Cement Widely Used Building Material | All the Basic Info You Need to Know!

Every person has a dream for beautiful and comfortable house. When we want to build a house, we plan the whole things. How much money we want in building a house? We compromise in things like interior or other things, but we cannot sacrifice on cement expense because we want strong and durable house.

Cement House

Cement House

Why is Cement Important to Construction? 

Cement is very important building material among others in construction industries. Cement has replaced all other building materials, like clay and lime, which ruled high for hundreds of years, in construction. It has an ability to hold the structure together.

Ordinary Portland Cement

Now it’s very important to know regarding cement, few points are there.
Why Cement is widely used Building Material?

All the Basic Information you Need to Know

  • Cement is one of the most popular construction material in the modern world.
  • It is used to bind other building materials together.
  • In absence of cement, lime with various admixtures was widely used as a natural material, in olden days.
  • Cement has made the modern world possible.

It enables:
Tallest skyscraper, skyline of a metro
Expressways
Highways
Bridges
Tunnels
Dams
Canals
Schools & Colleges
Hospitals & our home.

“What love is to family, so is cement to home”.

Strength of Cement

Cement is a chemical bonding material that gives physical shape to our dream house and ensures that it is strong and durable.

Importance of Cement

  • Natural materials like lime and clay have many limitations, while cement is produced in controlled condition, packed and can easily be transported at the required places.
  • Cement is cheap and nowadays it’s the best alternate binding materials in place of other binding materials like polymers, epoxy, etc. Hence cement has become most demanding material in the developing countries.

To know more about this topic, Read: Importance of cement.

Types of Cement

Types of Cement

Portland cement is the most basic form of cement, but nowadays use of Portland Pozzolana cement has increased day by day.

Read: Pros & Cons of Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) Over Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and Pros & Cons of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) Over Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC).

Special types of cements are also manufactured by different manufacturers to use in unusual environmental conditions. Such as:

The most primary form of cement is a Portland cement. It is the most common and ordinary type of cement. Nowadays manufacturers produce different type of cement to overcome the demands of customer from all around the world.

Following are the list of different types of cement available in India, Europe and United States of America.

Types of Cement Available in India

  • Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)
  • Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)
  • Rapid Hardening Cement
  • Extra Rapid Hardening Cement
  • Quick Setting Cement
  • Low Heat Cement
  • Sulphate Resisting Cement
  • Portland Slag Cement (PSC)
  • High Alumina Cement
  • White Cement
  • Coloured Cement
  • Air Entraining Cement
  • Hydrophobic Cement
  • Masonry Cement
  • Expansive Cement
  • Oil Well Cement
Also Read: Infographic Types of Cement

Types of Cement Available in Europe

As per Euro EN 197-1, cement can be classified as

  • CEM I (Portland cement)
  • CEM II (Portland-composite cement)
  • CEM III (Blast furnace cement)
  • CEM IV (Pozzolanic cement)
  • CEM V (Composite cement)

Types of Cement Available in USA

As per ASTM C150, cement can be classified as

  • Type I (Portland cement)
  • Type II (Sulphate Resisting Cement)
  • Type III (Rapid Hardening Cement)
  • Type IV (Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)
  • Type V (Hydrophobic Cement)

Cement Composition or Raw Materials Used for Manufacturing of Cement

Generally, cement is a dark grey powder which is made of lime (CaO), Silica (SiO2), Alumina (AL2 O3), Iron Oxide (Fe2O3), Magnesium Oxide (MgO), Sulphur Trioxide (SO3), and Alkalis (K2O, Na2O).

To know more about proportioning of raw materials used to manufacture the cement, Read: Composition of Cement.

Manufacturing of Cement

As per Portland Cement Association (PCA), Bricklayer Joseph Aspdin of Leeds, England first made portland cement early in the 19th century by burning powdered limestone and clay in his kitchen stove. With this crude method, he laid the foundation for an industry that annually processes literally mountains of limestone, clay, cement rock, and other materials into a powder so fine it will pass through a sieve capable of holding water.

Cement can be manufactured by dry process and wet process.

In dry process of cement manufacturing, the raw materials are pulverized into fine powder in mills. The dry powder of raw materials is kept separately in hoppers. Then they are mixed together in correct proportion and feed to rotary keen where clinkers are obtained. These clinkers are further grinded and gypsum, fly ash, etc. are added to that clinker powder which makes cement.
To know the detail process, Read: Dry Process for Manufacturing of Cement.

