Question: What's the nominal weight of standard concrete?

Answer: Anyone who has ever moved it by the shovelful will tell you fresh concrete is heavy, but just how heavy it is depends on the mix proportions and the particular ingredients. A good rule of thumb for most concrete mixtures is 150 pounds per cubic foot. If you fill a 5-gallon bucket you've moved nearly 100 pounds of concrete. Fill a standard contractor-size wheelbarrow and you could be pushing more than 800 pounds.

But there also are both lighter and heavier varieties. The weight change usually is made by using a different coarse aggregate. For example, aggregates such as expanded shale are used to produce concrete for elevated decks and other applications where weight is a concern. This type of lightweight mixture often is in the 90- to 110-pounds-per-cubic-foot range. At the other end of the spectrum, heavyweight aggregates, such as hematite, can be used to provide high-density concrete weighing 300 pounds per cubic foot or more. That type of concrete can be called for in applications such as walls that provide radiation shielding or as ballast for bridge counterweights.