Is It Cement or Concrete? What is the Difference?

The terms ”concrete” and “cement” often seem interchangeable and when used to identify pavement type it can be confusing. There are both asphalt cement and asphalt concrete, and Portland cement and Portland cement concrete. Cement refers to the binding material used to “glue” the rock or aggregate together. The right photograph is asphalt cement, which, when heated binds aggregate together, and the left photograph is Portland cement. Portland cement is mixed with water to cause a chemical reaction called hydration. Concrete is the term for the finished product after placement.

Typically, in common usage, when used alone, cement and concrete are both used to identify Portland cement concrete. Usually, asphalt is used as an adjective to concrete to recognize hot mix asphalt concrete. 

Top photograph credit: Bottom photograph:

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