In wet Process of cement manufacturing, water is added in the dry powder of raw materials to make the slurry or blends. Blend is delivered to the rotary kiln where clinkers are obtained. Clinkers are grinded and mixed with gypsum, fly ash, etc. in required proportion which results in the cement.
To know the detailed procedure, Read: Wet Process for Manufacturing of Cement.

Uses of Cement

Different types of cement are used to construct a house or a structure. It depends upon the functional requirement of structure, design parameters, durability characteristics and environmental conditions of that particular location. Even one can use two or more types of cement in a single structure.

Generally, cement is used to make cement mortar and cement concrete. Cement has incredible uses when used in Reinforced Cement Concrete (R.C.C.).

To know more benefits of cement, Read: Uses of cement or you can go through Infographic Uses of Cement.

Properties of Cement

Cement can be recognized as a good cement, if it provides good strength to concrete or masonry. It also makes concrete or mortar workable, hardens early and it also helps to resist moisture. Hence cement needs following basic physical or chemical properties to make the good concrete or mortar.
Following are the Physical Properties of Cement:

Following are the Chemical compounds of Cement:

  • Tricalcium aluminate
  • Tricalcium silicate
  • Dicalcium silicate
  • Ferrite
  • Magnesia
  • Sulphur trioxide
  • Iron Oxide
  • Alkalis
  • Free Lime
  • Alumina

To know the physical and chemical properties of cement in detail, Read: Properties of cement.

Characteristics of Cement

It may be visualized that in a particular environment, the properties of concrete and mortar are affected by the characteristics of cement. The use and selection of cement will ultimately depend on the strength desired, environmental factors, nature of structure i.e. mass concrete, initial strength gain needed, etc.

Before you choose the cement to build your house, get few useful tips on the best cement.

Precautions While Transporting and Storing of Cement

Cement has a tendency to react with water either in liquid or in the form of atmospheric moisture. Moisture is a great enemy of the cement.
To know more, Read: Effects of moisture on cement.
To control the effect of moisture, cement should be transported in closed body truck and stored well on site. Know the precautions before you transport the cement.

Also Read: Precaution while storing the cement bags in godown

The quality of cement also depends on the storage period. Longer the storage period, higher the chances of getting affected by the moisture. Hence do not use cement which is stored in for a longer duration or test such cement, before you use it.  To know the recommended storage time, Read: Storage life of Cement. The cement godown/warehouse or storage building should be made separately and elevated to protect the cement from the various environmental factors like damp, rain etc.

Read: Few more tips on Cement godown.
Cement is a costlier material than the other ingredients of the mortar and concrete. Please note that during the transportation or while handling the cement, it gets wasted which will increase the cost of construction work.
Read: Tips to prevent the wastage of cement.

Cement Buying Tips

Summary

Cement Paste

Cement can be defined as a soft grey powder and a versatile binding chemical compound that has provided several options for construction in this modern age. It can be used to hold the parts (aggregate, sand, bricks etc.) together by simply adding water. Cement can be used for different properties depending upon the structure to be built.

Cement, when mixed with water, transforms into a paste that binds and hardens. For detailed explanations, we can state that cement is a binding agent. When water is added to cement, a chemical reaction, in form of hydration takes place making it into paste alike which has high compressive strength, durability & resistance. When properly weighed and mixed with aggregates and water, cement can make concrete or mortar. It remains workable for a relatively long period of time. Vice-versa, after a specific time, concrete gains proper compressive & flexural strength and maintains long-term structure stability.

Cement is a mixture of compounds consisting mainly of silicates and aluminates of calcium formed out of silica, calcium oxide, aluminum oxide and iron oxide.

Though masonry structures were possible with lime, the roofs, large span structures and structure subjected to heavy loads, have become possible because of reinforced cement concrete, which would not have been possible without cement.

Though the most commonly used cement is Portland cement, with an advance of new research & technology and in a quest for conserving natural resources and reducing pollution now a days Pozzolana Cement have become more and more popular.

Must Read:

Can I Use One Year Old Cement Bag?
Does Cement Loses its Strength Over a Period of Time?
Pozzolanic Materials: Eco Friendly Substitute of Cement Ingredients
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Author:

Ritesh Patel

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