Concrete Uses Cement as a Binder

When aggregate is mixed together with dry Portland cement and water, the mixture forms a fluid slurry that is easily poured and molded into shape. The cement reacts chemically with the water and other ingredients to form a hard matrix that binds the materials together into a durable stone-like material that has many uses.
Often, additives (such as pozzolans or superplasticizers) are included in the mixture to improve the physical properties of the wet mix or the finished material. Most concrete is poured with reinforcing materials (such as rebar) embedded to provide tensile strength, yielding reinforced concrete.
The size distribution of the aggregate determines how much binder is required. 
Aggregate with a very even size distribution has the biggest gaps whereas adding aggregate with smaller particles tends to fill these gaps. The binder must fill the gaps between the aggregate as well as pasting the surfaces of the aggregate together, and is typically the most expensive component. 
Workability of concrete is an important property of concrete while concrete is in its fresh state. Therefore slump test or compaction factor test should be performed to check workability of concrete. 
Concrete strength is normally to be ascertained from cubes or prisms samples tested at 28 days.
The water permeability test, Rapid Chloride Ion Penetration test, water absorption test, and the initial surface absorption test are tests to determine the durability of concrete. To determine its ability to resist weathering action, chemical attack and any process of deterioration.