Concrete most often consists of cement, water and sand. Sand is the most common aggregate additive to cement but it is not the only option. You can use many other aggregates including crushed stone, gravel and chunks of old concrete. The most important part of mixing cement with or without sand is the ratio of components you use. A standard guideline is anywhere from 60 to 75 percent aggregate material mixed with 10 to 15 percent cement and 15 to 20 percent water depending on the aggregate you choose.
Things You'll Need
- Mixing surface
Identify the aggregate material you wish to use in place of sand. Crushed stone is a viable substitute. When choosing, remember that fine aggregates like sand measure less than 3/8-inch in diameter.
Calculate your aggregate, cement and water mixture based on the type of aggregate you select and its moisture content. The calculation process can amount to little more than trial and error if you are using an unfamiliar mixture. You must use sufficient cement and water to cover the aggregate material so that it all holds together.
Pour your cement and aggregate onto the mixing surface. Add water to the mixture little by little adhering to the stated guidelines. Use your shovel to turn over the mixture and blend it together until you reach a smooth consistency and the cement and water paste coats all of the aggregate.
Tips & Warnings
- Ready mix cement does not require the addition of sand. You only need to add water to the dry mix to make cement.
- Add water to the mixture slowly so that you don't over saturate it.
- Portland Cement Association: Cement and Concrete Basics -- Aggregates
- Popular Mechanics; How it Works: Concrete; 2009
- Quikrete: Concrete Mix Data Sheet
- Portland Cement Association: Cement and Concrete Basics -- Ready-Mixed Concrete
- Portland Cement Association: Cement and Concrete Basics -- Concrete Basics
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