Concrete is an artificial stone-like material used for various structural purposes. It is made by mixing a binding material (as cement) and various aggregates (inert materials), such as sand, stone chips, brick chips, brick chips, pebbles, gravel, shale, etc with water and allowing the mixture to harden by hydration.
Basic advantages and disadvantages of concrete are as follows.
Advantages of Concrete
Some advantages of concrete are given below in brief.
- Concrete is economical when ingredients are readily available.
- Concrete’s long life and relatively low maintenance requirements increase its economic benefits.
- It is not as likely to rot, corrode, or decay as other building materials.
- Concrete has the ability to be molded or cast into almost any desired shape.
- Building of the molds and casting can occur on the work-site which reduces cost.
- Concrete is a non-combustible material which makes it fire-safe and able to withstand high temperatures.
- It is resistant to wind, water, rodents, and insects. Hence, concrete is often used for storm shelters.
Disadvantages of Concrete
Concrete has some disadvantages too along the advantages stated above.
- Concrete has a relatively low tensile strength (compared to other building materials),
- low ductility,
- low strength-to-weight ratio, and
- Concrete is susceptible to cracking.
Concrete remains the material of choice for many applications regardless of these limitations.