Category Archives: Building materials

The category talks about various building materials. They are, Stones, bricks, cement and lime. Stone is a naturally available building material that has been used for construction from the early age of civilization. Brick, the next in the category of building materials is obtained by molding good clay into a block, which is dried and then burnt. Lime is one of the oldest binding materials used in building construction. When it is mixed with sand it provides lime mortar and when mixed with sand and coarse aggregate, it forms lime concrete. Field test of Cement is one of the most important activity to be done at site to ensure the quality of construction. Every structure comprises of hundreds of building materials like sand, cement, aggregates, bricks, tiles, marble, etc. For creating a quality structure, building material quality plays an important role and needs to be checked frequently at different stages of construction. Normally lab tests are conducted to ascertain the properties of cement. Lab tests require time, special types of equipment, and professionals for testing and interpreting the results. It may not be possible to check all the properties of cement at the site. To overcome this difficulty cement tests are categorised into two. The quality of cement can be confirmed with the help of some simple field tests. These tests do not require any sophisticated types of equipment and professional skills and get the results very quickly. By conducting these simple tests and analysing the results we will get an idea about the cement quality and can immediately decide on accepting or rejecting it. These are first look tests and quality of cement is ensured by its smoothness to touch, the colour of cement, etc.

Types of Cement for Concrete – Top 15 Cement Types

Types of Cement used in construction are categorised according to their properties, applications, and advantages. Concrete construction involves the use of different varieties of cement, each possessing unique characteristics, benefits, and applications that depend on the materials utilized in their production. This categorization is based on the composition of the materials used in production.

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. This article is about the cement types mostly used in construction.

15 Types of Cement and Their Uses

Let us have a look at the top 15 cement types widely used in India and other nations. They are,

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

Ordinary Portland cement (OPC ) – Types of Cement  

OPC stands for Ordinary Portland Cement, which is one of the most commonly used types of cement in construction. It is made from a mixture of limestone, clay, and other materials, heated at high temperatures to produce a fine powder. Mostly, gypsum, calcareous material, and argillaceous substance make up Ordinary Portland Cement. OPC cement has excellent binding properties and provides high compressive strength to the concrete.

Ordinary Portland Cement is versatile and suitable for a wide range of construction applications, including buildings, bridges, and pavements. Ordinary Portland Cement is available in different grades, each with unique characteristics, making it easy to choose the most appropriate type for a specific construction project. Additionally, it has a relatively fast setting time, allowing for faster completion of construction projects. Ordinary Portland cement is more economical and forms a crucial component of high-strength concrete. This kind of cement is well-resistant to deterioration from chemicals, shrinkage, and fractures.

Ordinary Portland Cement
Ordinary Portland Cement

Also read : Best cement of India

Portland pozzolana cement – Types of cement in India

Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) is a type of cement made by combining Portland cement clinker with pozzolanic materials like fly ash, volcanic ash, or silica fumes. contains 15% to 35% pozzolanic ingredients, gypsum, and clinker. The pozzolanic materials improve the workability and durability of concrete and reduce the risk of cracking. PPC is preferred in locations with high moisture content, as it is highly resistant to dampness and corrosion. It is also eco-friendly since it uses industrial waste as a raw material. PPC cement is suitable for a wide range of construction applications, including dams, bridges, and buildings.

PPC has an initial setup time of 30 minutes and an ultimate setting time of 600 minutes. It is appropriate for hydraulic and marine structures. sewage works, and underwater concrete laying, such as bridges, piers, dams, and mass concrete works. because PPC has strong resistance to sulphate attack. PPC has a slower setting time than OPC, which may prolong construction time. Its initial strength is also lower than OPC.

Portland Slag Cement (PSC) -Types of cement for concrete

Portland Slag Cement (PSC) is a type of cement made by blending granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) with Portland cement clinker. The slag is a waste product from steel manufacturing, making PSC an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cement. PSC has excellent workability, durability, and low heat of hydration. It is widely used in construction applications such as dams, bridges, and underground structures. PSC provides high strength and durability, making it a popular choice for high-performance concrete. It is also known for its resistance to chloride and sulphate attacks. It has good compressive strength.

Rapid hardening cement – Types of cement in India

Rapid Hardening Cement (RHC) is a type of cement that attains high strength in a short time. It is made by grinding Portland cement clinker with a higher amount of C3S and a lower amount of C2S. RHC is suitable for emergency repair works and precast concrete components. Its rapid setting and strength gain properties make it ideal for use in cold weather conditions. It has high resistance to chemical attacks. RHC needs less curing time. The strength of rapid hardening cement at the three days is similar to the 7 days strength of OPC with the same water-cement ratio. 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. 

