concrete materials

Everything You Need to Know About Concrete Materials

Southern Concrete MaterialsConcrete materials

Starting a concrete project from the ground up is no simple task. From pouring to drying to ongoing maintenance, there are important things to keep in mind when preparing for your next project. Southern Concrete Materials has laid the foundation for our community since 1958 by supplying the area with ready-mix concrete and other construction materials. 

“Strength, affordability, and versatility are what you should look for when choosing project construction materials.”

What is Concrete? 

Concrete is a composite construction material composed primarily of aggregate, cement, and water. With many formulations, each provides various properties. Let’s break it down: 

  • Aggregate is generally coarse gravel or crushed rocks such as limestone or granite, combined with a finer grit material like sand
  • Cement, commonly known as Portland cement, is a mixture of lime (limestone, chalk, or marl) and other cementitious materials, such as fly ash and slag cement, which serve as a binder for the aggregate.
  • Water is the key ingredient for creating the chemical reaction that hardens concrete. 
  • Various chemical admixtures can be added to achieve different properties. Water is then mixed with this dry composite, enabling it to be shaped (typically poured) and then solidified and hardened into rock-hard strength through a chemical process (hydration). 

Concrete has relatively high compressive strength but much lower tensile strength. For this reason, it’s typically reinforced with materials that are strong in tension (often steel).

concrete materials

What Products Does SCM Offer? 

Whether you need commercial or residential construction materials, our commitment to providing exceptional products means you can count on us for all your concrete projects. Here is what we offer: 

  • Ready-mix concrete is exactly how it sounds. It’s batched for delivery from a central plant not mixed on the job site. This type of concrete is tailor-made and delivered in our mixer trucks.
  • Precast concrete is casting concrete in a reusable mold or form, which is then cured in a controlled environment, transported to the construction site, and lifted into place. Additional products available at SCM precast include:
    – Catch basins and risers, step risers
    – Junction boxes
    – Well pipes and lids
    – Curb bumpers and land markers
    – Reservoirs and utility vaults
    – Custom-built boxes
    – And more
  • Concrete block, also known as concrete masonry unit (CMU), is a standard rectangular block used in various types of building construction and is one of the most versatile products available on the market. In our Fletcher and Waynesville, NC plants, you’ll find products such as:
    – Bulk masonry sand
    – Super sacks
    – Various mortar mixes
  • Construction materials are essential for residential and commercial applications. We proudly offer a wide range of concrete-related materials, including:
    – Concrete specific tools
    – Rebar
    – Wire mesh
    – Curing and sealing compounds
    – Rigid insulation
    – Decorative concrete products
    – Integral color mixed into the concrete
    – Rebar supports
    – Expansion joints

concrete materials

What Are the Benefits of Using Concrete? 

Strength, affordability, and versatility are what you should look for when choosing project construction materials. Here is a list of advantages of using concrete: 

  • Cost-effective. Concrete production costs are relatively low and easily found across the globe. Additionally, it’s cheaper because of its durability and resilience. 
  • Strength and durability. When searching for the ideal materials, you want a product built to last. Concrete can be used in various applications, making it the premier choice for builders. 
  • Hardens easily. Concrete is simple, reliable, and as easy as it gets. Because there is no “ideal temperature” required when setting and hardening concrete, it is possible to construct concrete without delaying projects. 
  • Effortlessly molded. It is perfect for forming complex shapes and configurations by pouring the mixture into a mold. 
  • Energy-efficient. Concrete provides immense opportunities to conserve energy and reduce carbon footprints. 
  • Water-resistant. Compared to other products like wood and steel, concrete is better at resisting the adverse effects of water, making it the ideal material for constructing utility structures like dams, canals, or pipelines. 
  • Temperature-resistant. Concrete is perfect for fireproofing, able to withstand high temperatures without losing strength and efficiency. 
  • Recycles waste products. Concrete reduces carbon emissions, and promotes sustainable construction for builders. 
  • Does not reflect light. Due to the gray, natural hues concrete provides, it’s suitable for ensuring safety when constructing roads and runways. 

Overall, concrete is a superior material compared to others, like steel or asphalt. If you’re curious about how much concrete you need for your project, use our helpful calculator.

We know concrete! Serving on many notable projects throughout North Carolina and Northern Georgia, Southern Concrete has used this reliable material to contribute to the foundations, walls, and walkways of some of the region’s most iconic buildings, all while keeping constant mindfulness of green building practices and making excellence quality our priority. Ready to discuss your next project? Contact us today!