All about Concrete
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Manufacturing process

Water plus cement plus aggregates. The formula seems simple, but the reality of concrete manufacturing is far more complex. The development of formulas for concrete requires very advanced scientific skills. The quality of the cement and aggregates, the dosage and the proportions are just some of the variables that influence the properties of concrete.

A simple recipe with many variables

Concrete is a carefully balanced mix of cement, aggregates and water. Cement acts as the binder and modifies the characteristics and uses of concrete:

  • Portland cement is used to make reinforced concrete,
  • blended Portland cement is used for slabs and roads,
  • other types of cement are usually reserved for work that does not require particularly high resistance to heat.


Aggregates, another essential ingredient in concrete, retain the intrinsic properties of the rocks that they come from. The color and chemical and physical characteristics of aggregates have a direct impact on the durability, esthetics and mechanical properties of concrete.

Concrete production

The ingredients used to manufacture concrete

Concrete is a building material made by mixing aggregates and sand with a binding agent (usually cement) and, if necessary, with additives.

The performance and characteristics of a concrete can vary greatly depending on the formula, the way it is used, etc.


A superplasticizer is an additive that is mixed with concrete, mortar or grout just before the concrete is used. Its main purpose is to improve the workability of the mix. Its secondary role is to modify the setting or hardening time. Superplasticizers are sometimes called "fluidifiers".

Additives for customized concrete

Additives can be incorporated in small amounts (less than 10 kg/m³) to give concrete specific characteristics:

  • water reducers do not have an impact on the quality of the concrete but they do make it more fluid. They also allow concrete to be manufacturing with less water,
  • superplasticizers, also called fluidifiers, enhance fluidity and are used to produce self-placing (Agilia®) and self-leveling concretes,
  • water repellents produce concretes that are impermeable,
  • air-entraining agents allow concretes to withstand frost and deicing products,
  • setting agents accelerate hardening so that forms can be stripped sooner,
  • retardants increase the amount of time during which a concrete can be worked.

To watch the animation, you must download Flash Player

Lafarge and superplasticizers

Language: English / Duration: 3.56 / Year: 2007

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Take a tour of our plant to see how we produce concrete

Customers across India trust Lafarge because of the consistent quality we are able to offer.

Right from the raw materials we use to the automated batching process through which we produce high quality concrete. Take a virtual tour to see how Lafarge produces concrete for you. 

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