Cement is mainly classified depending on their grades. Cement grades determine the compression strength (Mpa) of the concrete that will attain after 28 days of setting. There are about ten types of cement that are used for construction purpose. However, the following are the five main types of cement which are widely used in house construction.
1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) 43 Grade Cement:
It is used majorly for wall plastering works, Non-RCC structures, pathways etc. 43-grade cement attains a compression strength of 43 Mpa (megapascals) in 28 days of setting. Make sure that your 43 cement brand adheres to IS 12269 standard code.
2. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), 53 Grade Cement:
It is mainly used in RCC and pre-stressed concrete of higher grades, cement grouts, instant plugging mortars etc. 53 Grade cement is used for fast paced construction were the initial strength is to be achieved quickly. 53 Grade attains 27 Mpa in 7days compared to 23 Mpa by 43-grade cement. 53 Grade cement adheres to IS 8112 standard code.
3. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC):
PPC Cement has a higher degree of fineness, impermeable and corrosion-resistant quality that makes the concrete denser resulting in long-lasting structures. It is used in mass concreting work as well as RCC work. Even though the initial setting time of PPC cement is low, it gains more strength with time. PPC cement adheres to IS 1489 standard code.
4. Portland Slag Cement (PSC):
PSC is preferred over OPC grade in constructions where the structures are more liable to sulfate and chloride attack. Due to its excellent corrosion resistance, particularly from salt water, it is widely used in coastal regions, sewage disposal, and water treatment plants. PSC Grade cement adheres to IS 455:1989 standard code.
5. White Cement:
This cement is used in architectural and decorative designs, it is also used to fill gaps in wall tiles, ceramic bathroom fixtures. The manufacturing process of white cement is different and more complicated when compared to ordinary Portland cement.
Apart from the above, there are other types of cement which are also used for constructional purposes.
Sulphate Resisting Portland Cement (SRC)
This cement is used where the structure is more exposed to Sulphate attack due to water or soil. In SRC, amount of C3A is restricted to lower than 5% and 2C3A + C4AF lower than 25%. It can be used in sewage and water treatment plants.
Rapid Hardening Cement:
It is used in speedy construction and early completion is required due to lack of time or any other reasons. It is mainly used in repair and rehabilitation works.
Hydrophobic Portland Cement:
It is used in high rainfall areas to improve the shelf life of cement. The cement is given a chemical coating during the manufacturing process, that provides water-repelling property, and the cement is not affected due to high humidity and can also be stored for a longer period.
Low Heat Portland Cement:
It is mainly used in mass concrete for dams and many other types of water retaining structures, bridge abutments, massive retaining walls, piers, slabs etc.