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Concrete mix ratios are the proportions of concrete components such as cement, sand, aggregates and water. These mix ratios are decided based on type of construction and mix designs.

However, building codes provides nominal and standard concrete mix ratios for various construction works based on experience and testing. These types of concrete mix ratios are discussed in this article.

Types of Concrete Mix Ratio and their Strengths

Types of Concrete Mix Ratio – Mix Designs

Nominal Concrete Mix Ratios

In the past the specifications for concrete prescribed the proportions of cement, fine and coarse aggregates. These mixes of fixed cement-aggregate ratio which ensures adequate strength are termed nominal mixes.

Nominal mixes offer simplicity and under normal circumstances, have a margin of strength above that specified. However, due to the variability of mix ingredients the nominal concrete for a given workability varies widely in strength.

Nominal mix ratios for concrete are 1:2:4 for M15, 1:1.5:3 for M20 etc.

Standard Mixes or Ratio

The nominal mixes of fixed cement-aggregate ratio (by volume) vary widely in strength and may result in under or over-rich mixes. For this reason, the minimum compressive strength has been included in many specifications. These mixes are termed standard mixes.

IS 456-2000 has designated the concrete mixes into a number of grades as M10, M15, M20, M25, M30, M35 and M40. In this designation the letter M refers to the mix and the number to the specified 28 day cube strength of mix in N/mm2.

The mixes of grades M10, M15, M20 and M25 correspond approximately to the mix proportions (1:3:6), (1:2:4), (1:1.5:3) and (1:1:2) respectively.

Designed Mix Ratio of Concrete

In these mixes the performance of the concrete is specified by the designer but the mix proportions are determined by the producer of concrete, except that the minimum cement content can be laid down. This is most rational approach to the selection of mix proportions with specific materials in mind possessing more or less unique characteristics.

The approach results in the production of concrete with the appropriate properties most economically. However, the designed mix does not serve as a guide since this does not guarantee the correct mix proportions for the prescribed performance.

For the concrete with undemanding performance nominal or standard mixes (prescribed in the codes by quantities of dry ingredients per cubic meter and by slump) may be used only for very small jobs, when the 28-day strength of concrete does not exceed 30 N/mm2. No control testing is necessary reliance being placed on the masses of the ingredients.

Following table provides details of different types of concrete mix ratios and their strengths.

Concrete GradeMix RatioCompressive Strength
MPa (N/mm2)psi
Normal Grade of Concrete
M51 : 5 : 105 MPa725 psi
M7.51 : 4 : 87.5 MPa1087 psi
M101 : 3 : 610 MPa1450 psi
M151 : 2 : 415 MPa2175 psi
M201 : 1.5 : 320 MPa2900 psi
Standard Grade of Concrete
M251 : 1 : 225 MPa3625 psi
M30Design Mix30 MPa4350 psi
M35Design Mix35 MPa5075 psi
M40Design Mix40 MPa5800 psi
M45Design Mix45 MPa6525 psi
High Strength Concrete Grades
M50Design Mix50 MPa7250 psi
M55Design Mix55 MPa7975 psi
M60Design Mix60 MPa8700 psi
M65Design Mix65 MPa9425 psi
M70Design Mix70 MPa10150 psi

Read More:

What are the Types of Concrete? What are their Applications?

Concrete Calculator – Calculate Concrete for Slab, Beam, Column and Footings

Concrete – Definition, Grades, Components, Manufacture, Construction and Articles

About Gopal MishraVerified

Gopal Mishra is a Civil Engineer from NIT Calicut and has more than 10 years of experience in Civil Engineering and Construction. He is the founder of The Constructor.

Comments ( 10 )

  1. Haven't mentioned abt the mix ratio of M30, M35 and M40

  2. helps a lot..

  3. Great House, we learn many things from this site, Thanks to Mr. Gopal Mishra,

    Answer to the following Questinations.

    1. Defination for High Strength Concrete & Design a high strength concrete for use in the production of precast prestressed concrete to suit following requirements.
    A.CEMENT
    B.WATER
    C.FINE AGGREGATE
    D.COARSE AGGREGATE
    2. Are you add ADMIXTURE & If any possibility to reduce Stell, if it is possble Explain How it is possible?

  4. I am soo proud about the kind of education this site provides me.

  5. Tariq Almaghrebi
    Feb 7, 2012 at 12:33

    the joy of life is to do something has never been expected, nor done before.

  6. gr8 website,., hv gathered alot of useful info.,

  7. Manohar Lal Chandel
    Nov 15, 2011 at 14:32

    I m very happy with all information available by this site.

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