The difference between Cement and Concrete.

The terms cement and concrete can be confused by novice builders, but the main difference is that cement is a fine binder powder (which is never used alone),  and concrete is made of cement, sand, and gravel ... In addition to the differences in their composition, they have completely different uses. Even traders who work with these materials on a daily basis may confuse the terms, as cement is often used to refer to concrete.

Cement vs Concrete

Professional builders, of course, know what cement vs concrete means and can tell one from the other at a glance. Can a layperson also quickly see the differences? To answer this question, you need to understand and understand what cement and concrete are.

The very concept of "concrete" comes from the French word b├ęton, which means a building material made from artificial stone. It is obtained from a specially selected compacted mixture by solidification and molding. Such a mixture consists of water, small or large fillers, which can be sand for concrete, and a binder, for example, cement. Some concretes have additional additives in their composition. Sometimes water may be absent in the number of components, as is the case with asphalt concrete.

If there is too much water in the composition of the material, the strength of the concrete will decrease due to its mobility.

Concrete is usually classified according to:

  1. structure (cellular, dense, large-pore, and porous);
  2. its main purpose (decorative, road, etc.);
  3. the type of binder (cement, gypsum, etc.);
  4. hardening conditions (hardening at a pressure above atmospheric, natural conditions and at reduced atmospheric pressure);
  5. types of aggregates (on special, dense and porous aggregates)
This is how the concrete looks like


Cement is a binder in both concrete and mortar. It is most commonly used from limestone, clay, shells, quartz sand, and other materials. These materials are ground and then combined with other ingredients (including iron ore) and then heated to about 2.700 degrees Fahrenheit. This material, called clinker, is crushed into a fine powder.

Cement comes from the Latin word cementum, which means "broken stone" or "rubble". It serves as the basis for other building materials such as mortars and concrete. When combined with water, cement is capable of forming a plastic mass, which subsequently becomes a solid body.

Cement can show its properties even in humid conditions, which makes it different from other binders (for example, gypsum), which can only harden in air.

Also, Read Different types of Slabs & their importance.

The types of cement are very diverse. They are usually distinguished by the predominance of one or another additional component:

  • Belita (roman cement, now out of production);
  • Alita (Portland cement, used in construction);
  • alumite phase (aluminous);
  • based on magnesite (the so-called Sorel Cement);
  • based on hydrosilicate (acid resistant);
  • mixed cement.
when combined with water, cement form a plastic mass


The use of concrete in construction is widespread. As a rule, this is the main material on most construction sites: both industrial and private.

Blocks are made from concrete. Their popularity is due not only to their durability, but also their resistance to temperature extremes. In addition, concrete makes it possible to:

  • quickly build the necessary structures;
  • save finances, as it is a budgetary material;
  • get architectural objects with expressive form.


The use of cement in construction is also common. It is used to prepare various mortars or mixtures, including concrete.

Repair, masonry, and plastering work are impossible without cement. He, as well as materials prepared on its basis, can replace brick, wood, lime. Thanks to various additives, cement is able to withstand fairly low temperatures, the main thing is to choose the right type.

Also, Read Thumb rules of Civil Engineer

There are examples of the original use of concrete and cement. So, some countries use cement as a decoration for clothes. The famous house of Chanel presented to the public interesting models decorated with cement details. And such a wonder of the world as the Egyptian pyramids was built from concrete.