Concrete primarily comprises coarse aggregate, fine aggregate (sand), portland cement, water, and admixtures. Aggregates largely establish strength and stability bound together by the hardened cement paste binder. Admixtures are used for workability and performance of the fresh concrete mix including water reducers, accelerators, retarders, superplasticizers, air entrainers, and other high-performance enhancers. Mix designs are specifically formulated depending on how the concrete will be placed and performance requirements.  

Fresh concrete can be cast-in-place, precast, or shot in place through a nozzle and pressure, known as shotcrete. Concrete is durable, dense, and strong in compression, but needs reinforcing steel for tensile strength and to limit shrinkage. Shrinkage is a characteristic of the cement paste hydration and moisture loss as the concrete cures. Size, spacing, and placement of the reinforcing steel is critical to the design and durability of the concrete that surrounds it. 


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Here are some resources and industry standards that focus on concrete construction. For additional guidance, contact IMI. 


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