Types of cement

Types of Cement in Construction

Cement is an integral part of all types of construction ranging from huge skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels, etc to small residential buildings. It is one of the oldest and most used binding materials and an integral ingredient used in the construction sector. There are different types of cement available in the market. Each type of cement has its application depending on its properties. 

Types of cement

  • Ordinary Portland cement
  • Portland pozzolona cement
  • Rapid hardening cement
  • Slag cement
  • Hydrophobic Portland cement
  • Low heat Portland cement
  • Suphates resisting Portland cement
  • Quick setting Cement
  • High alumina cement
  • Masonry cement
  • White cement
  • Coloured cement
  • Expansive cement
  • Air-entraining Portland cement

Ordinary Portland cement  – Types of cement

Ordinary Portland cement or OPC is one of the most commonly used cement types in construction. OPC cement forms and integral part of for high strength concrete and is more economical. OPC consists of calcareous material, argillaceous material and gypsum. This type of cement has good resistance to cracks, shrinkage and chemical attacks. OPC cement is used in a wide range of applications in civil construction. 

Ordinary Portland Cement
Ordinary Portland Cement

Also read : Best cement of India

Portland pozzolana cement – Types of cement

Portland Pozzolana cement or PPC cement is a type of cement consisting of 15% to 35% of pozzolanic materials, gypsum and clinker. PPC cement is a combination of OPC and pozzolanic materials. The initial setting time of PPC is 30 minutes and the final setting time of PPC is 600 minutes. It is suitable for hydraulic, marine structures. Since PPC has good resistance to sulphate attack. 

Rapid hardening cement – Types of cement

It is a type of cement that can achieve high strength within less time. It has high resistance to chemical attacks. RHC needs less curing time. So it is suitable for formworks, pavements etc. It has more application than OPC because of its early hardening property. Rapid hardening cement is expensive. 

Slag cement -Types of cement

This type of cement is made from granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS). It has good compressive strength. It is applicable in the construction of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Also, it is resistant to alkali-silica reactions. chloride and sulphate attacks. 

Hydrophobic Portland cement

It is most suitable for water-resistant structures. It consists of admixtures such as acid naphthene soap, oxidized petrolatum, etc which reduces the melting of cement grains. The strength of hydrophobic cement is similar to OPC after 28 days. This type of cement is expensive. 

Low heat Portland cement 

Low heat cement is preferable for the construction of dams, large raft foundations etc. Because the heat of hydration of this type of cement is 20% less than normal cement. It consists of 5% of tricalcium aluminate and 46% of dicalcium silicate. Therefore it produces low heat of hydration. It has excellent wear, impact resistance and workability. 

Sulphate resisting Portland cement 

Sulphate resisting portland cement consists of Tricalcium aluminate which is less than 5% and Calcium aluminoferrite which is less than 25%. It is applicable in structures that are subjected to a high amount of sulphate. It helps in reducing the corrosion of reinforcement. Sulphate resisting cement can improve later age concrete strength. 

Quick setting Cement

It is a special type of cement manufactured by adding aluminium sulphate and reducing the amount of gypsum. It is applicable for underwater concreting and grouting. The setting time of this cement is less because aluminium sulphate is an accelerating admixture. It is also preferable for concrete repair works, tunnelling etc.

High alumina cement

High alumina concrete attains strength within 24 hours. It can withstand high temperatures and fire. It is applicable in refractory concrete. The initial setting time of high alumina cement is 4 to5 hours and the final setting time is 30 minutes. Also, it is highly resistant to sulphate attacks. 

Masonry cement

The main application of masonry cement is for ordinary masonry, plastering mortar, etc. Since it has low strength it is not suitable for structural applications. The cost of masonry cement is less. It is manufactured by combining portland cement with non-pozzolanic materials such as limestone. Also, they have high water retentivity and workability. 

White cement

White cement is manufactured by using limestone, clay, oil and gypsum. It consists of less amount of Iron oxide and manganese oxide. Thus they have white colour. It is applicable for decorative purposes. But they are expensive compared to normal cement. 

Coloured cement

Coloured cement consists of colour pigments like chromium, cobalt, ton oxide, manganese oxide etc. which gives them colour. It is preferable for floor finishing, window sills stair treads, and other external surfaces. The number of colouring pigments should about be 5 to 10 percentage. 


Expansive cement

Expansive cement is a special type of cement that can increase its volume after setting. It consists of expansive compounds like calcium sulphate. Based on the expansive compounds, there are three types of expansive cement. 

  • K type expansive cement
  • M type expansive cement
  • S type expansive cement

The use of expansive cement is in water retaining structures, concrete repairing, large floor slabs, etc. 

Air-entraining Portland cement

Air entraining Portland cement is a special type of cement that produces air content. These air bubbles act as a space for the freezing and thawing process. This reduces the crack formation. Air entraining agents like aluminium powder, hydrogen peroxide is added to the cement. 

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