By Holly Kirkwood

Cement vs. Concrete

Cement and Concrete are often seen as interchangeable materials, especially in the construction industry. This is a common misconception when referring to these two sedimented materials. Cement is actually a necessary ingredient of concrete. So, what’s the difference?


Cement is a breakdown of the following silica-rich materials: limestone, aluminum, calcium, and iron. These components are heated to intense temperatures to create a marble-like product, then ground into a fine powder. Gypsum is added to the mixture to make it a flour-like substance resulting in what we call cement.

There are two forms of cement: hydraulic and non-hydraulic. Hydraulic is the most common in the construction industry because it uses water to trigger a chemical reaction that allows for the material to harden while in contact with water. Non-hydraulic is the opposite. It does not harden when exposed to water and takes much longer to cure. It is much cheaper than hydraulic. However, it is not as versatile or efficient.


Concrete is a mixture of cement, aggregate (sand and gravel) and water. The cement and water create a paste substance. When the paste is mixed with rocks and gravel it results in a rock-like mass known as concrete after it hardens. Concrete is used to build bridges, highways and the tallest of structures.

The type of aggregate selected is dependent on the type of application it is needed for. Concrete has endless uses for construction because of its weatherproof properties, durability, fire resistance, and low maintenance upkeep.

Cement is used as the bonding material for concrete. You can’t create concrete without cement. Concrete is the second most consumed material in the world, next to the water. There are dozens of factors that contribute to making the perfect concrete mixture. Consult your Outpost rep to find the best product for your project.