C and M are often used to grade concrete. C is used to denote the strength class in which the specific mix falls. As such, C10 for instance has a strength of 10 N/mm², M on the other hand, refers to the mix itself. M60 to M80 fall under high strength mix. So when you see the term c10 concrete thrown around, it refers to the strength of the concrete. It is a quick identifier and makes things easy.
The technicalities: c10 concrete mix ratio
The c10 concrete has a mix ratio of 1:3:6. To break it down:
- 1 part cement
- 3 parts sand(fine aggregate)
- 6 parts aggregate(coarse)
The unmentioned ingredient in this is water. Water is added as needed to the mix. This is the standard mix ratio of c10 concrete. Often a 1:4:8 ratio of mix design may also be followed for this. The difference lies in the standard followed in the locality.
Overall strength rating & how it is determined
Concrete strength is about its ability to withstand load and weight. C10 concrete is often classified as normal-grade concrete. It has a strength of 10 Newtons per millimeter squared. This strength determines how and where it will be used.
How concrete strength is determined:
Concrete is first mixed – with all the ingredients at the determined ratio – and is left to dry. Ideally, it is cured for 28 days. In the UK, it is dried in a cylindrical shape for the strength test. At the end of the 28-day mark, it is broken up into specialized machines. This, then, is used to determine its comprehensive strength.
Water and cement: The ratio of water and cement in concrete is highly important. A low water-to-cement ratio will result in high-strength concrete and vice versa. It will, consequently, also reduce its workability. The ratio of water to cement should be balanced to create strong structures that can be worked on.
Curing time and method: Curing, or drying, is very important with concrete. The more moisture it has, the longer it takes to cure. In the same vein, the longer it takes to cure, the stronger it becomes. As such, one can often observe many construction sites that leave the concrete covered with a tarp. They also add water to the semi-dry concrete and cover it up to increase drying time depending on the weather.
Mixing & blending: Mixing is another important factor. With concrete, there is always a balance. It is important to mix concrete well to increase its strength. At the same time, over-mixing can reduce its strength as well as workability. This is often why many people prefer ready mix concrete. It is mixed in batching plants under strictly monitored circumstances. Moreover, the mixing is controlled by machines. This can ensure the right amount of mixing to ensure the best quality.
Why strength matters
Concrete various uses need no mentioning. It is all around us and is the second-most used resource on the planet. While it is all around us, it’s not all the same or uniform. Different standard mix designs are used for various purposes. The right concrete mix design for each project is decided on various factors. They are:
- The tensile strength the finished product is required to have.
- Its flexural strength.
- And, comprehensive strength.
This is necessary to determine how well it can withstand everyday use as well as natural events. Moisture resistance, for instance, is an important factor for concrete structures in high precipitous areas. Impact resistance is a major factor in building bridges and large buildings. Lightweight and high-strength are a necessity for support structures such as foundations.
The various uses of concrete:
- Foundations for small and large buildings
- Floors and walls
- Support structures
The focus: c10 concrete
Every concrete mix ratio offers different benefits. Its strength and impact resistance influence where it is used. Here are some of the more common uses of the C10 Concrete Mix Ratio.
- Domestic Foundations – Domestic foundations are neither deep nor too wide. Foundations also do not require much strength. This makes C10 the perfect choice for domestic foundations.
- Flooring – Flooring usually goes on top of subflooring and foundation. As such, it does not require high strength.
- Filling – While it does not have enough strength for some structural work, it is perfect for filling. Its good workability makes it so.
- Agriculture – Concrete in agriculture is exposed to a volatile environment. It changes with the seasons and needs to weather well. The C10 concrete mix ratio is perfect for this.
- Shallow Foundations – C10-strength concrete is often used to fill trench foundations. This eliminates the need for other materials such as bricks.
- Blinding – As it is lightweight and low-strength, it is great for blinding in the construction field.
Standardization – UK & around the world
Countries differ in many things, spellings, how they write dates and times, and so they do in concrete usage as well. Different areas of the world follow different standards. The British standard to denote the strength of concrete is C. As such, you will see c10, c20, c30 concrete, etc quite a bit. The M on the other hand is used by the USA and India. It needs to be mentioned that both cannot be used interchangeably. This is because:
- Both M and C use different methods to test the strength
- The numbers do not correspond directly to the strength – the difference must be calculated
- One refers to strength in Newton while the other refers to pounds per square inch (PSI)
Conclusion and, for further info
This post is simply a guide to C10 concrete – one in many. If you are looking to find something precise, speak to our experts at Pro Mix Concrete. We supply concrete for construction projects( commercial, domestic, & DIY) in and around Greater London. Get in touch with us for any queries.