concret

There are many types of concrete, and each has unique ingredients and functions.

The most common types of concrete used in construction are as follows;

1. Regular Concrete

It is the most basic type of concrete made with Portland cement and natural sand. The ratio of this concrete is 1:2:4, which means one part of cement, two parts of sand, and four parts of gravel. This concrete is suitable for a majority of construction applications.

2. Reinforced Concrete

It is a type of concrete that has reinforcement like steel bars or wires in it to increase its strength. This concrete is used for the construction of buildings, bridges, and parking structures.

3. Prestressed Concrete

It is a type of reinforced concrete in which the reinforcement is placed under high tension before pouring the concrete. This type of concrete is used in the construction of bridges and beams.

4. Lightweight Concrete

It is a type of concrete made with lightweight aggregates like pumice, scoria, or shale. This concrete is used in the construction of floors and roofs.

What is Mortar?

Mortar is a mixture of cement and sand in water that is used to glue different things together, like bricks and blocks. Sometimes lime is added to this mixture to improve its durability and gluey performance.

Like the concrete, water activates the mortar mixture and evaporates after applying the mortar to the surface, leaving a clear and solid surface. The proportion of cement and sand in mortar is 1:4.

Types of Mortar

Based on the composition and the base materials, mortar is divided into subcategories. All of its types are used for different applications and also vary in mixing and price.

Here is a list of common types of mortar;

1. Cement Mortar

Cement mortar is the most common type of mortar widely used in construction and filling the holes and gaps. Based on the ratio of cement and sand, the strength and durability of this type can change.

2. Lime Mortar

As mentioned above, to increase the durability and performance of mortar, lime is used. And this type is called lime mortar. Two different types of lime hydraulic and fat are used in mortar formation. This type is used in the conservation of old buildings. Lime is actually an expansive mortar type than cement.

3. Gauged Mortar

The use of both lime and cement form gauged mortar. This mixed form is more cost-effective than cement mortar and better in performance than lime.

4. Mud Mortar

Based on the composition of mortar, mud mortar is not a true type of it. Still, many people add it to the type list. The mud mortar is actually the mixture of mud and cow dung in construction. This phenomenon is very common in villages but is as effective as any other expensive mortar.

Wrap Up!

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