Cement is an inevitable part of any construction and is used in high quantities for structure building. The strength of any structure depends on several factors, cement quality being one of the most important one. The longevity of a structure is decided at the initial steps of construction with the help of architectural maps, brick quality, cement quality, etc. Before cement procurement, it is important to determine the quality. Cement is a structure binding agent and any negligence in its quality can lead to the whole structure coming crashing down. Certain defined techniques have proven to be beneficial in determining the cement quality. Let’s discuss them:
- Packaging Date
Clay is a major ingredient in cement manufacturing and it is the binding agent however clay’s binding strength decreases with time.so it’s always important to check the manufacturing date of the cement. Generally, advised usage of cement is within 90 days of its manufacturing. For bigger structures like office buildings or housing towers newly produced cement is recommended as these high towers are more prone to damages as opposed to smaller structures. Below is a reference table to understand how cement loses its strength, over time.
|cement age||Strength reduction over-time|
- Cement color
Uniformity of the cement color is a great sign of good quality. Cement should have an unvaried color throughout, any other color just indicates impurities. Greyscale color with greenish shade is the most appropriate cement color.
- Lumps inspections
Wet cement inspection is as important as dry inspection. Mix a batch of cement in water and check for lumps. They are small bubble formations in the cement due to the absorption of moisture from the climate. If the cement isn’t blended properly and lumps are present, it can leave spaces between the bricks causing them to collapse by and by.
- Rubbing test
The dominant ingredient in cement is clay which has an extremely smooth texture. To check the purity and quality of the cement rub it in between the fingers, it should feel smooth. If the texture of cement feels grainy that just indicates the presence of sand and other contaminants.
- Temperature test
Cement is prone to a hydration reaction, it is a process where cement comes in direct contact with moisture and tends heat-up or dry-up. Temperature check is a simple technique, just put naked hands in a bag of cement and feel the temperature. If the cement still hasn’t had the hydration reaction it should feel cool or else it will be warm.
- Float Test
Cement is a colloidal form of powder and tends to float due to surface tension. Anything apart from property to float indicates quality issues. Just take a handful of cement and throw it in a bucket of water. If the cement floats for sometime before settling that reflects good quality cement.
- Setting test
Set cement and water aren’t very friendly components. Water leakages are responsible for cracking cement gradually. To avoid such mishappenings, setting tests is recommended. To perform this test, make a thick cement paste and immerse it in water from 24-48 hours. If the cement remains seamless that is a clear sign of good quality and if not, considered other cement companies.
- Strength Test
Construct a cement block of 25mm*25mm and 200mm in length. Keep it submerged in water for 7days. Submerging the block for so many days will decline the cement’s strength. Now place it on a supporter and load weight over it, if it’s a good cement block it won’t show any signs of failure.
Above you’ve understood strength, setting, floating, and many more attributes of a good cement. This will just make it feasible for you to procure appropriate cement the next time you are purchasing. Although, all these steps can be avoided if you source your cement from a trust-worthy seller. Chances of foul play increase with the multiplication of middlemen in between. Preceding information is incomplete if we don’t suggest where you can source the cement responsibly. While looking around we found a website called tradologie.com which is a digital trade enabling portal. A platform that warrants all your inquiry-to-delivery needs. It eradicates all the middlemen and facilitates live trading between verified buyers and sellers. Interacting with 120 suppliers will help you attain in-depth knowledge about the cement you are purchasing and assures correct investment, hassle-free.