Grade Of Concrete And Their Uses – Concrete Mix Ratio


Cement concrete may be defined as building material obtained by mixing cement, sand, aggregates and water in suitable proportion and then curing this plastic mixture to a hard mass.

It can be easily moulded to durable structure members. The volume of aggregates in concrete varies from 60 to 78%.

What is Grade of Concrete?

Concrete mixes are classified by their grade having specified crushing strength at 28 days as measured in standard conditions with 150 mm × 150 mm × 150 mm size cube, which means the grade of concrete corresponds to its characteristic compressive strength

M-20 shows the crushing strength of that cube having size 150 mm × 150 mm × 150 mm at 28 days is 20 N/mm2.

Grade Of Concrete And Their Uses - Concrete Mix Ratio

Concrete is graded or designated based on its compressive strength. Following IS 456:2000, it is graded into fifteen types as given in the table below.

GroupDesignationCharacteristic Compressive Strength Fck at 28 days (N/mm2)
Ordinary ConcreteM 10
M 15
M 20
Standard ConcreteM 25
M 30
M 35
M 40
M 45
M 50
M 55
High strength ConcreteM 60
M 65
M 70
M 75
M 80
Grade of Concrete

Grades of concrete are indicated by the letter M which means mix and, it is followed by a number that is the compressive strength of that concrete at 28 days in N/mm2.

Also, Read - Plum Concrete – Purpose, Ratio, Specification and Uses

Concrete Mix Ratio

The concrete mix ratio is the proportion of its ingredients like cement, sand, aggregate, and water. These mix ratios are defined based on the type of construction and required strength.

Although the IS Code gives nominal and standard mix ratios for different construction work based on experience and testing.

Type of Concrete Mix

  • Nominal Concrete Mix
  • Designed Concrete Mix

Nominal Mix 

The Nominal concrete mix may be used for concrete of grade M5, M10, M15 and M20. The proportion of its ingredients are given below:

     Grade of Concrete
Maximum Quantity of Dry Coarse and Fine Aggregates by Mass per 50 kg of Cement (kg)Proportion of Fine Aggregates to Coarse Aggregates by MassMaximum   quantity of water per 50 kg of Cement (Litres)
M 5
    M 7.5
    M 10
    M 15
    M 20

Generally, 1:2 but subject to an upper limit of 1:1.5 and a lower limit of 1: 2.5

The proportion of fine to coarse aggregates should be adjusted from the upper limit to the lower limit progressively, as the grading of fine aggregates become finer and the maximum size of coarse aggregate become larger. Graded coarse aggregate should be used. 

Designed Concrete Mix

In designed concrete mixes, the proportion of ingredients of concrete are determined to obtain concrete of specified properties with the overall economy. Concrete is graded according to its compressive strength given in the table below:- 

Different Types of Concrete Grade With Concrete Mix Ratio and Compressive Strength  

Normal Concrete Grades

Grade Of Concrete And Their Uses - Concrete Mix Ratio
Normal Concrete Grades

Standard Concrete Grades

Grade Of Concrete And Their Uses - Concrete Mix Ratio
Standard Concrete Grades

High Strength Concrete Grades

Grade Of Concrete And Their Uses - Concrete Mix Ratio
High Strength Concrete Grades
Also, Read - OPC vs PPC - Difference Between OPC and PPC Cement

Uses of Different Grades of Concrete

Ordinary grade of Concrete

M 5, M 10, M 15 are used for PCC (Plain cement concrete) work such as Levelling course, bedding for footing, etc.

M 20 is used for RCC ( Reinforced Cement Concrete ) work such as Slab, Beams, Columns, footing etc (for mild exposure).

Standard Grade Concrete

M 25, M 30, M 35 are used for RCC ( Reinforced Cement Concrete ) like foundations, footings columns, beams, slabs etc.

M-40 grade is used for Pre-stressed concrete work, slabs, beams, column, footing etc.

M-45, M-50 grades are used for RCC, Runways, Concrete Roads( POQ ) Prestressed concrete girders, RCC columns, Prestressed beams etc.

M-55 grade is used for Pre-stressed concrete girders and piers etc.

High Strength Concrete

M-60, M-65, M-80 are used for RCC work where high compressive strength is required such as high rise building, long Span bridges, ultra-thin white topping and spillways of dams, coastal construction etc.

So, friends, I hope now you understood the grade of concrete and their mix ratio. If you found this information helpful, please share it.


Also, read

What are the Properties of fresh Concrete?

What is Workability of Concrete? – Factors affecting the workability of concrete

Water Cement Ratio – Definition, Importance, Calculation

How to do rate analysis for Concrete?

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