# Concrete Strength: The Key to Building Solid Foundations

## What is the principal determinant of concrete strength?

A. amount of air entrained

B. type of portland cement used

C. volume of aggregate in the mix

D. water-cement ratio

## Answer:

D. Water-cement ratio is the principal determinant of concrete strength.

The water-cement ratio is the ratio of the weight of water to the weight of cement in a concrete mix. It has a significant impact on the strength and durability of concrete. When the water-cement ratio is high, the concrete will have more water and less cement, resulting in weaker concrete with lower durability. Conversely, a lower water-cement ratio will result in stronger, more durable concrete. The amount of air entrained, the type of Portland cement used, and the volume of aggregate in the mix can all influence the strength of concrete to some extent, but the water-cement ratio is the most critical factor. To achieve the desirable strength and durability of concrete, it's essential to use an appropriate water-cement ratio in the mix.

Next time you're working on a construction project, remember that the key to a solid foundation lies in getting the water-cement ratio just right!