Hydrophobic Portland cement

Hydrophobic Portland Cement (HPC) is a type of cement that repels water due to its chemical composition. It is made by adding water-repellent chemicals to the cement during the grinding process. HPC is suitable for construction projects in areas with high rainfall or moisture content. It is commonly used in the construction of basements, swimming pools, and water storage tanks. HPC also has increased durability and can resist chemical attacks. It consists of admixtures such as acid naphthene soap, oxidized petrolatum, etc., reducing 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 Portland cement is a type of cement that produces less heat during hydration, which reduces the risk of cracking and improves durability. It is typically used in large concrete structures such as dams, bridges, and high-rise buildings, as well as in mass concrete applications. 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 (SRPC) is a type of cement designed to resist the effects of sulphates, which can cause concrete to deteriorate. It contains lower levels of tricalcium aluminate, which is the component most susceptible to sulphate attack. SRPC is commonly used in construction projects involving soil with high sulphate content or exposure to seawater.

Quick setting Cement

Quick-setting cement is a type of cement that hardens and gains strength rapidly after mixing with water, usually within 5 to 30 minutes. It is used in situations where the rapid setting is necessary, such as in cold weather or for emergency repairs. However, quick-setting cement may not be suitable for projects requiring longer workability or for structures that need to withstand heavy loads over time. 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 cement (HAC) is a type of cement that is made from bauxite and limestone with a high percentage of alumina content, typically over 35%. It sets and hardens rapidly, has high early strength, and can withstand high temperatures and acidic environments. It is commonly used in refractory applications such as furnace linings, precast shapes, and high-temperature concretes. However, HAC is not recommended for structural applications due to its high shrinkage and susceptibility to chemical attacks over time. High alumina concrete attains strength within 24 hours. It can withstand high temperatures and fire. It is applicable in refractory concrete. Rapid hardening cement with an initial and final setting time of about 3.5 and 5 hours, respectively.

Masonry cement

Masonry cement is a type of cement that is specifically designed for use in masonry construction, such as bricklaying and plastering. It is a blend of Portland cement, hydrated lime, and sometimes additional additives such as sand, clay, or other minerals. The addition of hydrated lime improves the workability and durability of the cement, and it also enhances the bond strength between the cement and the masonry units. Masonry cement is commonly used in both exterior and interior masonry applications, such as building walls, chimneys, and decorative stonework. Since it has low strength it is not suitable for structural applications. The cost of masonry cement is less. Also, they have high water retentivity and workability. 

White cement

White cement is a type of cement that is similar to Portland cement, but with a white or light-coloured appearance. It is made from raw materials with low iron content, such as limestone, kaolin, and clay, and is often used for decorative or architectural purposes, such as in terrazzo flooring, precast panels, and ornamental concrete. White cement is also used in applications where colour consistency is important, such as in coloured concrete or mortars, as it can be tinted to various shades. It has similar properties to grey cement in terms of setting time, strength development, and durability. White cement is manufactured by using limestone, clay, oil and gypsum. But they are expensive compared to normal cement. 

Coloured cement

Coloured cement is a type of cement that is produced by adding pigments to the raw materials during the manufacturing process. It is available in a wide range of colours, and the pigments used can be natural or synthetic. Coloured cement is used in decorative concrete applications where aesthetics are important, such as stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, and decorative overlays. It can also be used in architectural concrete, including precast panels, masonry units, and concrete countertops. The colour of the cement can be affected by the curing process, and it is important to use a consistent curing method to ensure the desired colour is achieved. 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 per cent. 

Coloured cement
Coloured cement

Expansive cement

Expansive cement is a type of cement that expands during the early stages of hydration. It contains a mixture of Portland cement clinker, gypsum, and an expansive agent, such as calcium sulphate or anhydrite. Expansive cement can expand up to 3% of its original volume, and this expansion can help offset the shrinkage that occurs as the concrete dries and hardens, reducing the risk of cracking. It is commonly used in applications where shrinkage cracking is a concern, such as in large concrete structures, pavements, and bridge decks. However, the expansion can also cause problems if it is not properly controlled, and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use.

  • 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 type of cement that contains an air-entraining agent, such as resins, surfactants, or fatty acids, that creates microscopic air bubbles in the concrete. These air bubbles improve the durability of the concrete by reducing the effects of freeze-thaw cycles, as the water trapped in the bubbles can expand and contract without damaging the concrete. Air-entraining Portland cement is commonly used in cold climates or areas with high humidity, where freeze-thaw cycles can cause damage to concrete structures. However, the use of air-entraining agents can also reduce the compressive strength of the concrete, so it is important to properly balance the amount of air entrainment with the desired strength and workability of the concrete. Air-entraining agents like aluminium powder and hydrogen peroxide are added to the cement. 

Hydrographic cement

Hydrographic cement, also known as underwater cement, is a type of cement that can harden and set even when submerged in water. It is specifically designed for use in underwater construction projects, such as building foundations, bridges, and pipelines. Hydrographic cement contains special additives that allow it to set and harden underwater without being affected by the water, and it can also be mixed with accelerators to speed up the setting time. The cement is typically mixed and applied using specialized equipment, such as pumps or tremies, to ensure proper placement and consolidation.

