13 Types of Concrete in Construction with Recommend Additives

Concrete is the backbone of construction projects worldwide. It is a versatile material with various types and strength grades. In this guide, we will dive into the 13 different types of concrete and explore their features and uses.


Different Kinds of Concrete

13 Types of Concrete Used in Construction


1. Normal Strength Concrete

Normal strength concrete is often referred to as “normal” concrete. It is the most prevalent type in the concrete family. It is the foundation for many concrete variations and is extensively used in diverse construction projects.


1.1 How is Concrete Made?

Cement: Acts as the binding material.

Fine Aggregates (Sand). Contribute to the concrete mixture’s cohesion.

Coarse Aggregates (Gravel). Provide structural strength.

Water. Mixed to form the concrete.


1.2 Standard Concrete Mix Ratio

Cement: Fine Aggregates: Coarse Aggregates = 1:2:4

*Water quantity may vary based on location humidity and desired consistency.






1.3 Properties of Concrete Mix

High Compressive Strength

Ordinary Concrete exhibits a compressive strength ranging from 20 to 50 MPa.


Pre-hardening Plasticity

Normal-strength concrete displays good plasticity. It can be molded into different shapes for various structures and components.



Concrete boasts excellent durability. It enhances long-term exposure to environmental variations without significant damage. For example, moisture, temperature fluctuations, and freeze-thaw cycles.


Thermal Conductivity

In dry conditions, concrete has a thermal conductivity of 1.3 Kcal/m·h·℃. While this value is relatively high, it is only a fraction of steel’s conductivity, contributing to its insulation properties.



Standard strength concrete has a density of 2400 kg/m³. Compared to steel, concrete requires larger cross-sectional dimensions to support equivalent loads.


Low Compressive Strength

Regular concrete exhibits low compressive strength. It has a brittleness coefficient of 10 compared to tensile strength. This characteristic leads to a sudden, brittle failure when concrete undergoes damage.






2. Plain Concrete

Plain concrete is the simplest concrete form. It uses the same mix ratio as ordinary strength concrete but without reinforcement. It is found in applications that do not require intense tensile strength. Plain type is the most common concrete for sidewalks and pathways.



3. Lightweight Concrete

Lightweight concrete is a type of concrete that has a lower density and higher water content than normal concrete. Lightweight concrete is composed of lightweight aggregates. For example, pumice, clay, or perlite. It is employed in areas where reducing the overall “self-weight” of a structure can help prevent collapse, such as in walls or floors.



4. Ready-Mix Concrete

Ready-mix concrete is manufactured in plants and transported to construction sites using mixer trucks. It often includes additives to prevent cement from hardening before reaching the site. Ensuring it’s ready for pouring upon arrival.






5. Polymer Concrete

A curable, hardenable polymer binder replaces polymer concrete’s lime and shale-based Portland cement. For example, polyester, acrylic resin, or various polymer resins. The goals of polymer concrete depend on the type of resin used. It’s initiating the curing process is faster than regular concrete.


WOTAIchem recommended concrete additives: RDP powder, cellulose ethers, and antiforming agents.



6. Glass Concrete

Concrete is called glass concrete when recycled glass is added as an aggregate or used for fine and coarse aggregates.


Glass aggregates are typically made from recycled glass, ranging in size from fine powders to chunks or six-inch glass rocks. Glass can be crushed using a glass crusher or used in block form when mixed with cement. But it depends on the desired appearance.


Glass concrete often has a shiny or “luminous” appearance. Making it an aesthetically pleasing and polished choice for countertops, flooring, and tiles.


WOTAIchem recommended related additives: tile adhesive additives, mortar additives, and self-leveling additives.



7. Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced concrete is also known as steel-reinforced cement concrete. It is made with steel reinforcement and usually in the form of steel bars. This addition enhances the concrete’s tensile strength. The concrete’s strength combined with the reinforcing material’s tensile strength improves the concrete durability.


Contractors may use reinforced concrete in large structures requiring significant tensile strength. For example, high-rise buildings, bridges, or any construction involving structures must bear hefty loads.


WOTAIchem recommended concrete additives: reinforcement concrete fiber series. PPF, PAN, and PET fibers are included.



8. Permeable Concrete

Permeable concrete is a porous type designed to allow water to pass through. It can reach the groundwater below. This type of concrete is used in the construction of roads and sidewalks. Aiming to manage the accumulation of rainwater. Permeable concrete can absorb water at up to 5 gallons per minute. Contributing to flood prevention as the soil absorbs water flowing through storm drains.



9. Prestressed Concrete

Prestressed concrete is concrete subjected to compressive stress during its production. It combines steel’s high tensile strength with concrete’s high compressive strength.








10. Precast Concrete

Precast concrete is concrete poured into molds and cured. It is often done off-site and then transported to the construction site. This allows for manufacturing in a more controlled environment. Precast concrete enables faster construction. It is ready for installation on the construction site without waiting to gain strength.



11. High-Strength Concrete

High-strength concrete is any concrete with a strength of 6000 PSI or higher. It is made with robust and durable aggregates, high cement content, low water-cement ratio. And the addition of superplasticizers to address any workability issues caused by highly viscous concrete, primarily used to alleviate weight, water permeability, and penetration concerns.


High-strength concrete makes structures more corrosion-resistant and chemical-resistant. It is commonly employed in constructing high-rise buildings subjected to high compressive loads.


WOTAIchem recommended concrete additives: PVA and PET fibers.



12. Asphalt Concrete

Asphalt concrete is a commonly used type of concrete for constructing roads, parking lots, and various pavement surfaces. It is a composite material consisting of two main components: aggregates and liquid asphalt. These components are combined in a factory, transported to the paving site, and then spread and compacted using a paver and roller. The result is a smooth road surface.


WOTAIchem recommended related additives: asphalt additives.



13. Rapid Set Concrete

Rapid set concrete is a type of concrete that hardens faster than regular concrete. It will need the usual 12 – 48 hours to cure. This accelerated curing is achieved by having a higher cement content than regular concrete and incorporating additives in the mix to expedite the hydration and hardening processes.


Rapid-set concrete comes pre mixed and is ready for immediate use. It is commonly utilized in non-structural concrete work, such as concrete repairs and restoration.


WOTAIchem recommended fast curing concrete additives: calcium formate, melamine superplasticizer, and PCE superplasticizers.





Conclusion & Choose WOTAIchem

In construction, the versatility of concrete is unparalleled, with various types catering to specific needs. From normal to rapid set mixes, each serves a unique purpose, offering durability and functionality. Understanding these concrete options empowers you to make informed construction choices.


Explore limitless possibilities with WOTAIchem! We are a professional concrete additives manufacturer in China. As your reliable partner, we also offer OEM solutions with full service. This ensures the tailored formula for your concrete needs.


Let us assist in optimizing concrete mix formulas and providing expertise to enhance your construction projects. Elevate your builds with WOTAIchem – where innovation meets concrete excellence!




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