A guide to the AMS concrete mix designs | AMS News

A guide to the AMS concrete mix designs

With so many options of concrete designs available it can be a bit of a minefield knowing what you need, so we caught up with Jason Watts, Operations Manager at AMS and the rest of our concrete services team to outline each concrete mix design that’s available, the properties of that mix and what their recommended uses are.

We are obviously always on hand to answer any questions about mixes, either over the phone with one of our operators or when you arrive at site to collect your concrete. Simply give us a call on 01202 579579.

Why are there so many mixes?

If we go back to basics, concrete is made by combining cement with water and aggregates such as sand, stone or rock. Different mixes are created for various purposes which are listed below, but the mix design determines how strong the concrete is when dry. Let’s jump into the mix designs available from AMS Concrete:

Gen0

This mix design is more often used for domestic projects (as opposed to commercial) for applications where a firm base is required. This may include, but is not limited to: 

  • Blinding
  • Drainage
  • Kerb backing
  • Void filling

It shouldn’t be used for structural purposes as it’s not extremely durable when compared to other mixes.

Strength: Low

GEN1

You will likely require this mix type if you’re laying non-reinforced foundations, for example for a shed base at home or a hot tub. Due to its lightweight nature, it can be used for some commercial applications, but this is less common.

Strength: Low – Medium

GEN2

This mix is typically used for housing and internal floors where there is no metal embedded into the floors. It’s generally for internal use only but has some outdoor uses too. Uses may include:

  • Paving
  • Steps
  • Trench filling

Strength: Low – Medium

GEN3

Another mix that is predominantly used for domestic purposes only, the GEN3 mix is in the same group as the ones mentioned above, but it has the highest cement content of all of the individual GEN concrete mixes. For this reason, it can be used for:

  • Paths and patios
  • Garages
  • Shed bases
  • Home extensions

Strength: Low – Medium

C20

If strength is not your main factor, but you need something more robust than GEN mixes for commercial purposes, this could be a good option.

It benefits from being very versatile for a number of projects, including:

  • Footings and foundations
  • General groundworks
  • Small bases

Strength: Medium

C30 / C35

High strength mixes that are suitable for pathways, driveways, slipways and roadways that may have to endure heavy loads or vehicles. They can also easily withstand adverse weather conditions.

Strength: High

C40

This commercial concrete mix is of high strength used for structural and industrial applications and agricultural uses. Projects that you may use this concrete mix for include:

  • Areas exposed to extreme weather conditions
  • Heavy-duty construction projects
  • High rise buildings

Strength: High

C50

This concrete mix will only be used for very specific purposes, for example when a high volume of chemicals or hazardous substances are present. Due to this being a very strong, high performance, concentrated concrete mix, it requires specialist application.

Strength: High

RC

RC mixes are used in steel reinforced concrete and come in a variety of higher strengths. Typically used for industrial and agricultural purposes. Due to the very strong nature of this mix, it can be used for:

  • Internal and external walls
  • Flooring
  • Exposed areas
  • Heavy-duty requirements

Strength: Very high

PAV1

This is an exterior concrete mix that is generally used for lighter applications such as pavements, domestic driveways or paving. It also has increased protection from frost, allowing it to withstand stronger weather conditions.

Strength: Medium – High

PAV2

This is simply a stronger version of the PAV1 mix so is more suited to commercial applications for driveways and paving etc.

Strength: High

Pump mixes

All of our higher strength mixes can be produced for placement via a concrete pump. Ask us about the benefits of using a concrete pump to place your concrete.

Foamed concrete

As the name suggests, this mix has more of a slurry consistency compared to some of the other mixes. It has very little, if any, coarse aggregate elements and is made up of finer aggregate materials.

It may be used for:

  • Bridge strengthening
  • Levelling terrains
  • Insulation purposes
  • Tunnel construction

Strength: Low – Medium

Screed

Sand/cement screed is used inside buildings for finished floors, as a base for tiling or to cover underfloor heating. We can add a retarder to delay the setting where large areas are being laid in one day.

How long does it take for my concrete to ‘set’?

Depending on the mix you choose, your concrete will be set within 24 – 48 hours, however, will be usable after 7 days. The strength of the concrete is only determined after 28 days as this is when it reaches its ‘full design strength’. You should wait the full period before using heavy vehicles on your concrete.

Get in touch with AMS Concrete today

If you have a concrete project planned, AMS Concrete offer both mix-on-site and ready mix concrete options in the mix designs mentioned above.

You can read more about our concrete options here, or alternatively give our team a call on 01202 579579 or email enquiries@avonmaterialsupplies.co.uk.

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