How to Check the Quality of Cement?

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In this article, we will discuss how to check the quality of cement.

Cement may be prescribed as a material with adhesive and cohesive properties which make it capable of bonding mineral fragments into a compact whole. 

For constructional uses, the definition of the word cement is restricted to the bonding materials utilized with stones, sand, bricks, building blocks, etc.

The principal components of this type of cement are made of lime so in building and civil engineering we are concerned with calcareous cement.

The cement of interest in the making of concrete has the property of setting and interest underwater under a chemical reaction with it and is therefore called hydraulic cement.

 


 

  1. How to Check the Quality of Cement?  

Here are the factors that need to be observed to know and check the quality of cement as follows:

a. Packing Date

The manufacturer’s date should be observed on the cement bag. It is necessary because the strength of cement declines with age.

Cement may be defined as a very fine powder that absorbs moistness from the air fast. A tiny quantity of moisture is constantly available in the air, and when the cement bag absorbs this moistness, the initial setting occurs, and the cement slowly fails its strength.

Age of cementPercentage of Strength reduction
3 months20% to 30%
6 months30% to 40%
12 months40% to 50%

From the above table, you can notice that the strength of cement loses its strength over a span of time.

 

Packing Date

 


 

2. Colour of Cement  

The colour of cement should be uniform. An ideal colour of cement is grey with a light greenish shade. The cement colour gives an indication of excess clay or lime.

 

Colour of Cement 

 


 

3. Check for lumps  

Lumps are created due to the existence of moistness in cement. Cement experiences a chemical reaction when it is in contact with atmospheric moistness this process is defined as hydration. Due to which lumps of cement paste are seen. Cement evolves ineffective once it is hydrated with moisture (liquid form or vapour form).

 

Check for lumps

 


 

4. Rubbing Test  

Always grab a bit of cement on your fingers and rub it within your fingers, it should be smooth while rubbing. If it is rough, which means that cement is mixed with sand.

 

Rubbing Test

 


 

5. Float test of cement  

Bring a handful of cement and put it in water, a good quality cement should always sink and not float on water.

 

Float test of cement

 


 

6. Hand insertion  

Keep[ your hand in the cement bag. It must provide you with a cool sensation. It means that no hydration reaction took place in the cement bag, the cement can be used.

 

Hand insertion

 


 

7. Shape Test of Cement  

Bring 100g of cement and prepare a stiff paste by putting in some water. Then make a cement cake having sharp edges and put it on a glass plate. Submerge this plate in the bucket containing water on it. Watch that the shape shouldn’t get damaged during settling. Good cement should be capable to form and attain strength in water.

 

Shape Test of Cement

 


 

8. Strength Test  

Prepare a block of cement 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm and 20 cm long. Submerge the cement block in water for a period of 7 days. Put the submerged concrete block on supports 1500 cm apart and then provide a load with a weight of 340 N. The block which is prepared of good cement should not display any sign of failure.

 

Strength Test

 


 

9. Specific Gravity of Cement  

Discovering the specific gravity of cement is of the supreme matter if cement is kept for more than three months in a store. Good quality cement must have a specific gravity (Sg) of around 3.1-3.6gm/cc.

 

Specific Gravity of Cement

 


 

Read Also: Grades of Cement Mortar

 

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