Development length formula as per IS 456

Development length is an essential concept in civil engineering that refers to the length of reinforcement required to transfer the force from the steel reinforcement to the surrounding concrete. It is crucial in ensuring that the reinforcement is effectively bonded to the concrete to resist the applied forces. “The development length depends on several factors, including the diameter of the bar and the strength of the concrete. “Another factor that affects the development length is the bond strength between the steel reinforcement and the surrounding concrete.”

Properly understanding development length is essential for designing reinforced concrete structures to ensure their safety and stability. Engineers calculate the development length to ensure that the reinforcement will provide the intended strength and reinforcement to the structure. “Insufficient development length can cause the reinforcement to fail to transfer forces to the concrete effectively. This can ultimately lead to structural failure.”

What is the development length?

To develop the full tensile strength of the reinforcement, one must embed the reinforcement in concrete for a minimum length known as the development length. This is necessary to ensure that the reinforcement can resist the applied loads. This should happen without pulling out of the concrete or causing concrete failure.

Either pull-out or splitting failure modes typically control the length. In pull-out failure, the force applied to the reinforcement exceeds the pull-out strength of the concrete. This generally causes the reinforcement to pull out of the concrete. In splitting failure, the force applied to the reinforcement causes the concrete to crack and split. This can lead to the failure of the reinforcement.

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Significance and functions

This is a critical concept in reinforced concrete structures that ensures the effective transfer of forces and prevents premature failure. It is important for the safety and stability of structures and is a crucial factor in their design and construction. The main function is as follows.

Transfer of applied forces

Ensuring effective bonding of the steel reinforcement to the surrounding concrete is the purpose of the Development length in reinforced concrete structures. This allows it to transfer the applied forces to the concrete.

Prevents structural failure:

Basically, the proper bonding of the reinforcement to the concrete prevents premature failure of the structure. This could otherwise result in catastrophic consequences.

Important for design

Properly understanding Develop length is critical for designing reinforced concrete structures. Engineers must calculate the length to ensure that the reinforcement provides the intended strength and reinforcement to the structure.

Basically, an insufficient development length can lead to the reinforcement not being able to transfer the forces to the concrete effectively. However, this results in premature failure and instability.

Structural safety and stability

Generally, this is crucial for the safety and stability of reinforced concrete structures. The failure to effectively bond the reinforcement to the concrete would result in the inability to transfer the applied forces. However, this can lead to structural failure.

Factors determining Development strength

Several factors influence the required development length to fully develop the tensile strength of reinforcement in concrete, including

  • Reinforcement properties: The strength and diameter of the reinforcement significantly impact the required development length. Generally, high-strength reinforcement with a larger diameter will require a longer D length to develop its full strength.
  • Concrete properties: The strength, stiffness, and thickness of the concrete member where we place the reinforcement are crucial factors. However, a higher concrete strength requires a longer d length, while a thicker concrete section may require a shorter length.
  • Bond strength: The bond strength between the reinforcement and concrete is critical in determining the development length. However, the bond strength depends on various factors. This includes the surface condition of the reinforcement, the degree of deformation, and the quality of the concrete surface.
  • Environmental conditions: Environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, and exposure to corrosive agents can affect the bond strength between the reinforcement and concrete. In such cases, we may require a more extended development length.
  • Load conditions: The type, magnitude, and direction of the load applied to the reinforcement significantly influence the development length required. Generally, Higher loads require a longer D length to prevent the reinforcement from pulling out of the concrete.
  • Design codes and standards: Design codes and standards typically provide guidelines for determining the minimum development length required for different types of reinforcement and loading conditions. However, these guidelines may vary depending on the specific code or standard used.

Development length as per IS 456

Basically, Clause 26.2.1 of the Indian code for the design of reinforced concrete structures (IS 456:2000) provides the formula to calculate the development length of reinforcement bars in tension. Basically, we require the length of the reinforcement bar to transfer the stresses between the reinforcement and the surrounding concrete.

The formula for calculating the D length (Ld) of a reinforcement bar with a diameter of D, embedded in concrete with a grade of M, and subject to tension, is as follows:

Ld = (0.87 fy A / 4τ_bd) + (0.2 √fc) …Equation 1


  • fy is the characteristic strength of the reinforcement in N/mm²
  • A is the area of the reinforcement in mm²
  • τ_bd is the bond stress between the reinforcement and the surrounding concrete in N/mm²
  • fc is the characteristic compressive strength of concrete in N/mm²

The first term in Equation 1 represents the basic development length, which is the minimum length required for the reinforcement to fully develop its strength. The second term represents the additional development length due to the curvature of the bar.

It is worth noting that the code also provides alternative methods for calculation, such as the empirical equations given in Table 5 of the code. However, Equation 1 is the most widely used method for calculating the development length in India.

