Essential Components for A Ready-Mix Concrete Mixture

9th Sep 2022

Concrete has been the primary building material for countless centuries. Ready Mix Concrete is the most frequently used manmade building material in the world. It is composed of only a few simple elements. Humans use more concrete than any other building material combined.

What makes up concrete?

Concrete consists of cement, air, water, sand, and gravel. About 10% cement, 20% air and water, 30% sand, and 40% gravel make up the average concrete mixture. This is known as the 10-20-30-40 Rule. The quantities may change based on the type of cement and other variables.

Now, let's examine the significance of each ingredient in your mixture.


Cement is a crucial component in concrete, despite constituting the smallest mixture proportion. Cement is the adhesive that holds everything together. In addition, it is what causes the ready-mix concrete to harden once it has been put. Depending on the sort of ready mix concrete you wish to make, there are five distinct forms of cement:

Type I is predominantly utilised for residential construction.

Type II is utilised in mild sulphate environments.

In climates where freezing is possible, Type III is utilized.

Special orders, such as industrial placements, require Type IV.

Type V is utilized in extremely sulphate-rich environments.

Due to the generally moderate climate in the UK, Types I and II are the most common residential roof types.

Air and liquid

Air entrainment (small air bubbles) is required for the effectiveness of a mixture (concrete). Air-entrained cement allows surplus water to expand during the freeze-thaw cycle. However, these air bubbles must be tiny in size; otherwise, the 'entrained' air will become 'entrapped' air, resulting in shrinkage and breaking.

Water tends to have the greatest effect of all the other vital materials involved in creating a mixture. As a rule of thumb, the more water added to a combination, the weaker the resulting solid will be. When there is an excess of water, there is also the possibility of shrinkage and breaking. Excess water will eventually evaporate from the hardened concrete, causing it to shrink and finally crack.

The water-to-cement ratio, which should range between 0.4 and 0.6, can be used to determine the optimal amount of water. The concrete becomes weaker as the ratio increases. Slump testing is a useful approach to determining the solubility of your ready mix concrete. This will assist you in determining whether your mixture contains an excessive amount of water.

Sand and Gravel

As can be seen, over 70% of the ready mix concrete is composed of gravel and sand aggregates. As gravel and sand are stronger and more cost-effective than cement, this large proportion makes the mixture more economical. Therefore, a high-quality ready-mix will have both large (gravel) and small (sand) particles in proportion (sand).

This is because gravel makes up most of the ready-mix, and the smaller sand particles are effective at filling any additional spaces that would otherwise be filled with undesired air pockets.


Concrete is the most frequently used building material in the world. As can be seen, each ingredient and its proportion affects the ultimate quality and type of the ready mix concrete. Therefore, you must acquire the most suitable ready-mix for your project from West London Concrete!