Choosing the best cement for construction is crucial to the integrity of the structure. Different types also provide different pros and cons that are suitable for various endeavors. But the question is, which cement works best for construction?
The cement types that are good for construction are Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC). OPC has 3 types: 33 Grade for non-RCC, 43 Grade for plastering, and 53 Grade for fast-paced projects. PPC makes the structure denser, making it perfect for mass concreting works.
There are more types of cement that you can use for various endeavors, and we’ll discuss all of them in great detail. By the end of this article, you’ll have a deeper understanding of these types and be able to choose the best one for your project.
Ordinary Portland Cement vs. Portland Pozzolana Cement
Almost every construction needs cement, but the type that you can use may vary depending on what you’re planning to build. However, most structures need to choose between two cement types: OPC and PPC. Both have their pros and cons that make them suitable for various endeavors. Getting the best cement for your project starts by understanding the difference between them.
Ordinary Portland Cement at a Glance
Ordinary Portland Cement is a combination of 95% cement clinkers and 5% being gypsum—an additive that we use to increase the cement’s setting time. It’s more common for construction projects because we can use it for quick works that don’t require a variety of concrete.
However, there are also some considerations that you need to make because OPC comes in three types:
The drawback with OPC is that it doesn’t offer enough corrosion-resistance and impermeability that some structures may need. Both 43 Grade and 53 Grade are excellent for fast-paced projects, but they’re not as long-lasting as what you’d get from PPC.
Portland Pozzolana Cement at a Glance
Portland Pozzolana Cement is a combination of 65% to 75% cement clinker, 15% to 20% fly ash, and 3% to 6% gypsum. Fly ash is a cheaper substance that replicates Portland cement. When you use PPC for construction, you’ll get a lower-costing structure, making it ideal for buildings with a limited budget and don’t require as much strength as what you’d get from OPC.
You can use PPC for RCC works and mass concreting projects, but a more common application would be residential structures. Aside from the price, PPC is also a better option because it has a higher degree of fineness, impermeability, corrosion-resistance, and chemical-resistance—characteristics that we need when building houses.
Although PPC takes a longer time to set than OPC, it gains more strength over time. When small-scale construction has a limited budget but has enough time to spare, it’s a better option because of its price. However, if your building relies on high-strength, PPC may not provide you with the density you’ll need.
Can You Use the Same Cement for All Construction?
If you have better quality control and follow the best construction practices, you can use PPC and OPC interchangeably. However, in many cases, it’s advisable to use different cement types in various facets of the building, particularly with the foundation, plastering, and masonry. It’ll help you be more flexible with the cost and still achieve the strength you need for the structure.
Aside from OPC and PPC, there are other types of cement that you can use for various structures. If you’re working on a specialized building, it would be best to use a suitable cement because of the varying characteristics. So, a successful project will also depend on your familiarity with the various options available.
Other Types of Cement to Use for Construction
Cement plays a significant role in almost every construction, and the two we discussed above are the most common that you’ll see. Since you can’t use OPC and PPC for all construction works, it would be best to find out the other types that you can use for various structures, including the following:
Cement is an integral part of modern construction. However, as we better understand the structures we can build, we also become aware of the need for various cement types that we should use. We were only using OPC and PPC for almost every construction in the past, but advancements in technology made better options available.
Various cement types offer some advantages that aren’t available with OPC and PPC. Some of these will allow us to complete our endeavors faster, while others provide a better lifespan for the structures.