It is important to note that these calculations are based on certain assumptions and simplifications, and the actual development length required may vary based on the specific design requirements and site conditions.

Development length as per IS 456 for columns, footings and beams

The dev. length of rebars is the minimum length required for the effective transfer of forces from the steel reinforcement to the surrounding concrete. However this ensures that the reinforcement is properly bonded to the concrete, preventing premature failure of the structure.

Typical section beam-column junction

Development length of a beam column junction

Development length as per codes

The development length of a reinforcing bar, or rebar, is the minimum length of the bar that must be embedded or overlapped with concrete to ensure proper transfer of stresses between the concrete and steel. This is a critical design parameter, and it is determined based on various factors such as the strength of the rebar, the strength of the concrete, and the design requirements of the structure.

Here are the formulas as per some commonly used codes:

ACI 318-19 (American Concrete Institute)

Ld = [(φ x Fy x As) / (4 x Fc’^(0.5))] x (1.3 for deformed bars, 1.7 for plain bars)

where: Ld = development length in inches

φ = strength reduction factor (0.7 for deformed bars, 0.8 for plain bars)

Fy = yield strength of rebar in ksi

As = area of rebar in square inches

Fc’ = specified compressive strength of concrete in psi

BS 8110-1:1997 (British Standard)

Ld = [(1.2 x σst x As) / (0.87 x Fy x (1 + (200/d))^(0.5))] x (1.4 for deformed bars, 1.7 for plain bars)

where: Ld = development length in mm

σst = stress in rebar at yield in N/mm2

As = area of rebar in mm2 Fy = characteristic yield strength of rebar in N/mm2 d = diameter of rebar in mm

IS 456:2000 (Indian Standard)Ld = [(0.87 x fy x As) / (4 x τbd x fck^(0.5))] x (1.2 for deformed bars, 1.6 for plain bars)

where: Ld = development length in mm

fy = characteristic strength of rebar in N/mm2

As = area of rebar in mm2 τbd = design bond stress in N/mm2

fck = characteristic compressive strength of concrete in N/mm2

It is important to note that the development length calculation may vary based on the specific requirements of the structure, and it is recommended to consult the appropriate code for accurate and up-to-date information.

Bitumen types for road Layers – Bitumen Emulsion types

Bitumen types for road layers are a vital topic to comprehend when it comes to road construction. Bitumen is preferred for flexible pavements in road construction because it has many advantages over other pavement construction materials. This article will demonstrate the importance of bitumen in road construction and the types of bitumen for road construction. Furthermore, bitumen emulsion types for road layers, different bituminous materials, cutback bitumen, bitumen grade, and bitumen attributes will be highlighted in this article.

  1. Bitumen types for Road layers /Flexible pavements 
    1. Tack Coat – Bitumen types for road layers
    2. Binder Course – Bitumen types for road layers
    3. Prime Coat – Bitumen types for road layers
    4. Base Course
    5. Sub Base Course
    6. Sub Grade
  2. Protective Asphalt
    1. Seal coat
    2. Slurry Seal
    3. Chip Seal
    4. Micro Surfacing
    5. Fog Seal

Bitumen types for Road layers /Flexible pavements 

The   flexible  pavement  structure   consists  of  the  following  layers: 

  • Tack   Coat  
  • Binder   Course 
  • Prime  Coat  
  • Base   Course  
  • Subbase Course
  • Subgrade Course
Bitumen types for road layers

Keep in mind that the primary component of the road is not protective asphalt. Protective asphalt is deployed to safeguard the road’s surface. Every layer mentioned above uses a different type of bitumen. We will illustrate what types of bitumen are used in each of these layers.

Tack Coat – Bitumen types for road layers

The application of coatings is a critical phase in the construction of asphalt roadways. Generally, a tack coat is a thin layer of asphalt emulsion or liquid bitumen used in between layers of hot mix asphalt to prevent slippage. Mostly, MC30 cutback bitumen, CRS-1, and CRS-2 emulsion bitumen are utilised in a tack coat layer of bitumen. The lower layer is sealed by the presence of a tack coat, which also increases the strength of both asphalt layers.

Bitumen types for road Layers

MC-30 is a medium-curing cutback bitumen that is ideal for cold climates. Basically, asphalt emulsions are the most often used tack coat materials. However, the most widely used slow-setting emulsions are SS-1, SS-1h, CSS-1, and CSS-1h (1). The usage of rapid-setting asphalt emulsions like RS-1, RS-2, CRS-1, and CRS-2 for tack coats is also on the rise.

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Binder Course – Bitumen types for road layers

The base course and the surface course are separated by the binder course. Generally, a binder course is used to keep the road surface from moving. Because the binder course is made out of coarse aggregates, less bitumen is utilised in the manufacture of this asphalt. In the hot asphalt of the binder course, various grades of pure bitumen can be utilised. The various grades of pure bitumen used in binder courses are listed in the table below.

