There are different uses of cement such as to make cement mortar, cement concrete which are used in construction of various types of masonry and concrete structures. These uses of cement are discussed in detail.
Uses of Cement
Following are the different uses of cement in construction works:
- To prepare cement mortar
- To prepare cement concrete
- To build fire proof and thermal proof structures
- To build hydrographic and frost resistant structures
- To build chemical proof structures
- As a grout material
- To construct Cement concrete roads
- To manufacture precast members
- For aesthetic concrete construction
1. To Prepare Cement Mortar
Cement mortar is like a paste which is prepared by adding certain quantity of water to cement and sand mixture. Cement in this case is denoted as matrix while sand is termed as adulterant.
We know Cement has good binding properties while there are other binding materials are also available, but cement is mostly used because of its high strength and water resisting properties. It is used to create a strong bond between bricks, stones in a masonry.
Plastering is done by cement mortar which gives smooth finish to the structure. Cement molds of different shapes can be made using cement mortar. It is also used to seal the joints of brickwork and stone work or cracks.
Generally, the cement sand ratio in a mortar is in between 1:2 to 1:6. The ratio of cement and sand mix is decided based on the importance of work.
2. To Prepare Cement Concrete
Cement concrete is a major building material in the world which is widely using because of its marvelous structural properties. The ingredients of cement concrete are cement, fine aggregate, coarse aggregate and water respectively.
In general, ordinary Portland cement is used to prepare concrete. But for special cases or based on different circumstances many types of cements like rapid hardening cement, high alumina cement etc. are discovered.
3. To Build Fire Proof or Heat Proof Structures
To with stand against high temperatures and to prevent fire accidents structures should be built with great fire-resistant materials like cement. High alumina cement is more suitable material to make concrete for the structures in high temperature regions.
4. To Build Hydrographic and Frost Resistant Structures
Most of the hydrographic structures in the world are built using concrete with cement as binding material. The structures built in water or in contact with water should be very strong against moisture and they should be water tight.
Many types of cements like hydrophobic cement, expanding cement, pozzolana cement, quick setting cement etc. are most suitable for constructing water retaining structures. Quick setting cement is very much useful in the case when there is limited time to construct under water structures.
Hydrophobic cement had more resistance against frost actions, so it can be used to build structures in snow regions also.
5. To Build Chemical Proof Structures
In chemical industries, different chemicals are stored and they may damage the structure if proper resistance is not there. Acid resistant cement is very much useful in this case.
Similarly, for the constructions under marine conditions, sewage carrying structures etc. Sulphate resistant cement is useful.
6. For Grouting
Grouting is the process of filling cracks, joints, openings in foundations or any other structural members to improve their strength. In general, ordinary Portland cements is used as grout material to which required amount of water and sand is added.
To fill very fine cracks or to fill deep thin cracks micro fine cement is most suitable. Micro fine cement contains very finer particles than the ordinary Portland cement so it can flow into very fine and deep cracks in quick time.
7. To Construct Cement Concrete Roads
Cement concrete roads are more famous as high standard roads which are stronger than all other types of roads. They are also called as rigid pavements because of their rigid nature. C.C roads have long life span even without proper maintenance. Load wise also they are much capable than all other types.
8. To Manufacture Precast Members
Many precast members are made using cement as binding material. Cement concrete pipes are widely used as drains, pipes under culverts etc. Cement concrete brick masonry is more famous because of the size of block, ease of construction and strength etc.
Water tanks and septic tanks are generally constructed by cement concrete rings. Many other things like garden seats, flower pots, dust bins, lam posts etc. are manufactured using cement.
9. For Aesthetic Structures
Now a days cement is available in many colors. This is done by adding coloring agent while manufacturing cement but the percentage of coloring agent should be below 10%. Some of the coloring agents are iron oxide which gives red or brown, cobalt which gives blue etc.
The colored cement makes the structure beautiful without any painting. Colored cements generally used for floor finishing, stair treads, window sill slabs, external wall surfaces etc..