Does the Shade or Colour of Cement Affects the Strength of Cement?
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Cement is a composite material. It is manufactured from the various raw materials such as lime stone, silica, alumina, iron oxide etc. which are found naturally from clay or shale. These ingredients are heated at high temperature and then they are ground into the fine powder which is known as cement. To know more about calcareous materials, argillaceous materials and gypsum, read raw materials used for manufacturing of cement.
Usually, fresh cement gets its colour from the nature & colour of its raw materials used, which will be different from factory to factory because source of raw materials i.e. mines would be different. It may also differ in the different batches of cement produced in a same factory, too.
The quality of cement doesn’t depend upon the shade of the cement. It mainly depends upon the raw materials used, fineness of cement, and quality control measures adopted during its manufacturing process.
There are two types of manufacturing process, wet manufacturing process of cement and dry manufacturing process of cement. In both manufacturing process, the raw materials interact with each other in the kiln and form more complex compound during manufacturing process.
Normally, the colour of ordinary Portland Cement is greenish grey. In blended cement, various pozzolana materials (such as fly ash, slags, rice husk ash, micro silica etc.) are added replacing bulk quantity of cement to achieve higher strength to lower cost and to use disposable by-products which otherwise harms the environment. The pozzolana materials are also artificial as well as naturally available by-products and they all also differ based on its different sources. Therefore, shade of blended cement also differs based on sources of the pozzolana materials. To know more about fly ash, slags, rice husk ash, micro silica etc., read pozzolana materials.
Different types of aggregates are used to make the concrete. We have already classified size wise aggregates, shape wise aggregates and concrete aggregates according to Nature of Formation. Aggregates play important role in concrete. Read the role of aggregates in concrete. The colour of the finished concrete is also affected by the colour of the aggregates, and to a lesser extent by the colour of the cement.
Preference for any cement on the basis of colour alone is therefore technically misplaced. Thus, the colour of cement has nothing to do with either strength of cement or strength of concrete and mortar.
Cement is available in many colours. Different colours of cement like white, red, black, etc. are used to décor houses.
From aforementioned info, we can say that the colour of cement neither affect the quality of cement, nor any properties of cement. Thus, the shade or colour of cement has nothing to do with the strength of cement. Choose whichever you like and whichever is available.
Remember in india, to get IS mark for any cement manufacturer is compulsory. Hence all cements have basic properties and strength that are needed irrespective of raw materials, brand, colour, and manufacturing process.