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Characteristics of Good Cement

3. Good Plasticity 4. Defect Free

Should possess sufficient plasticity Should not develop defects such as
so that it fills the voids effectively. cracks, blisters, peeling etc.
03 04
2. Setting Time
Should harden or stiffen within the 5. Workability
set time without affecting the
02 05 Should be easily workable for the
masons. Should not produce high
heat while working.

1. Good Strength 01 06 6. High Durability

Cement should provide sufficient Should be durable and provide
compression strength for the resistance against moisture, corrosive
indented application and the gasses etc..
masonry structure.
Soundness Cement has got four
refers to the ability of a hardened important Physical
cement paste to retain its volume properties
after setting.

Fineness Setting Time

Fineness, or particle size of cement Setting time is the time taken by cement
affects hydration rate and thus the paste to solidify and harden. There are
rate of strength gain. two type: Initial Setting time and Final
Setting time

Compressive Strength
Cement mortar strength is typically
defined in three ways,: compressive,
tensile and flexural. Compressive
strength is the most important of all.

It is the capacity to withstand loads

tending to reduce size or to resist
compression of pushed together.
Compressive strength of cement is tested
by 50 mm mortar cubes made by using
standard sand and cured in a prescribed
cubes are tested under a compression
testing machine.
The strength of cement varies with time,
therefore in general it is reported as 3
day, 7 day or 28 day strength.

Fineness, or particle size of cement affects

hydration rate and thus the rate of strength
The smaller the particle size, the greater the
surface area-to-volume ratio and thus, the
more area available for water-cement
interaction per unit volume.
The effects of greater fineness on strength
are generally seen during the first seven days.
Fineness can be measured by Blaines air
permeability apparatus

Time for cement paste to harden or stiffen

Initial set occurs when the paste begins to
stiffen considerably
Final set occurs when the cement has
hardened to the point at which it can sustain
some load.
Affected by cement fineness, water-cement
ratio, gypsum content and admixtures.
For construction purposes, the initial set
must not be too soon and the final set must
not be too late.

Refers to the ability of a hardened cement paste to

retain its volume after setting without delayed
destructive expansion
This destructive expansion is caused by excessive
amounts of free lime (CaO) or magnesia (MgO).
Most cement specifications limit magnesia content
and expansion. The typical expansion test places
a small sample of cement paste into an autoclave, a
high pressure steam vessel.
Standard Specification for Portland Cement
specifies a maximum autoclave expansion of 0.80 %
BIS Specifications

Min. Compressve
Fineness Soundness By Setting Time
Type of Cement Blaines Le-cchatelier Autoclave Initial Final 1 3 7 28
(%) Max. (%) Max. (mts) Min. (mts) Min Days Days Days Day
33 Grade OPC
225 10 0.8 30 600 NS 16 22 33
(IS 269-1989)
43 Grade OPC
225 10 0.8 30 600 NS 23 33 43
(IS 8112-1989
53 Grade OPC
225 10 0.8 30 600 16 27 37 53
(IS 12269-1987)
300 10 0.8 30 600 NS 16 22 33
Cement-Part 1
(IS 1489-1991)