Cement is the main component of concrete and the chief construction material used in construction projects worldwide. Cement is prepared by the mixture of limestone and clay which are grinded together and then heated at a temperature of 1,450°C which results in a granular substance called “clinker”. The two most popular types of cement are OPC & PPC
Varieties of cement:
There are varieties of cement available in the market with different properties and best auitable for different applications such as Ordinary Portland Cement, Portland Pozzolana Cement, Rapid Hardening Cement, Quick Setting Cement, Low Heat Cement, Sulphate Resisting Cement etc.
Best cement: OPC or PPC?
Both Ordinary Portland and Portland Pozzolana types of cement are widely used for construction purposes. OPC is produced by simply grinding limestone and secondary materials to a powder; and the Portland Pozzolana is a variation of ordinary Portland with an added mixture of Pozzuolanic materials like Fly ash, volcanic ash, clay, slag etc in the ratio of 15% to 35% by weight, which increases the strength of the concrete.
Both OPC and PPC are eco-friendly materials but Pozzolana Cement is made of natural and industrial waste. OPC is available in 3 grades as grades 33, 43 and 53 and Pozzolana is available in only one grade and its strength is equal to the strength of grade 33 of OPC
PPC produces highly durable concrete as it has low water permeability compared to OPC. PPC has low initial setting strength compared to OPC but hardens over a period of time with proper curing. And PPC is cheaper also compared to OPC.
PPC is highly resistant to sulphate attacks and thus it has its applications in mass concrete work like dams, huge foundations, and buildings near seashores, reservoirs and in other marine works. OPC is highly applicable and best suited where a fast pace of construction is required. It cannot be used for mass concreting as it has a high heat of hydration.
Both types of cement have their own advantages and applications-
Ordinary Portland Cement Features
- It has high initial setting strength.
- Manufacturing process is easy
- It does not possess resistance to sulphate attacks
- Cost is higher compared to PPC
- Has less durability and workability
Portland Pozzolana Cements Features
- It has less initial setting strength but hardens over time
- Manufacturing process is difficult
- It can resist sulphate attacks
- Has better durability and workability
- Cost is less compared to OPC
If you are looking for high durability and workability, then we would recommend PPC as the best cement for you. However, if you are looking for a less initial setting then we suggest you use OPC as the best cement for house construction.