Importance of cement in construction

Cement is very important building materials used in the construction industry.

  • It was just 188 years ago that cement as we know it today was developed.
  • Joseph Aspdin of England first patented the manufacture of a very improvised type of cementitious material for building construction in 1824.
  • The hardened cement paste resembled the natural stone occurring at Portland in England. Hence it was named as Portland cement.
  • Cement has replaced all other binding materials, for example, clay and lime, which ruled high for hundreds years, in construction from last century.
  • The reason being that, cement is the strongest binding material amongst, lime and cement.
  • Cement is now used in many construction trade items like plain concrete, Reinforced concrete, Mortar, Plaster, Grouts, Paints and Precast elements. In an ordinary building construction the cement accounts to about 10 to 12% of the cost of construction.
  • In some other major constructions like bridges it’s very much more.

Some of the reasons for its popularity and universal acceptance are listed below:

  1. Cement can be produced in large volumes in controlled condition, packed and transported over long distances.
  2. Cement is several times stronger binding material than lime and clay.
  3. It can be mixed and used at will with locally available materials at site.
  4. When stored properly in ordinary atmosphere does not deteriorate or react for reasonably longer time.
  5. When mixed with water, starts setting very early and acquires sufficient strength in a day or two, where as other binding materials require much longer time.
  6. When water is added to quick lime, lot of head is generated, but in case of cement, heat generated is unnoticeable and much lesser.
  7. It can withstand compressive stresses well. Where tension and shear stresses occur it gives good bond to steel reinforcement and transfers excess stresses to steel.
  8. It is produced from the materials like limestone, hematite, bauxite, clay etc which are abundantly available in upper crust of the earth.

 

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