Concrete, tarmac and asphalt

Concrete is any material composed of a mineral aggregate bound by a binder. Cement is a powder that, when mixed with water, gives a binder. In everyday use, concrete usually refers to Portland cement concrete, which uses Portland cement.

Our use of the word tarmac referring to road surfaces is historical. Tarmac was popular for surfacing roads about a century ago. Almost all road surfaces have been replaced by asphalt concrete, which is often just called asphalt in everyday use. Technically, asphalt refers to the binder used in asphalt concrete. Asphalt is also known at bitumen, and is a viscous liquid present in most crude oil.