Penetration Grade Viscosity Grade
30/40VG 10
40/50VG 20
60/70VG 30
80/100VG 40 
Bitumen types for road layers

Prime Coat – Bitumen types for road layers

A prime coat is a coating that is applied directly to the base layer. The primary objective of utilising the prime coat is to improve the bond between the base layer and the asphalt mix layer. It also fills in the voids. A priming coat might aid in sealing the base layer. The bitumen in prime coatings is either CSS or CMS.

Prime coats aid in reducing dust while protecting the granular base’s integrity throughout construction. In the event of a foundation that will be covered with a thin hot mix layer or a chip seal for a low-volume roadway, priming enables a good bond between the seal and the underlying surface, which might otherwise delaminate.

A primary coat is primarily responsible for safeguarding the substrate of a construction project before applying additional layers. They can also function as a binder with secondary and tertiary compounds in the preparation of asphalt, improving the adherence of the layers. Following the prime coat, a tack coat is applied to provide an adhesive bond between the tack coat and the subsequent layer of coating. For asphalt prime coat systems, the tack coat is one of the most vital parts of the process, as it connects the subsequent layers and forms the base of those layers’ strength.

Base Course

The base course is placed directly on top of the subbase course. This layer has a higher permeability than the sub-base layer because it is composed primarily of coarse aggregates. Basically, the base course, which is the first layer in direct contact with traffic, moves the weights from the upper layers to the sub-base course. Different base courses used in pavement include sand or stone base, macadam base, and bitumen base.


Sub Base Course

The first layer of flexible pavement constructed on the ground is the sub-base course. This layer is typically composed of river sand, an alluvial cone, and broken rock. Bitumen and cement can be used to stabilise the sub-base soil.

Sub Grade

It is the surface upon which further pavement layers such as the sub-base course, base course, and asphalt layers are placed. The subgrade absorbs any load tension or weight that is transferred from the top levels. A good subgrade should be able to support weights for a considerable amount of time without deforming.

Protective Asphalt

Generally, Protective asphalts are used to seal the road surface and improve the asphalt temporarily. However, It should be noted that asphalt sealing can cause the asphalt to become more slippery. Pure bitumen with low humidity and soluble bitumen are both utilised in protective asphalt. Because of its quickness and ease of installation, protective asphalt is more cost-effective than hot asphalt. There are various varieties of protective asphalts, some of which are listed below:

  • Seal coat
  • Slurry seal
  • Chip seal
  • Micro-surfacing
  • Fog seal

Seal coat

A seal coat is used to provide a long-lasting surface texture and to keep the surface waterproof. However, this kind of protective asphalt can be made using a variety of emulsion bitumen types, including CSS-1, SS-1h, SS-l, and CSS-1h.

Bitumen types for road layers

Slurry Seal

Generally, a slurry seal is used to lessen the harm done by bitumen oxidation. In the slurry seal, emulsion bitumens SS-1, SS-h1, CSS-1h, and CQS-1h are used. A slurry seal is appropriate for pavements with little to moderate damage, such as narrow cracks. However, it is not appropriate for severe damage such as holes.

Chip Seal

A chip seal is a thin protective surface that is applied to a pavement or subgrade. Water cannot easily seep through the base layer due to the chip seal. This layer also prevents freezing in areas where the temperature is below zero. Adding this layer improves the road’s reflectiveness for nighttime driving. A rapid-setting emulsion containing a CRS-2, RS-2, HFRS-2, and PMB is the best type of bitumen for chip sealing.

Micro Surfacing

Micro-surfacing aids in the sealing of cracks and the protection of existing bituminous layers against surface voids and minor ruts. Among the benefits of adopting this layer are environmental compatibility, cost-effectiveness, and fast construction time. PMB bitumens such as PMCQS-1h, PMQS-1h, and CQS-1P are suited for it.

Fog Seal

A fog seal is intended to neutralise the oxidation process that occurs over time. This layer protects the pavement surface by leaving a hard layer. This layer employs emulsion bitumen such as SS-1, SS-1h, CSS-1, or CSS-1h.

Types of bonds in brick masonry walls – Advantages and features

Types of bonds in brick masonry commonly used in construction are detailed in this article. The process of bonding bricks with mortar in between them is known as brick masonry. Bricks are arranged in a pattern to maintain their aesthetic appearance and strength. This article is about the various types of bonds in brick masonry walls.

Bricks are rectangular construction materials. Bricks are commonly used in the construction of walls, paving, and other structures. They are also inexpensive and simple to work with.

