Cement and Additives

What is Cement?

Ordinary cement is a mixture of limestone, chalk, or marl and clay. It is manufactured by mixing the two ingredients, heating the mixture in a kiln, then grinding the resulting clinker to a fine powder. Though commonly confused with concrete, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is made up of a blend of cement, water, and stone and sand aggregates. You can find out more about the differences between these two materials in our article on concrete vs. cement.

History of Cement

Cement, though different from the refined product found nowadays, has been used in many forms since the advent of human civilization. From volcanic ashes, crushed pottery, burnt gypsum and hydrated lime to the first hydraulic cement used by the Romans in the middle ages, the development of cement continued to the 18th century, when James Parker patented Roman cement, which gained popularity but was replaced by Portland cement in the 1850s.

In the 19th century, Frenchman Louis Vicat laid the foundation for the chemical composition of Portland cement and in Russia, Egor Cheliev published the methods of making cement, uses of cement and advantages. Joseph Aspdin brought Portland cement to the market in England and his son, William Aspdin, developed the “modern” Portland cement, which was soon in quite high demand. But the real father of Portland cement is considered to be Isaac Charles Johnson, who contributed immensely by publishing the process of developing meso-Portland cement in the kiln.

In the 19th century, Rosendale cement was discovered in New York. Though its rigidity made it quite popular at first, the market demand soon declined because of its long curing time and Portland cement was again the favorite. However, a new blend of Rosendale-Portland cement, which is both highly durable and needs less curing time, was synthesized by Catskill Aqueduct and is now often used for highway or bridge construction.

Cement Grinding and Shipping

A small amount of gypsum (3-5 ) is added to the clinker to regulate how the cement will set, the mixture is then very finely ground. During this phase, different mineral materials, called ‘additions’, may be added alongside the gypsum. Used in varying proportions, these additions, which are of natural or industrial origin, give the cement specific properties such as reduced permeability, greater resistance to sulfates and aggressive environments, improved workability, or higher-quality finishes.

Finally, the cement is stored in silos before being shipped in bulk or in bags to the sites where it will be used.

Different Types Of Cement

  1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)

Ordinary Portland cement is the most widely used type of cement, which is suitable for all general concrete construction. It is the most commonly produced and used type of cement around the world, with annual global production of around 3.8 million cubic meters per year.  This cement is suitable for all kinds of concrete construction.

It is widely used for all purposes including:

  • Concrete: When OPC is mixed with aggregates and water, it makes concrete, which is widely used in the construction of buildings 
  • Mortar: For joining masonry 
  • Plaster: To give a perfect finish to the walls

Besides the aforementioned purposes, Ordinary Portland cement is also used to manufacture grout, wall putty, solid concrete blocks, AAC blocks, and different types of cement. 

Cement and Additives

2. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)

Portland pozzolana cement is prepared by grinding pozzolanic clinker with Portland cement. It is also produced by adding pozzolana with the addition of gypsum or calcium sulfate or by intimately and uniformly blending Portland cement and fine pozzolana.

PPC has a high resistance to different chemical assaults on concrete. It is widely used in construction such as:

  • Marine structures
  • Sewage works
  • Bridges
  • Piers
  • Dams
  • Mass concrete works

3. Rapid Hardening Cement

Rapid hardening cement attains high strength in the early days; it is used in concrete where formworks are removed at an early stage and are similar to ordinary portland cement (OPC). This cement has increased lime content and contains higher c3s content and finer grinding, which gives higher strength development than OPC at an early stage.


It is commonly used in rapid constructions like the construction pavement androads.   

4. Extra Rapid Hardening Cement

As the name suggests, Extra rapid hardening cement gains strength quicker and it is obtained by adding calcium chloride to rapid hardening cement. 

Extra rapid hardening cement is widely used in cold weather concreting, to set the cement fast. It is about 25% faster than that of rapid hardening cement by one or two days. 

5. Low Heat Cement

Low heat cement is produced by maintaining the percentage of tricalcium aluminate below 6% by increasing the proportion of C2S. A small quantity of tricalcium aluminate makes the concrete to produce low heat of hydration. Low heat cement suitable for mass concrete construction like gravity dams, as the low heat of hydration, prevents the cracking of concrete due to heat.

6. Sulfates Resisting Cement

This type of cement is manufactured to resist sulfate attack in concrete. It has a lower percentage of Tricalcium aluminate. 

Sulfates resisting cement is used for constructions in contact with soil or groundwater having more than 0.2% or 0.3% g/l sulfate salts respectively.

It can also be used in concrete surfaces subjected to alternate wetting and drying like bridge piers. 

7. Quick Setting Cement

The difference between the quick setting cement and rapid hardening cement is that quick-setting cement sets earlier. At the same time, the rate of gain of strength is similar to Ordinary Portland Cement, while quick hardening cement gains strength quickly. Formworks in both cases can be removed earlier.

Quick setting cement is used for constructions that need a quick setting, like underwater structures and in cold and rainy weather conditions. 

8. Blast Furnace Slag Cement

This type of cement is manufactured by grinding the clinker with about 60% slag and it is similar to Portland cement. It is used for constructions where economic considerations are important. 

9. High Alumina Cement

High alumina cement is obtained by mixing calcining bauxite and lime with clinker during the manufacturing process of OPC. 

The most common uses are in constructions that are subject to high temperatures like a workshop, refractory, and foundries. 

10. White Cement

This type of cement is manufactured by using raw materials that are free from iron and oxide. White cement needs to have lime and clay in a higher proportion. It is similar to OPC but it is more expensive. 

Cement and Additives

CEMENT MARKET SIZE

The global cement market size was valued at USD 326.81 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 340.61 billion in 2022 to USD 481.73 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with cement experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 3.6% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

The market is segmented into residential and non-residential on the basis of application. Among these, the non-residential segment is expected to be dominant throughout the forecast period. In this segment, the product is used for applications, such as the construction of roads, dams, commercial complexes, industrial buildings, stadiums, and transportation hubs. Rising urbanization and infrastructural activities have led to the increased demand for the product. Additionally, the high need for hospitals and schools is expected to support the market growth.

Cement and Additives

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