Lesson of the Day

It is typical and has been for many years to hear the word “cement” used in place of “concrete.” We hear of cement blocks, cement driveways, and cement buildings… It was back in the late 70’s when I was in my Engineering 101 class in college that the instructor, after one of the exams, offered an opportunity for extra credit. He informed us that one could get an extra point for each thing he could list that was made out of cement in the next two minutes. As the entire class rushed to write down as many things that came to mind in two minutes I learned something I will never forget.

Only one person had the correct answer that day: you can make concrete out of cement with the combination of aggregates and water. You see, cement is only an ingredient in concrete – it is a dried powder on its own. In this form, it would make a pretty worthless cement block or cement driveway; the powder would merely blow away in the wind.

So the next time you hear someone talk about cement buildings you have an opportunity to educate them on the differences between cement and concrete.

Gregg Jacobson
VP – Operations