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Cement is a common construction material which is the mostly used in the construction world. Strength as well as the life of the structure mainly dependent on strength of the cement. The chemical reaction between cement and water is called hydration and it plays an important role in gaining strength.
Also Read: All You Need to Know About Cement
Cement is a very hygroscopic fine powder having a property of absorbing moisture from the air quickly. The cement when stored for longer period of time loses its strength. The cement when used after one year of its production, loses its strength approximately by 40-50% as compared to freshly produced cement. Some little amount of moisture content is always present in the air. Therefore, hydration continuous inside though slowly and little amount of initial setting always take place. And therefore, over a period of time, the strength of cement reduces.
Also Read: Wha is Effect of Moisture on Cement Bag
The strength of the cement, which has been stored for a long period of time, should always be checked before it has been taken in use for important works. Generally, cement more than three months old can be used without testing. It is recommended that always use three months old cement bags.
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Storing cement bags in bulk in the godown has a rule called ‘first in first out’. It simply means the older cement bags should go out of the godown first for its use.
If you use one year old cement bags, you may never achieve designed strength. Such old cement however may be used for non-structural purposes (like in plain cement concrete (P.C.C.), mortar for flooring, plaster etc.) with slightly higher proportion and of course with permission of Engineer-in-charge or Architect.