What is Cement?
Cement may be your career, or your hobby, but it is always important to know your tools! How well do you know your cement ? How does it work? What's in your cement?
Simply put, cement can be defined as a grey powder that is the active ingredient in concrete; the glue that binds the aggregates together upon the addition of water. Cement is therefore the glue of the projects it's involved in. It can be used to hold the parts (bricks etc.) together by simply adding water. For a deeper definition we can state that cement is a hydraulic material made by finely grinding clinker (produced by burning a mixture of iron, calcium, aluminium and silica containing materials) together with Gypsum and other additives such as fly ash, pozzolan and slag. This definition gives us a deeper understanding of the chemical composition of cement; it is hydraulic (hardens under water).
From the definitions we can go on to look at how cement works. Dry cement requires water for the hydration process. Water breaks and creates chemical bonds in the components of cement, creating water resistant and insoluble products. The creation of these products is what allows cement to harden without being returned to its fluid form in the presence of water.
Let us know if this has helped you and/or changed your views on the way in which you define or think of cement. We here at the TCL Learning Academy look forward to exchanging more information on cement, its content and production.