Concrete is the most popular building material for many reasons. It is cheap, low maintenance, high quality, durable, resistant to many environmental conditions, among many other qualities. This material is a mixture of cement, which is the adhesive material, coarse aggregates such as sand, stones, gravels, etc., and water. If you are looking to make some improvements in your home, concrete is one of your go-to materials. While you can simply get a load of concrete delivered for your project, you can make an adventure out of it as well. One way to do that is by making your own concrete. While you cannot make concrete on a large scale on an industrial scale, you can still make enough to use for your little projects around the house. Here are the ways you can make concrete
Make Limestone Cement
For you to make homemade concrete, the first thing you need is to make homemade cement. Making this is quite easy if you can follow the steps outlined below. The materials and equipment you need for this work include limestone, a shovel for breaking, a kiln or oven, and protective gear like gloves, boots, goggles, and nose masks.
To make cement, the first thing you’ll need to get limestone is the raw materials used to make industrial cement. There are many options for getting limestone. You can choose to buy or collect it naturally. You can collect limestone naturally if you live in an area where limestone is common. If you collect and you’re unsure whether it is limestone or not, a coin scratch should reveal the truth. Limestone are soft and will be easily scratched. However, if buying is your choice, you can find limestone in landscaping supply stores.
After acquiring the limestone, the next step is to break down the limestone into smaller pieces: the smaller the pieces, the better.
Now that you have broken the limestone, the next step is to heat it in the kiln or oven. The heat should be up to 900° C, and the limestone are expected to bake for between 4-5 hours. When using the oven, make sure you protect yourself by wearing gloves and a nose mask.
After 5 hours, remove the baked limestone, also called quicklime, and let them cool over. Wearing a nose mask is essential here as fumes and dust from limestone are harmful to the lungs.
The next step is to break the quicklime into dust. Since it is baked, the quicklime will easily crumble into dry powder. This dry powder is cement. You can always store the powder for later use; make sure it is in an airtight container.
Make Concrete with Limestone Cement
Once you have the cement, all you need is sand, gravel (depending on the purpose of the concrete), and water. Here the steps to making concrete out of the material.
The first step is for you to mix the cement with coarse or fine sand at a ratio of 2:1. To mix the two, you can use a wheelbarrow and shovel or if you can get a concrete mixer, which would be a much better choice.
You can also add gravel or any other stone material to the mixture. The purpose of the coarse material is to bind the concrete together.
Add water to the dry mixture and mix everything. If you are using a shovel, continue to stir till it is pasty.
While using limestone cement with all the other ingredients to make your concrete can be fun, it may also be stressful. You can save yourself this stress by using pre-mixed concrete.