Factors That Determine the Amount of Concrete You Need for Your Next Project

Most construction projects around the world use concrete as one of the primary materials.

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The concrete market is likely to increase at over 4% CAGR from 2020 to 2025. Concrete is made up of coarse and fine aggregate that binds together with a cement paste. 

Over time, the cement paste hardens, and you receive solid and durable material for your project. But how do you determine how much concrete you require? You can use concrete calculator yards to estimate the amount of concrete you need for a specific area. 

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A few factors can establish the right amount you need for your next project. Read on to know the factors that determine the amount of concrete you need for a construction project.

Concrete Volume

An essential factor is the volume of concrete. Start by measuring the area in which you wish to use the concrete. Additionally, calculate the depth of the region you plan to pour your concrete into. It gives you an estimate of the concrete cubic feet you require for your construction project.

You receive the concrete volume by calculating three components of the area:

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  • Width
  • Length
  • Depth

The formula is length divided by the width, which is divided by the depth. However, it can get tricky to measure the area if it is not in an exact square. Slope and grade also add to the difficulty. It is recommended to use concrete calculator yards for better accuracy in such instances. 

Concrete Mix

Concrete comprises a mix of different materials. The variety of concrete mixes also determines how much concrete you require for your project. You have to take into consideration the cement and water ratio within your concrete.

If this ratio is higher, the spacing among your cement grains will also increase. It gives you a greater volume of concrete. However, if the water and cement ratio is meager, the concrete cannot compact efficiently. 

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You also need to evaluate the ratio of the fine and coarse aggregate. If the fine aggregate proportion is higher, the surface area of the concrete also increases. Check these ratios to avoid purchasing too much or too little concrete. 

Concrete Pounds per Square Inch (PSI)

Concrete PSI is the measurement of how much pressure your concrete can handle before failure. Each concrete variant has its PSI. You have to check it before you can calculate how much concrete you require. 

A concrete mix cannot withstand pressure above its PSI during the construction process. Excess pressure can cause cracks or breaks in the concrete. Each portion of your project needs a different concrete PSI. Concrete slabs and footings may need 3,500 – 4,000 PSI.

Meanwhile, concrete columns and walls may need a PSI of around 3,000 – 5,000. By calculating your project’s PSI requirement, you can accordingly measure the overall amount of concrete you may need.

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Shape and Size of Aggregate

The aggregate that makes up concrete comes in several shapes. It includes cubical, angular, elongated, flaky, round, and irregular. The amount of concrete your project requires depends on the aggregate shape and size as well.

Angular aggregate is rough textured and allows better bonding with cement paste. For this reason, it is used for most construction projects. It gives a higher surface ratio. However, it has a more significant void. To make it more workable, you may need a higher amount of cement paste.

Another factor to consider is the size of the aggregate. It can affect the weight and volume of concrete you require for your project. However, note that a larger aggregate size does not always mean you require less concrete. A larger size tends to decrease the strength of your concrete. 

Concrete Slump

A concrete slump measures the workability or consistency of concrete. You can figure this with the slump test by using a tamper and one specialized cone. 

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Pour some of your concrete into a cone and slightly tamp it. Now, remove your cone and measure the slump from where the tip of your cone was to the tip of the concrete. If it collapses, then it becomes a collapse slump. Meanwhile, a sturdy one is called a true slump, and a partially collapsed one is a shear slump.

Different types are used for different layers of construction. A high workability slump is perfect for tight spacing. In contrast, lower ones are for laying the foundation. You can accordingly work out your requirements and calculate the necessary concrete amount.

It is essential to calculate the amount of concrete your project requires. It allows you to purchase the correct amount according to its requirement and workability levels. Make sure to consider the above factors that play a role in determining the quantity of concrete. You can also use concrete calculator yards for better accuracy.


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