Different Types Of Cement Every Contractor Should Know

Cement is a mixture of different constituents and acts as the main constituent in concrete. Types of Cement used in the construction industry-

1) Hydraulic Cement
Hydraulic cement is the cement that hardens in the presence of water. This process is known as Hydration. One of the main advantages of hydraulic cement is that it can also be used in underwater construction projects.

2) Non-Hydraulic Cement
Non Hydraulic cement is the cement that doesn’t harden in the presence of water. Hydraulic cement hardens in the presence of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This process is known as “carbonation.”
The main advantage of non-hydraulic cement is that it is immune to attack by chemicals after setting, which provides stability to the structure.

Mostly Used Types of Cement

1) Ordinary Portland Cement 

Picture of a bag of ordinary portland cement with its description

OPC is the most common type of cement which is used in the construction industry. The main advantage of OPC is that it provides great resistance against cracking and dry shrinkage.

Types of OPC-
i) 33 Grade
ii) 43 Grade
iii) 53 Grade
The grade represents the strength of the cement at 28 days

2) Rapid Hardening Cement

Picture of Rapid hardening cement

Rapid hardening cement is used in road work and bridge construction, where the time factor is very important. The cement is produced by mixing two compounds which are calcareous and argillaceous.

The chemical composition of rapid hardening cement is almost the same as that of ordinary portland cement. The only difference is that rapid hardening cement is more finely grounded.

3) Quick Setting Cement

Picture of a bucket of quick setting cement

Quick setting cement is used for conditions where extreme pumping is required or in submersible land areas. These types of cement are mostly used in typical grouting operations. The advantage of using quick-setting cement is that it sets and gets dry very fast. This is done by reducing the quantity of “Gypsum” at the time of clinker grinding.

4) Low Heat Cement

Picture of a sack of low heat cement

Low heat cement is used in construction projects such as the construction of gravity dams. Low heat cement, because of its low heat nature due to Hydration, prevents the cracking of concrete due to heat. This particular cement also has increased power against sulfates.

5) Sulfates Resisting Cement

Picture of a sack of sulphate resisting cement

Sulfate resisting cement is used in constructions that are exposed to severe sulfate action by water and soil. Sulfate resisting cement is used to reduce the risk of sulfate attack on any structure. This cement is particularly used in the construction of “foundations,” where the content of sulfate is much higher in the soil.

6) Blast Furnace Slag Cement

Picture of blast furnace cement with the text - ground granulated blast furnace slag for concrete

Blast furnace slag cement is mostly used for structures that are meant for water retaining; examples of such structures are water retaining walls, ports, tunnels, dams, etc. Blast furnace slag cement is made by mixing ordinary portland cement with finely granulated blast furnace slag.

7) High Alumina Cement

Picture of a sack of high alumina cement

High alumina cement is widely used in marine and sewer infrastructure construction projects. It is also used in construction projects where the concrete is subjected to high temperatures. The reason for using this cements in these types of construction projects is their strength and rapid hardening properties.

8) White Cement

Picture of a sack of JK wite cement

White cement is mostly used for joining tiles and other interior works in the building’s surface areas. These are used for repairing marble tiles, floors, and roofs. White cement is obtained by lowering the iron oxide content from the ordinary portland cement.

9) Air Entraining Cement

Picture showing 3 different microscopic views of air-entraining cement

Air entraining cement is manufactured by adding an air-entraining agent in power or in liquid form with an OPC cement clinker. There are other external materials added, are animal and vegetable fats, oil, and another acid with a certain wetting agent like aluminum powder, hydrogen peroxide, etc. By introducing an air-entraining agent, frost resisting characteristics of hardened concrete are increased. The workability, segregation, and bleeding properties of concrete are improved by using this cement.

10) Expansive Cement

Pictures of expansive cement

Expansive cement is used to overcome shrinkage loss and is an essential part of sealing joints. The advantage of expansive cement is that it does not shrink during and after the time of hardening, but it expands slightly with time in the construction process. Expansive cement consists of portland cement with added calcium sulfate and sometimes tricalcium aluminate.

11) Hydrographic Cement

Pictures of hydrographic cement

Hydrographic cement is used in the construction of different water structures such as dams, water dams, spillways, and other water retaining structures. Hydrographic cement has the property of repelling water and is also immune to water during monsoons or rains.


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These are the types of cement that are used in almost every type of construction work. A contractor should always be very careful while choosing a type of cement for their construction projects.

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shikhar shukla
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