Cement is a binding material which makes a bond between aggregates and reinforcing materials together. With the development of technology, quality and types of cement have also developed. So there are different types of cement for different construction works.

Types of Cement

Followings are the types of cement:

  1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)
  2. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)
  3. Rapid Hardening Cement
  4. Quick setting cement
  5. Low Heat Cement
  6. Sulphates resisting cement
  7. High Alumina Cement
  8. White Cement
  9. Colored cement
  10. Air Entraining Cement
  11. Expansive cement
  12. Hydrophobic cement

Brief descriptions of these cement types with their uses is given below. 

Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)

In usual construction work, Ordinary Portland Cement is widely used. The composition of Ordinary Portland Cement:

  • Argillaceous or silicates of alumina (clay and shale)
  • Calcareous or calcium carbonate (limestone, chalk, and marl)

Uses of Ordinary Portland Cement

  • It is used for general construction purposes.
  • It is also used in most of the masonry works.

Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)

Pozzolans are natural or synthetic materials that contain silica in reactive forms. It reacts with calcium hydroxide generated by hydrating cement to form additional cementations materials when it is finely divided. The composition of Portland Pozzolana Cement:

  • OPC clinker
  • Gypsum
  • Pozzolanic Materials (Fly ash, volcanic ash, and Calcined clay or silica fumes.)

Uses of Portland Pozzolana Cement

  • PPC is usually used in hydraulic structures, marine structures, construction near the seashore, dam construction etc.
  • It is also used in pre-stressed and post-tensioned concrete members.
  • As it gives a better surface finish, it is used in decorative and art structures.
  • It is also used in the manufacture of precast sewage pipes.

Read More:

  • Difference Between OPC and PPC
  • Rapid Hardening Cement

    When finely grounded Tri-calcium silicate (C3S) is present in OPC with higher content, it gains strength more quickly than OPC. This type of OPC is called Rapid Hardening Cement. It’s initial Setting Time 30 minutes and Final Setting Time 600 minutes.

    Uses of Rapid Hardening Cement

    • Rapid hardening cement is mostly used where rapid construction is needed like the construction of pavement.
    • It also gives high strength.

    Quick Setting Cement

    Quick setting cement is the cement which sets in a very short time. The initial setting time is 5 minutes and the final setting time is 30 minutes. The composition of Quick Setting Cement:

    • Clinker
    • Aluminium sulphate (1% to 3% by weight of clinker)
    • The aluminium sulphte increase the hydration rate of silicate.

    Uses of Quick Setting Cement

    • It is used in underwater construction.
    • It is also used in rainy & cold weather conditions.
    • It is used a higher temperature where water evaporates easily.
    • Used for anchoring or rock bolt mining and tunneling

    Low Heat Cement

    It is a spatial type of cement which produce low heat of hydration during setting. Some chemical composition of Ordinary Portland Cement is modified to reduce the heat of hydration. The chemical composition of low heat cement:

    • A low percentage (5%) of tricalcium aluminate (C3A)
    • A higher percentage (46%) of declaim silicate (C2S).

    Uses of Low Heat Cement

    • It is used for the construction of dam’s large footing, large raft slabs, and wind turbine plinths.
    • It is also used for the construction of chemical plants.

    Sulphates resisting cement

    Sulphet resisting cement is used to resist sulphet attacks in concrete. Due to the lower percentage of Tricalcium aluminate, the production of calcium sulpho-aluminates gets reduced.

    Uses of Sulphates resisting Cement

    • Construction in contact with soils or groundwater having more than 0.2% or 0.3 % g/l sulphate salts respectively.
    • Concrete surfaces subjected to alternate wetting and drying such as bridge piers, concrete surface in tidal zone, apron, Building near seacoast.
    • Effluent treatment plans, Chimney, Chemical industries, water storage, sumps, drainage works, Cooling towers, Coastal protective works such as sea walls, breakwaters, tetrapods etc.

    High Alumina Cement

    High Alumina cement is obtained by mixing calcining bauxite (it’s an aluminium ore) and ordinary lime with clinker during the manufacture of OPC. In which the total amount of alumina content should not be lesser than 32% and it should maintain the ratio by weight of alumina to the lime between 0.85 to 1.30.

    Uses of High Alumina Cement

    • It is used where concrete structures are subjected to high temperatures like workshop, refractory, foundries etc
    • It also used where the concrete is subjected to frost and acidic action.

    White Cement

    White cement is quite similar to Ordinary Portland Cement except for color. Amounts of iron oxide and manganese oxide are low in White Cement. It is expensive then OPC so not economical for ordinary work.

    Uses of White Cement

    • It is usually used in decorative work.
    • It can also use for traffic barriers, tile grouts, swimming pools, roof tiles patching materials and terrazzo surfaces.

    Read More about White Cement:

    Colored Cement

    To make 5 to 10 percent of suitable pigments are grinded with OPC. Types of pigments are selected according to the desired color.

    Uses of Colored Cement

    • Colored cement is used for different decorative work.

    Air Entraining Cement

    Air-entraining cement is a spatial type of cement which entrains tinny air bubbles in concrete. When water in concrete get frizzed due to low temperature, it expands. When air-entraining cement, the air voids in concrete provides space for water to expand without cracking concrete. But this type cement does not provide high strength in concrete.

    Uses of Air-Entraining Cement

    • Spatially it is used in areas where the temperature is very low.
    • It also resists Sulphet attack.
    • It is used where the de-iceing chemical is used.

    Expansive Cement

    In the hydration process, the expansive cement expands its volume. It can be possible to overcome shrinkage loss by using expansive cement.

    There are three types of expansive cement:

    1. K Type expansive cement
    2. M Type expansive cement
    3. S Type expansive cement

    K Type expansive cement

    Raw materials of these types of cement

    • Portland cement
    • Anhydrous tetracalcium trialuminate sulfate (C4A3S)
    • Calcium sulfate (CaSO4)
    • Lime (CaO).

    M Type Expansive Cement

    Raw materials of these types of cement

    1. Portland cement clinkers
    2. Calcium sulfate.

    S Type Expansive Cement

    Raw materials of these types of cement

    1. Portland cement clinkers
    2. Calcium sulfate (High amount)
    • Tricalcium aluminate (C3A) (High amount)

    Uses of Expansive cement

    • It is used in the construction of the pre-stressed concrete component.
    • It is also used for sealing joints and grouting anchor bolt.
    • In the construction of different hydraulic structures, this type of cement is used.

    Hydrophobic Cement

    To resist the hydration process in the transportation or storage stage, clinkers are grinded with water repellent film substance such as Oleic Acid or Stearic Acid.  These chemicals form a layer on the cement particle and do not allow water to mix and start the hydration process. When cement and aggregate are thoroughly mixed in the mixer, protective layers break and start normal hydration with some air-entrainment which increase workability.

    Uses of Hydrophobic Cement

    • Usually, it is used in the construction of water structures such as dams, spillways, or other submerged structures.
    • It is also used in the construction of underground structure like tunnel etc.


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