  1. Types of Brick masonry bonds – Features
  2. Types of Bonds in brick masonry
    1. Stretcher bond – Types of Bonds in brick masonry
      1. Limitations of Stretcher bonds
      2. Applications of stretcher bonds
    2. Header bond – Type of Bonds in brick masonry
    3. English Bond – Types of bonds in brick masonry
    4. Flemish Bond
    5. Double flemish bond
    6. Single Flemish Bond
    7. Raking bond
    8. Zigzag Bond
    9. Facing Brick Bonds
    10. Dutch Bond
    11. Rat trap bond

Types of Brick masonry bonds – Features

For all types of brick masonry bonds to be stable and of high quality, the following characteristics must be followed.

  • Bricks should be uniform in size.
  • The lap should be a minimum of 1/4 brick along the length of the wall and 1/2 brick across the thickness of the wall.
  • Uniform lapping is to be maintained.
  • Avoid using too many brickbats.
  • For getting a uniform lap Length of the brick should be twice its width plus one joint.
  • The centre line of the header and stretcher in the alternate courses should coincide with each other for the stable wall.
  • Stretchers should be used in facing and a header should be used in hearing.

Types of Bonds in brick masonry

There are different types of brick masonry bonds. They are

  • Stretcher Bond
  • Header Bond
  • English Bond
  • Flemish Bond
  • Raking bond
  • Zigzag Bond
  • Herring-Bone Bond
  • Facing Bond
  • Dutch Bond
  • Diagonal Bond
  • Rattrap bond

Let us have a look at the most commonly used types of bonds in brick masonry.

Stretcher bond – Types of Bonds in brick masonry

The stretcher is the brick’s lengthwise face or otherwise known as the brick’s longer, narrower face, as shown in the elevation below. Bricks are laid so that only their stretchers are visible, and they overlap halfway with the courses of bricks above and below. Accordingly, In this type of brick bond, we lay the bricks parallel to the longitudinal direction of the wall. In other words, bricks are laid as stretchers in this manner. It is also referred to as a walking bond or a running bond. Additionally, it is among the simplest and easiest brick bonds.

Stretcher Bond - Types of bonds in brick masonry

Limitations of Stretcher bonds

  • Stretcher bonds with adjacent bricks, but they cannot be used to effectively bond with them in full-width thick brick walls.
  • They are only suitable for one-half brick-thick walls, such as the construction of a half-brick-thick partition wall.
  • Stretcher bond walls are not stable enough to stand alone over longer spans and heights.
  • Stretcher bonds require supporting structures such as brick masonry columns at regular intervals.

Applications of stretcher bonds

Stretcher bonds are commonly used as the outer facing in steel or reinforced concrete-framed structures. These are also used as the outer facing of cavity walls. Other common applications for such walls include boundary walls and garden walls

Header bond – Type of Bonds in brick masonry

Generally for header bond, the header is the brick’s widthwise face. In brick masonry, a header bond is a type of bond in which bricks are laid as headers on the faces. It’s also referred to as the Heading bond. The header is the brick’s shorter square face, measuring 9cm x 9cm. As a result, no skilled labour is required for the header bond’s construction. While stretcher bond is used for half brick thickness walls, header bond is used for full brick thickness walls that measure 18cm. Generally, in the case of header bonds, the overlap is kept equal to half the width of the brick. To achieve this, three-quarter brickbats are used in alternate courses as quoins.

header bond - Types of bonds in brick masonry
header bond

English Bond – Types of bonds in brick masonry

English bond uses alternative courses of stretcher and headers and is the most commonly used and the strongest bond in brick masonry. However, a quoin closer is used at the beginning and end of a wall after the first header to break the continuity of vertical joints. Mostly, a quoin close is a brick that has been cut lengthwise into two halves and is used at corners in brick walls. Similarly, each alternate header is centrally supported over a stretcher.

Types of bonds in brick masonry - English bond

Flemish Bond

In Flemish bond, each course is a combination of header and stretcher. Accordingly, the header is supported centrally over the stretcher below it. Generally,closers are placed in alternate courses next to the quoin header to break vertical joints in successive layers. Flemish bond, also known as Dutch bond, is made by laying alternate headers and stretchers in a single course. The thickness of Flemish bond is minimum one full brick.The drawback of using Flemish bond is that it requires more skill to properly lay because all vertical mortar joints must be aligned vertically for best results. Closers are placed in alternate courses next to the quoin header to break vertical joints in successive There are two types of Flemish bond

  • Double Flemish bond
  • Single Flemish bond

Double flemish bond

The double flemish bond has the same appearance on both the front and back faces. As a result, this feature gives a better appearance than the English bond for all wall thicknesses.

Single Flemish Bond

The English bond serves as the backing for a single flemish bond, which also includes a double flemish bond on its facing. As a result, both the English and Flemish bonds’ strengths are utilised by the bond. Similarly ,this bond can be used to build walls up to one and a half brick thick. Howerver,high-quality, expensive bricks are used for the double-flemish bond facing. Cheap bricks in turn may be used for backing and hearting.

The appearance of the Flemish bond is good compared to the English bond.  Hencer, flemish bond can be used for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. However, If the walls must be plastered, English bond is the best choice.

