Q:

How much ballast do I need?

A:

Quick Answer

The ratio of ballast to cement will depend on what the concrete being mixed is intended for and how strong the concrete need be for that specific intention. The stronger the concrete need be, the higher the cement to ballast ratio.

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Full Answer

All Mix recommends a ratio of five parts ballast to one part cement for water-tight concrete used for building slabs or concrete panels, six parts ballast to one part cement for driveways and paths and eight parts ballast to one part cement for foundation-strength concrete. Ballast, or aggregate, is made from chunks of rock such as limestone or coarse gravel blended with other ingredients such as sand. Recycled materials are often used. Glass or decorative stone can be added to the mixture if a specific look is desired. This is known as “exposed aggregate”. Equipment utilized in the mixing of concrete should blend large aggregate into a mixture of even consistency for workability and to ensure consistent properties. Water and cement should be mixed before ballast and other additives are added. Smaller batches can be created by scaling down the ingredients and using an alternative container for mixing. Concrete should be used within 45 minutes of mixing for optimal functionality.

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