Have you ever wondered what the floor you are standing on gets made out of? Ever wonder how such big skyscrapers and bridges get made? Your question has a one-word answer to it – cement. This is the rough powdery substance that gets used to create some of the strongest structures worldwide.

This fine gray powder is a mixture of many different types of naturally available materials like limestone and clay. It is then mixed with water to create concrete – the substance used to create all homes and buildings. After reading this article, you will understand the various types of cement, how they get made, and their multiple uses.

What Is Cement?

about Cement

Cement is a gray powder created by grinding together various solid substances. These solid substances are naturally available minerals like limestone, clay, and much more. After it gets made, its main application is in creating concrete structures. This includes the creation of houses, buildings, bridges, dams, and many more structural designs.

The primary use of this material lies in making concrete. Concrete is a substance created by mixing cement with water and sand. This creates concrete that turns into a super solid substance that holds other objects together when dried and hardened. Therefore, this makes concrete the best material for making architectural structures globally.

Types Of Cement

Types Of Cement

Currently, there are 15 different types of cement. They are:

Hydraulic

This refers to cement made using hydration techniques like adding water to the mixture of limestone, clay, and gypsum. This hardens the mix and gets referred to as hydration. The hardened mixture is then burned at high temperatures to create fine gray dust.

Non – Hydraulic

Instead of hardening the mixture by hydration, carbon dioxide gets used instead. Plasters and oxychlorides are also added to the mix to help with the hardening process.

Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)

Portland cement gets made using a mixture of clay, shale, limestone, chalk, and marl. It is then hydrated to create a mix explicitly made for construction work. This is the most common type of cement that is available globally.

Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)

This is created using a mixture of OPC and adding pozzolanic materials like fly ash, volcanic ash, and calcined or silica fumes. This is mainly used near water bodies since it is pretty water-resistant. It gets used to create bridges over water bodies and dams.

Rapid Hardening

This is made by mixing OPC with tri-calcium silicates (C3S). This creates a mixture that hardens very quickly. This is best used wherever rapid constructions are required, like building pavements.

Quick Setting

Quick setting cement gets made using OPC with clinker, aluminum sulfate, and other silica materials. The resulting mixture is a highly water-resistant mixture that dries up very quickly. It gets used under waterbodies for making underwater structures.

Low Heat

Experimentation with OPC in adding less tricalcium illuminate (5%) and adding a higher percentage (46%) of declaiming silicates. When hydrated, it requires lesser heat compared to the other types. This gets used in constructing large dams and chemical plants.

Sulfate Resisting

In this type, a lower mixture of tricalcium illuminate gets used. This makes the mix less susceptible to sulfates, which is quite harmful. Many chimneys and water storage plants get made using this.

Blast Furnace

This is the result of mixing OPC with blast furnace slag (65%). This is highly resistant to sulfates and used for underwater constructions.

High Alumina

Aluminum ore is mixed with OPC during hydration to create this mix. This is highly resistant to extreme temperatures. Therefore, it gets used to build workshops (high temperatures) and freezer storage (shallow temperatures). 

White Cement

This is made by adding less iron and manganese oxides to OPC. This is expensive and does not get for construction projects. Therefore, it gets used in making decorative setpieces like statues.

Colored Cement

Colored cement can have various colors. It is made by adding coloring pigments to OPC.

Air Entrained

During the hydration process of OPC, gas bubbles are blown into it to make it resistant to frost, fire, acids, and many other harmful substances. Therefore, these gas bubbles get trapped in the mixture, successfully entraining the product.

Expansive Mix

Various raw materials like calcium sulfates, lime, tricalcium aluminates, and OPC clinkers are added during hydration. This prevents shrinkage loss due to its expansion during the hydration process.

Hydrophobic

This gets made by mixing oleic or stearic acids during storage. This prevents hydration of the mixture in case water comes into contact with it. This layer of oil protects it from water and later breaks down when thoroughly mixed to start hydration and air entrainment.

How To Make Cement?

How To Make Cement

If you ever thought about how cement is made, you have come to the correct section. Its elemental composition includes mixing limestone, chalk, clay, shale, marl, and slates.

Compounds of lime (CaO) get mixed with silica (SiO2) and alumina (Al2O3) to create this substance. Iron oxides (Fe2O3) and Bauxite or hydrated aluminum {Al(OH)3} also gets used in smaller quantities. Gypsum and magnesium are often added depending on the type of composition created.

What Is The Amount Of Cement Exported From China?

China exports approximately 65,000 tonnes of cement to the USA, which only accounts for 8% of its total exports by China.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1. What Is Cement Made Of?

It combines eight materials – limestone, clay, marl, Bauxite, chalk, shale, sand, and iron ores. These get connected in a grinder that grinds them together and turns them into dust.

Q2. What Is Cement Explain?

It is a powdery substance made by grinding eight materials like clay, limestone, and more together. When mixed with sand and water, it forms concrete used to create houses, buildings, and large structures like bridges and dams.

Q3. What Are The Five Types Of Cement?

There are more than five types of cement, amounting to 15. They are:

  • Hydraulic
  • Non – Hydraulic 
  • Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)
  • Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)
  • Rapid Hardening 
  • Quick Setting 
  • Low Heat 
  • Sulfate Resisting 
  • Blast Furnace 
  • High Alumina 
  • White
  • Colored
  • Air Entraining 
  • Expansive 
  • Hydrophobic 

Q4. What Is Cement Formula?

Its chemical formula is – 4CaO·Al2O3·Fe2O3 = Calcium Alumino Ferrite.

Conclusion

Many people say that cement is one of the most valuable inventions of humanity. Before there was concrete, there were only mud houses and marble palaces. This material helped create most homes that you see (even the one you live in) and even developed bridges, dams, and other large solid structures.

If you read this article to know more about cement, read our other similar articles!

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Debamalya Mukherjee
Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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