Flemish bond

Raking bond

Raking bond is a type of brick bond in which the bricks are laid at angles. In this case, bricks are placed at an inclination to the direction of walls. Generally, it is commonly applicable for thick walls. Normally laid between two stretcher courses. There are two types of Raking bonds

raking bond
  • Diagonal bonds
  • Herringbone bonds

Diagonal bonds

In diagonal bonds, bricks are laid inclined, the angle of inclination should be in such a way that there is a minimum breaking of bricks. These dioganal bonds are mostly applicable for walls of two to four brick thickness. Similarly, the triangular-shaped bricks are used at the corners. 

Herringbone bonds

This type of bond is applicable in thick walls. The bricks are laid at an angle of 45 degrees from the centre in two directions. Mostly used in paving. 

Zigzag Bond

In this type of bond, bricks are laid in a zig-zag manner. It is similar to the herringbone bond. Since Zig zag bond has an aesthetic appearance it is used in ornamental panels in brick flooring. 

zig zag bond
zig zag bond

Facing Brick Bonds

In facing bond bricks are used of different thicknesses. It has an alternative course of stretcher and header. The load distribution is not uniform in this type of bonding. So it is not suitable for the construction of masonry walls.

facing bond
facing bond

Dutch Bond

It is a type of English bond. The specific pattern of laying bricks for building a wall is known as English and Dutch bonds. The primary distinction is that English Bond is a bond used in brickwork that consists of alternate courses of stretchers and headers. Dutch bond – made by alternating headers and stretchers in a single course.

Rat trap bond

rat trap bond
rat trap bond

Another name of the rat trap bond is the Chinese bond. In this type of bond, the bricks are placed in such a way that a void is formed between them. These voids act as thermal insulators. Thus provides good thermal efficiency. It also reduces the number of bricks and the amount of mortar. Construction of rat trap bonds requires skilled labours.

Test of cement on site – Field tests of Cement

Test of cement on site or field tests of cement is one of the most crucial things to be performed to assure the quality of the construction. Every structure is made up of hundreds of different building materials, such as sand, cement, aggregates, bricks, tiles, marble, and so on. However, the quality of the building materials is crucial for producing a high-quality structure and should be regularly evaluated at various phases of construction. Cement is the most important material used in construction and is responsible for the overall strength of the structure. In order to guarantee excellence in building, cement quality must be properly.

This article is about the various test of cement on-site or field tests of cement to ensure quality.

  1. Test of cement on site – Significance
  2. How to check cement quality?
  3. Test of cement on site / Field tests of cement
    1. Checking the manufacturing date of cement
    2. Visual checking for Lumps for the test of cement on site.
    3. Feel test of cement on site
    4. Heat of cement
    5. Colour
    6. Water float test
    7. Setting test
    8. Conclusion

Test of cement on site – Significance

Cement plants are generally found in isolated areas near limestone mines. Generally, clinker is produced by cement companies at a centralised clinkerization plant. Clinkers are either ground at the clinkerization facility or transported to strategically placed grinding units for grinding and cement bag packing. The manufactured and packed cement is transported and delivered to the prescribed destinations by road or rail. Even with the finest protection, the cement still has the potential of absorbing moisture while being transported. After absorbing moisture, the cement tends to harden, deteriorating its quality. Because of these unforeseen concerns, cement must be tested for quality before being used in construction. Basically, cement testing is carried out in accredited laboratories.

How to check cement quality?

The characteristics of cement are often determined by laboratory tests. Lab tests need time, specialised equipment, and expertise to evaluate and interpret the data. All of the cement’s qualities might not be able to be tested on-site. To address this issue, cement tests are divided into two types.

  • Field Tests of Cement

This article is about the field tests of cement.

test of cement on site

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Test of cement on site / Field tests of cement

Some simple field tests can be used to confirm the quality of cement. Generally, these tests do not require the use of costly equipment or professional skills, and the results are obtained quickly. We can determine whether to accept or reject the cement by doing these quick tests, analysing the findings, and drawing conclusions about its quality. These are preliminary evaluations, and the cement’s quality is confirmed by factors such as how smooth it feels to the touch and its colour etc.

  • Checking the manufacturing date of cement
  • Visual checking for lumps
  • Feel test of cement
  • The heat of cement test
  • Colour test of cement
  • Water float tests
  • Setting tests
Test of cement on site
Field tests of cement

Checking the manufacturing date of cement

When stored under perfect conditions, the cement must be utilised within 90 days of manufacture. The manufacturing date and batch number are imprinted on each cement bag. By verifying the manufacturing date, we can get a good indication of how old the cement is and decide whether to use it. In addition, every batch of cement is accompanied by a Manufacturers Test Certificate, which can be requested and examined to verify the dates of manufacture.

Visual checking for Lumps for the test of cement on site.

