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Cement Widely Used Building Material | All the Basic Info 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 older times, lime with various admixtures was widely used as a natural material in its absences.

In fact, cement has made the modern world possible. It enables the tallest skyscraper defining a skyline of a metro, expressways & highways. It also enables bridges, tunnels, dams & canals, to schools, colleges & hospitals to your home. What love is to family, so is cement to home.

Ordinary Portland Cement

Cement is a chemical bonding material that gives physical forms to our dream house. It ensures that the house is strong and durable.

Importance

Natural materials like lime and clay have many limitations, while cement is produced in controlled condition, packed and can be easily transported at the required place. Cement is cheap and nowadays it’s the best alternate binding materials in place of other binding materials like polymers, epoxy, etc. Hence, it has become most demanding material in the developing countries. To know more about this topic, read significance 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. Know about Quick Setting Cement, Low Heat Cement, Rapid Hardening Cement, Portland Slag Cement.

Composition or Raw Materials 

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 Alkalies (K2O, Na2O). To know more about proportioning of raw materials used to manufacture the cement, read composition of cement.

Manufacturing

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, flyash, 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 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.

Classification

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.

Types of Cement available in Europe:

  • 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:

Uses

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

Generally, cement is used to make mortar and concrete. It has incredible uses when used in Reinforced Cement Concrete (R.C.C.). To know the benefits of cement, read benefits of cement . You can also go through Infographic benefits of Cement.

Properties

Cement is to be recognized as a good cement if it provides good strength to concrete or masonry. It also makes concrete or mortar workable, and 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.

Physical Properties

Fineness of cement, Soundness of cement, Consistency of cement, Strength of cement, Setting time of cement, Heat of hydration, Loss of ignition, Bulk density of cement, Specific gravity of cement, etc.

Chemical Compounds

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

Know more about the physical and chemical properties.

Select Best

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 etc.), initial strength gain needed, etc. Before you choose the cement to build your house, get few useful tips on the best cement.

Precautions while Transportation and Storage

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.

Also read:
Precautions while transporting Cement.
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 the right period of storing of cement.

The cement godown/warehouse or storage building should be made separately and should be 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. During the transportation or while handling the cement, it gets wasted which will increase the cost of construction work. Read the tips that can prevent the wastage of cement.

Buying Tips

Summary

Cement can be defined as a soft grey powder and a versatile binding chemical compound. It 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. It can be used for different properties depending upon the structure to be built.

OPC Cement
Cement paste

Cement, when mixed with water, transforms into a paste that binds and hardens. For detailed explanations, we can state that it 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.

Also 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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