What is cement ?

Cement is a binder material, and an important ingredient in concrete. In concrete cement along with water adheres to other materials and helps to hold them together. Cement used in construction are often lime or calcium silicate.

The most commonly used type of cement is Hydraulic cement. Hydraulic cement when reacts with water hardens by heat of hydration. The five main materials used for the manufacture of cement are:

  • Lime
  • Silica
  • Alumina
  • Iron
  • Gypsum

The four main stages of manufacturing are :

  • Grinding and crushing of the raw materials
  • Mixing and blending of the materials in the correct amount
  • burning the prepared mix in a kiln, and
  • Grinding the burned product, known as clinker.
  • Adding some amount of gypsm so as to regulate the setting time

When cement is mixed with water four important chemical compounds are formed, they are :

  • Tricalcium aluminate (C3A) – It is responsible for heat of hydration in initial stages, but little strength contribution.
  • Tetracalcium aluminoferrite (C4AF) – This compound hydrates fast but has no contribution to the strength gain of the concrete.
  • Dicalcium silicate (C2S) – This compounds hydrates slowly and helps in strength gain in the later stage .
  • Tricalcium silicate (C3S) – It is responsible for initial and final set and early strength gain.

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