Cement can be inspected for visible lumps. To establish the potential existence of lumps, you can press the cement bag’s corners. This test determines if the cement has hardened or not.

Feel test of cement on site

Feel a pinch of cement between the figures. Cement has to feel smooth and not grainy. By this test, we can rule out the presence of any adulterated material like sand mixed with cement.

Heat of cement

Put your hand inside a bag of cement that is open. If the cement is of good quality and has not yet begun to hydrate, the hand feels cool.


Cement is usually greenish-grey in colour. We can verify and confirm the colour of the cement on-site. However, the type and source of the ingredients can affect the colour of the cement.

Water float test

This test is performed to find out whether there are impurities in cement. A cement hand is thrown into a bucket of water. The cement floats for a while before settling down if it is good cement free of impurities or other foreign objects. Impurities in the water can cause the cement to settle instantly.

Setting test

A thick paste of cement is applied to a glass piece and slowly immersed in water for 24 hours. The cement piece won’t break or alter shape while it sets and maintains its original shape. This cement is regarded as excellent.


We have the opportunity to contact cement manufacturers through their customer services if we have any questions about the product’s quality and they will be happy to help. It is possible to confirm field observations with laboratory tests. Cement quality should never be compromised during construction. Because the most crucial component that affects the durability and quality of a structure is cement.



Refractory Bricks – Properties and Types

Refractory bricks, also known as firebrick are ceramic materials used to line furnaces, kilns, fireboxes, and fireplaces. A refractory brick is designed to withstand high temperatures while still having poor thermal conductivity for increased energy efficiency. Refractory bricks are used in place of regular bricks, which always have a tendency to shatter at high temperatures. These bricks may also go by the titles ceramic bricks or fire bricks. Brick is one of the most popular construction materials used since ancient times. Regular bricks tend to crack at high temperatures and are not preferred for high-temperature areas. In such conditions, conventional bricks are often replaced by Refractory bricks.

This article is about refractory brick, their types, and their properties.

  1. What are refractory bricks?
  2. Properties of Refractory brick
  3. Types of Refractory bricks
    1. Acid refractory bricks
    2. Basic refractory bricks
    3. Neutral refractory bricks

What are refractory bricks?

Refractory brick is a type of brick that can resist high temperatures. It is also known as ceramic bricks or fire bricks. Generally, they are yellowish-white in colour. These bricks have good thermal resistance and good compressive strength. The chemical composition of fire bricks differs from regular bricks’ chemical composition. It mainly consists of 25 to 30% alumina, and 60 to 70% silica. Also, oxides of magnesium, calcium, potassium etc are present. The main application of fire bricks is in the construction of kilns, furnaces, etc. They are able to withstand temperatures above 2100 degrees Celsius. Thus the thermal capacity helps the structure to be stable at high temperatures. 


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Properties of Refractory brick

Following are the properties of Refractory brick.

  • Refractory brick should resist high temperatures.
  • They have good compressive strength. 
  • The weight of fire bricks is 150 lbs per cubic ft. 
  • The size of refractory brick is 9×4.5×2.5 inches or 9×2.7×2.25 inches. 
  • They also have good chemical resistance, Since they do not react with the furnace gases. 
  • The water absorption of refractory brick is 5 to 10%. 
  • They have a high fusion point. 

Types of Refractory bricks

Refractory bricks are available in various sizes and shapes. There mainly three types of refractory brick

  • Acid refractory bricks
  • Basic refractory Bricks
  • Neutral refractory Bricks

Acid refractory bricks

The acid refractory brick includes silica bricks and ganister bricks. Silica brick consists of 93% of Silicon dioxide. They possess good strength and fusion points. Also, they are hard and it is suitable for acid lining in furnaces. They can withstand temperatures up to 2000 degrees Celsius. Silica bricks are made from sandstone or quartzite. Ganister bricks consist of 85% of silica, 10% clay and 2% of lime. They are also hard and can withstand temperatures up to 2100 degrees Celsius. But acid bricks are not suitable to undergo rapid temperature. Since they tend to spall. 

Basic refractory bricks

Basic refractory bricks are basic in nature. They have good corrosion resistance and chemical resistance. They consist of Magnesite bricks, dolomite bricks and Bauxite bricks. Magnesite bricks contain 85% of magnesium oxide and 3 to 5% of iron oxide. They are suitable for the lining of the furnace. They can withstand temperatures up to 1800 to 2100 degrees Celsius. Dolomite bricks can withstand temperatures up to 1400 to 1600 degrees Celsius. It contains a high amount of dolomite. Bauxite bricks are a type of basic refractories that can withstand temperatures up to 1600 degrees Celsius and contains 85% of bauxite. 

Neutral refractory bricks

Neutral refractory bricks are suitable in places to separate the acid and basic lining in the furnace. They consist of chromite bricks, carborundum, spinal bricks and forsterite bricks. These bricks have a high percentage of chrome and magnesite.