When you decide to begin building your house, one of the most important considerations is about the cement that would be used. In fact, the commonest type of cement to be used across the world is Portland cement. The primary reason for this global general use is indeed its composition. Composed of concrete, mortar, stucco and grout, it is produced as a fine powder by grinding the Portland cement clinker with calcium sulfate. The origins of the cement can be traced back to in the initial years of the 19th century. Portland cement has today found its way as being the basic ingredient for ready-mix concrete. This adoption has been undertaken only after having successfully tested and recognized the fact that it creates a strong bond as compared to the early techniques of concrete production. With the increasing amount of importance that is continuously being attached to them, Portland cement, especially the one which forms a part of the ready-mix concrete, may be put to the following uses-
- The most important use of Portland cement is the production of concrete. It plays a pivotal role in setting and hardening the concrete.
- On being mixed with other aggregates, Portland cement begins to serve a dual purpose. One, it provides for the concrete products to be workable when wet and Two, it provides them to be durable when dry.
- It is extensively used by the retaining walls and the precast concrete block walls as a major component to build a strong foundation of concrete.
- By mixing it with water, Portland cement literally turns into a plastic stone and thereby it can be used for purposes and in places where stone was to be used and that too by keeping within the financial limits.
- It may be molded to obtain a hard and fire-proof material which may further be employed in designing buildings, shop floors, reservoirs and other foundations.
- Any kind of iron or timber structure is exposed to corrosion either by air or water. But with a concrete casing, made by utilizing Portland cement, they can be effectively protected.
- Any structure that is meant to support huge amounts of weight will bring Portland cement into use. These structures range from ground floors of multi-storey buildings to bridge floors and from bridge spans to dams.
- Due to its ability to prevent corrosion, it is also put to use in ships, tanks and bunkers.
- A blaze or a devastating fire may leave a structure completely burnt but with the use of Portland cement, this can be prevented.
- It is also brought into usage in mortars, plasters, screeds and grouts as a material which can be squeezed into gaps to consolidate the structures.
The use of Portland cements has galvanized ready-mix concrete production. Owing to the prominence which is being attached to them, these cements are said to have already made and left their mark.