What is the Difference Between Concrete and Cement?

Many people don't know the difference between cement and concrete. People commonly use the term "cement" when they really mean "concrete." People tend to use cement and concrete as alternatives in layman's terms. But in actuality, they two are totally different.

What is Cement?

Cement is the most basic and indispensable material in the construction industry. It is a greenish-grey powder made of calcareous materials like limestone and chalk and argillaceous ones like clay. Due to its adhesive property, cement is used in binding mortar.

What is Concrete?

Concrete is a product that is derived from the mixture of cement and other chemically inert aggregates (like sand, crushed stone brick chips, e.t.c), water and admixtures. Concrete is also the most widely used man-made material on the planet.

Differences between Concrete and Cement

Cement and Concrete have several key differences. Some of the main differences between concrete and cement will be discussed in this article.


Definition: Cement acts as an adhesive or bonding material. Without the use or existence of cement, concrete can not be made.

Uses: Because of its essential binding properties, cement is used as a chief ingredient of concrete, mortar, blocks, and other building materials in which it holds the other components together.

Since the cement is an incredible adhesive, it is used to hold various construction materials together, such as tiles, bricks, etc. Additionally, cement is used in sealants and grouts.

Composition: Cement comprises different ingredients: Lime, Alumina, Silica, Iron oxide, Magnesia, Calcium Sulfate, Sulphur, and Alkaline.

Properties: A good quality cement produces a good end product. For that reason, cement must possess the following physical and chemical properties.

Physical Properties of Cement:

1. Consistency
2. Soundness
3. Strength
4. Setting time
5. Specific Gravity
6. Fineness
7. Ignition Loss
8. The heat of hydration e.t.c

Chemical Compounds of Cement:

1. Ferrite
2. Magnesia
3. Iron Oxide
4. Free lime
5. Alkalis
6. Alumina
7. Ferrite
8. Dicalcium silicate
9. Tricalcium silicate
10. Tricalcium illuminate

Working Mechanism

Cement paste is formed by a reaction of hydration when water is mixed with cement. As the cement hydrates, two reactions take place. The first reaction leads to the cement setting. Following the second reaction, the cement becomes hard and forms tobomite gel. The principal bonding element that held the aggregates together was tobomite gel.


Definition: Concrete consists of aggregates of coarse and fine sizes, binding materials such as asphalt, cement, and water.

Uses: The construction industry has long been reliant on concrete as a building material. Because of its unique characteristics such as strength, low maintenance, energy efficiency, durability, and sustainability, have become even more popular.

To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.

Video Source: Let's TEACH

Some of the uses of concrete are

1. Concrete is used for the construction of structural elements such as footings, slabs, columns and walls for all types of buildings.
2. Concrete Bridges
3. Sewers and Culverts
4. Marine Construction
5. Concrete Dams


Because concrete is the most often used construction material, understanding its important qualities is critical when constructing a concrete structure. The following are some of the most important properties of concrete.

Fresh Concrete Properties

1. Segregation
2. Workability
3. Bleeding

Hardened Concrete Properties

1. Tensile Strength
2. Density
3. Fire Resistance
4. Porosity
5. Compressive Strength
6. Shrinkage of Concrete
7. Creep in concrete
8. Durability


In concrete, stones, sand, and cement are used as aggregates. Cement, lime, asphalt are used as admixtures to bind the aggregates. Sometimes admixtures are used to control the settlement time.

Working Mechanism

The aggregate utilised is a mix of coarse and fine. The spaces in the coarse aggregate are filled with fine particles. It is important to grade the coarse and fine aggregates correctly to achieve strength. Binding those aggregates with cement or asphalt is essential. One of the most significant elements in concrete is the water-cement ratio. Concrete becomes stronger over time.

What is the Difference Between Concrete and Cement?