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Types Of Cement

Updated on October 22, 2011

Cement is a substance prepared by heating limestone with clay at 1450 degrees in a kiln. As a result “clinker” is produced to which other substances are added which determine different types of cement.

Cement gets hard on heating therefore it is used for construction and binding purposes.

There are three main types of cements:

  • Portland cements
  • Non Portland cements
  • Rapid hardening cements

Portland Cement

The Portland cement is the most basic and the most commonly used cement in the world the Portland cement was formerly known as ordinary Portland cement and is made by adding gypsum into the clinker. 

Using the Portland cement, concrete is made which is forms the basis of all the constructions. Concrete is made by adding the Portland cement, water and gravel and sand.

It can be cast in any shape and once it hardens it can form the base of any construction. However concrete is not very sustainable.

The Portland cement is versatile and durable and can be either grey or white.

Below are the common types of Portland cements:

Concrete Mixer
Concrete Mixer
Laying blocks with Masonry Cement
Laying blocks with Masonry Cement
  • White Cement

    The white cement is a type of Portland cement to which raw materials such as pure white chalk and white clay kaolin is added. It also contains very mall quantities of iron oxide and manganese oxide.

    The white cement as the name suggests is white in color due to the presence of white chalk. This cement is chosen as the material of preparation of white and off white colored concretes for buildings which are white from the outside.

  • Masonry Cement

    The masonry cements are a mixture of Portland cement and some selected minerals such as limestone and hydrated lime. As obvious the masonry cement is used for making masonry mortars used in brick lying, block lying, plastering and rendering. 

    Into the mixture of Portland cement and minerals, some air entraining plasticizers are added which form air bubbles in the mortar.

    Mostly, different sands and water is added to make the mortars more workable and cohesive. These cohesive mortars are freeze and thaw resistant in wet and a freshly hardened state.

  • Expansive Cements

    The expansive cements are the mixtures of Portland cement, calcium sulfoaluminate clinkers and some quantity of gypsum.

    The expansive cements are used as a compensation of concretes which tend to shrink as they dry out.

    Either the expansive cement is used for the compensation of the shrinkage of the concrete or used to increase the volume of the concrete when it is initially prepared.

Silica Fume
Silica Fume
  • Silica Fumes Portland Cement

    The silica fume Portland cement contains Portland cement and silica fumes.

    These cements have an exceptional strength and are extremely durable when hardened.
  • Blast Furnace Portland Cement

    The blast furnace Portland cement contains 70% granulated blast furnace slag, some gypsum and of course Portland cement.

    The blast furnace cement is of extreme high strength but if the fumes are added more the strength is reduced and the sulfate resistance is increased.

    These Portland cements are used as a compensation of Portland sulfate

Non Portland Cements

The non Portland cement is a high resistance, sustainable cement with the addition of braw materials such as: Calcium sulfoaluminate, Alkali aluminosilicates and certain Hydro carbons.

The non-Portland cement is of following types:

  • Geopolymer Cements

    The Geopolymer cements are a mixture of water-soluble alkali metal silicates and aluminosilicate mineral powders such as metakaolin and fly ash.
  • Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cements

    The calcium sulfoaluminate cements are made form clinkers used in the making of expansive cements. These cements are ultra high resistance cements, have a super strength and low energy cements

  • Calcium Aluminate Cements

    These cements are made from limestone and bauxite. The active ingredient used in this cement ismonocalcium aluminate CaAl2O4 and Mayenite Ca12Al14O33.

    The high strength of this cement is due to the hydration of calcium aluminate hydrates.

    This cement is well suited for the making of high temperature resistance concretes for furnace linings.
  • Slag-lime Cements

    The slag lime cements contain blast furnace slag and is activated by the addition of alkalis. Lime is also used in their making.


Rapid Hardening Cements

The rapid hardening cements are a mixture of Portland and non Portland cements.

These cements contain: Calcium aluminate or Calcium sulfoaluminate.

They set very quickly and when hardened are of very high strength and resistance.


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