Cement is a binding material that is used in construction. It is mixed with water, sand, and gravel to create concrete, one of the most versatile and durable building materials.

Over the past 2,000 years, cement has been used to build some of the world’s most iconic structures. Today, cement is an essential component of modern construction, with applications ranging from foundations and sidewalks to high-rise buildings and bridges.

What is Cement?

Cement is a pulverised powder that consists of limestone (calcium carbonate), clay (silicon dioxide), iron oxide, and gypsum (calcium sulphate). The powder is mixed with water to form a paste that can be moulded into any shape. Once it dries, cement becomes hard like a rock. 

How is Cement Made?

Cement is manufactured through a process that begins with the quarrying of limestone, which is then crushed and ground to a fine powder. The limestone is combined with clay and other minerals to form a raw mix, which is then fed into a rotary kiln at temperatures of up to 1450°C.

The high temperatures cause the raw materials to undergo chemical reactions that form new compounds, including calcium silicates and aluminates. These compounds are critical to the strength and durability of cement. 

What are the Ingredients in Cement?

The main ingredients in cement are limestone, clay, iron oxide, and gypsum.

However, different types of cement have different proportions of these ingredients. For example, Portland cement, the most common type, contains between 70-80% limestone, 10-20% clay, 3-10% iron oxide, and 2-6% gypsum.

The Properties of Cement

Cement ranges from white to grey or black, depending on its composition. It has a density of about 1440 kg/m3, which makes it slightly heavier than water but lighter than most types of rocks.

When mixed with water and allowed to harden, cement becomes extremely strong and durable. A mixture containing cement, gravel, sand, and water is one of the world’s most widely used building materials. 

How Is Cement Used in Construction?

Cement can be used for various construction applications, including sidewalks, foundations, walls, floors, beams, columns, and bridges. It can also create mortar for bonding bricks or stones together.

The versatility of cement makes it an essential material for modern construction. Some additional benefits provided by cement include resistance to weathering, frost, fire, and chemicals.

In addition, it can be used on its own or with other materials to create a wide range of products, such as concrete blocks, mortar, renderings, and adhesives.  

What are the Advantages of Using Cement?

Cement has a variety of advantages that make it a popular construction material. These advantages include its durability, strength, and resistance to weathering.

Cement can also be used to create paving stones and other decorative features.

What are the Disadvantages of Using Cement?

Despite its many advantages, cement also has a few disadvantages. For example, it can be challenging to work with, and it can produce harmful fumes when it is burned.

Additionally, cement can be quite expensive compared to other construction materials.

How Can You Minimise the Disadvantages of Cement?

There are several ways that you can minimise the disadvantages of using cement. For example, you can use less cement in your construction projects or alternate materials such as lime mortar to reduce the number of fumes produced.

Additionally, you can choose an alternate manufacturing process that produces less pollution.

The Future of Cement

Cement will likely remain a popular construction material for many years.

However, researchers are constantly working on new ways to improve its properties and reduce its environmental impact.

In particular, efforts are being made to develop more sustainable forms of cement that can be used in green construction projects.

Conclusion

Cement is a popular construction material for many reasons, including its durability, strength, and resistance to weathering.

At EKA Quarry Products, we constantly work to improve these features and make cement more sustainable. Please get in touch with us today if you are interested in learning more about our products or want assistance with using cement in your next construction project.

We would be happy to discuss your needs and provide you with the best possible service.