Cement Properties

Introduction:

Cement is the binding material used in the construction works. High strength, moisture resistant, high workability, etc are some cement properties. It is the composition of :

Ingredient

Percentage in cement

Lime60-65
Silica17-25
Alumina3-8
Magnesia1-3
Iron oxide0.5-6
Calcium Sulfate0.1-0.5
Sulfur Trioxide1-3
Alkaline0-1

Cement has two different types of properties; either physical or chemical properties.

Physical – Cement Properties

density of cement-cement properties

1.Fineness 

It is the biggest factor for undeterrable strength of cement. Higher fineness leads to higher strength. Higher fineness denotes that there is more area for cement water reaction resulting increase in strength. Fineness in cement is achieved by grinding the clinker during the process of production.

2.Soundness

The capacity of not changing of properties of the material like change in volume; when water is added upon it is soundness. Material with high soundness has a higher strength. So cement should also have high soundness. Cement should be the cause of high soundness in mortar and concrete.

Few reasons for unsoundness are :

  • Excessive use of Gypsum in cement.
  • Excess of Lime
  • Burned Less
  • Excessive magnesia content

3. Consistency

Uniformity in the nature of the material leads to higher consistency. So, cement should have high consistency. Consistency in the strength is the cause of uniformity nature of the material.

In other words, the flowing ability of cement paste is called consistency.

4. Setting Time

When water is added to cement; it hardens and sets. Setting time may depend upon uniformity of cement, water-cement ratio, presence of admixtures, etc. The initial setting time of the cement should not be less and the final setting time should not be high.

Best initial and final setting time for cement is given as:

Initial Setting Time  : 30-45 Minutes

Final Setting Time  : Below 10 Hours

5. Heat of hydration

The chemical reaction between cement and water is called the heat of hydration. When water is added on cement, heat is generated. This can affect the quality of cement because excessive hydration leads to undesired strength. Hydration depends upon the water-cement ratio, uniformness, temperature of curing, etc.

The heat of hydration is mostly affected by C3S and C3A.

6. Comprehensive Strength

The strength which helps cement to resist compressive strength is called comprehensive strength. Higher the comprehensive strength; higher will be the strength and durability of cement.

Chemical – Cement Properties

a. Lime

If the lime is used more than 65 %; it may result in the problem of expansion.

b. Alumina

Excess use of alumina quickens the setting time but weakens the cement.

c. Sulfur Trioxide

If the amount of Sulfur Trioxide used is more then the cement become unsound in nature.

d. Iron oxide

It is also called Ferric Oxide. It is responsible for the colour of the cement.

e. Silica

Silica provides high compressive strength, abrasion resistance and bond strength to cement.

f. Alkaline

The high amount of alkali use leads to difficulty in the regulation of setting time and low amount leads to discolouration of cement.

g. Magnesia

If the magnesia is used in high amount then it results in unsoundness and uneconomical.

 

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