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Cement is one of the most consumed product in the construction industry. Cement plays a vital role in providing the strength and the durability of the building.

There are various types of cements available and they are listed below for your reference.
1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC).
2. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC).
3. Portland Blast Furnace Slag Cement.
4. Rapid Hardening Portland Cement.
5. Sulphate Resisting Cement.
6. Hydrophobic Cement.
7. Oil Well Cement.
8. High Alumina Cement.
9. Masonry Cement.
10. Low heat Cement.
11. White Cement.

The most commonly used cement types in general residential building construction are OPC and PPC.

OPC is further divided into three categories which are provided below.
a. Grade 33.
b. Grade 43.
c. Grade 53.

Grade 33 cement has become obsolete where as Grade 43 cement is used for non structural works like plastering, brick masonry etc., and grade 53 cement is used for structural works in construction of columns, beams, slabs, foundations etc.,

PPC is one of the most used cement for all the purposes of both structural and non structural works.

White cement is used in combination with inorganic pigments to produce brightly coloured concretes and mortars. Ordinary cement, when used with pigments, produces colours that may be attractive, but are somewhat dull. With white cement, bright reds, yellows and greens can be readily produced. The white cement mixed with pigments will be used in finishing and interior design works.

Checks or tests before choosing a Cement.

• Date of Packaging: Check for the date of packaging on the cement bag. The strength of cement gets reduced with increase in age.

• Colour of Cement: The cement in a particular batch should contain uniform colour. The difference in colour indicates excess lime or clay and degree of burning.

• Rubbing of Cement: Take a pinch of cement between fingers and rub it. The cement should feel as fine and smooth while rubbing.

• Hand Insertion: Thrust your hand into the cement bag and it should give cool feeling. It indicates that no hydration reaction is taking place in the bag.

• Float Test: When we throw the cement in a bucket full of water, the cement should sink and should not float on the water.

• Smell Test: Take a pinch of cement and smell it. It should not have earthy smell.

• Presence Of Lumps: In a bag of cement, when we open it, there should not be any lumps which ensures no setting has taken place.

• Shape Test: Take 100g of cement and make a stiff paste. Prepare a cake with sharp edges and put on the glass plate. Immerse this plate in water. Observe that the shape shouldn’t get disturbed while settling. It should be able to set and attain strength. Cement is capable of setting under water also and that is why it is also called ‘Hydraulic Cement’.

• Strength Test: A block of cement 25 mm X 25 mm and 200 mm long is prepared and it is immersed for 7 days in water. It is then placed on supports 15000 mm apart and it is loaded with a weight of 340 N. The block should not show any sign of failure.
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