16 Types of Cement used in Construction Work

Before starting to learn different types of cement, lets us see what is cement and where it is used? Cement is a fine powder which is used to join materials together. When it is mixed with water, forms a paste and act as very hard strong binding medium for the aggregate particles. It is used in construction works such as homes, dams, bridges, walls etc. 

 Types of cement

According to the demand of the situation, different kinds of cement are available. Here we will discuss them in detail.

The various types of cement used in the construction works are

1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)
2. White Portland Cement (WPC)
3. Coloured cement
4. Low Heat Cement
5. Quick Setting Cement
6. Rapid Hardening Cement (RHC)
7. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)
8. High Alumina Cement (HAC)
9. Air Entraining Cement
10. Expansive Cement
11. Blast Furnace Cement
12. Acid Resistance Cement
13. Sulphate Resistance Cement
14. Hydrophobic Cement
15. Waterproof Cement
16. Fly Ash Blended Cement

1. Ordinary Portland Cement

It is the simplest type of cement. Ordinary Portland cement is used when we do not require any special properties of other types.
  • It is normally used for the construction of reinforced concrete buildings, pavements, bridges and sidewalks when the soil condition is normal.
  • When special properties are required in construction than the OPC is modified and we get different types of cement.

2. White Portland Cement (WPC) or White Cement

White Portland Cement is manufactured from the raw materials that contain very little iron oxide and manganese oxide. It is iron oxide and manganese oxide that imparts color to the cement. In other words, if the OPC is made free from iron oxide and manganese oxide we get white Portland cement.
  • To avoid contamination during its manufacturing, oil is used as a fuel in the kiln in place of coal ash.
  • It is expensive cement as compared with other one.
  • It is used for the finishing of floors, plastering, ornamental works etc.
  • It is used in swimming pools to replace glazed tiles.
  • It is also used for fixing glazed tiles and marbles.

3. Coloured Cement

The coloured cement is prepared by adding 5-10 percent of color pigments to the Portland cement. 
  • The chromium oxides when mixed, give green color and cobalt gives blue color
  • Iron oxide when mixed in different proportion produces cement of brown, red or yellow color.
  • Manganese oxide gives black or brown colored cement.
  • This cement is used for interior and exterior decoration works such as giving finishing touches to floors, walls, roofs, window sills etc.
  • It is used for making artificial marbles.

4. Low Heat cement

During mass construction like dams, due to hydration of cement heat is produced. The rate of heat dissipation is low as compared with the heat produced. This heat produced may give rise to cracks in structure. To avoid this problem, it is required to use low heat cement.

Low heat cement is produced by lowering the amount of C3A (tricalcium aluminate) and C3S (tricalcium silicate) but increasing the percentage of C2S (Dicalcium Silicate).


  • It is used in mass construction works like dams, marine construction etc.
  • It is used in retaining wall construction.

5. Quick Setting Cement

As its name indicates, it is a type of cement which sets quickly when water is added to it. It is manufactured by reducing the percentage of gypsum and adding a small amount of aluminium sulphate and then grinded finely.
  • The small amount of gypsum is added in the cement to get quick setting action.
  • The aluminum sulphate is added to accelerate setting time of cement.
  • It is a types of cement which starts setting within 5 min of water addition and changes to hard mass within 30 minutes.
  • It is used where quick setting is needed such as in under water construction, in cold and rainy weather conditions.

6. Rapid Hardening Cement

It is produced by adding finely grinded lime stone with shale and heating at high temperature. This cement is utilized at a place where rapid hardening is required in initial stage.
The initial and final setting time of RHPC is similar to the Portland cement but it achieves strength in early days.
  • The property of rapid hardening helps in earlier removal of form works and saves construction time.
  • It is used for road pavements works.

7. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)

This cement is called as pozzolana cement because it is manufactured by adding 10-30 percent volcanic powder in Portland cement. pozzolana is volcanic powder which is found in Italy. It can also be produced from shale and certain types of clay. 
  • With passage of time it gains high compressive strength.
  • It imparts higher degree of water tightness.
  • It releases less heat and can resists action of sulphate.
  • It is mainly used in the construction where strength is required with age such as dams.
  • It is used for mass concrete works and in sewage line works.

8. High Alumina Cement

At certain temperature, the mixing of bauxite and lime gives us high alumina cements (HAC). It is also known as calcium aluminum cement (CAC). It has high compressive strength.
  • It reaches almost to its full strength within 24 hours of water addition.
  • It exhibits more resistance against sulphate and acidic attacks.
  • It is more workable as compared with ordinary Portland cement.
  • HAC is used in construction of refineries, factories and other workshops type structures. 
  • It is used to build sewage structures and acidic structures.

9. Air Entraining Cement

Air entrainment is process of creating air bubbles by adding some air entraining agent. Air entrainment cement is manufactured by adding air entraining agent in Portland cement. 
The main purpose of these types of cement is to fill the gap produced in the concrete because of excessive water during casting (excessive water later gets evaporated and leaves the gap).
The entrained air produces separate cavities in the cement paste and fills the channel created due to passage of water. 

What happened when the air entrained cement is not used?

Channels or voids created by the excessive water in concrete filled with water and when the water freezes, it expands by 10% and increases the cavity. This creates stress in the concrete structure. During day time the freeze water gets defrost and at night again it gets filled with more water and freezes again. This process of freezing and thawing (defrost) happens again and again. This makes the voids larger and larger with increase in stress in concrete and results in crack formation to concrete structures.
  • The cavities created by the air entrained cement fill the gaps created by escaping of water and eliminate the formation of cracks in concrete structures.
  • It increases the durability of concrete structures.
  • It is used in cold countries for the construction of concrete structure.

10. Expansive Cement

The cement which expands with time is called expansive cement. It does not shrink during and after its hardening but expands slightly with the time.

It is manufactured by doing reaction between tricalcium aluminate (C­­3A)  and calcium sulphate. The expansive property is achieved by adding expansive medium like sulpho aluminate and a stabilizing agent to the ordinary Portland cement.

  • It is used to fill cracks in concrete structures.
  • It is used for grouting anchor bolts and prestressed concrete ducts.
  • Used in repair works by making a bond in damaged concrete surfaces.

11. Blast Furnace Cement

Blast furnace cement is manufactured by adding 60 to 65 percent of slag in ordinary Portland cement with grinding. The slag used in this cement is obtained from the iron manufacturing plant. It (slag) comes out as waste product during the manufacturing of iron. It is cheap cement because of the utilization of waste for its production.
  • Its property is much or less similar to OPC.
  • It gains strength slowly so curing takes longer period of time.
  • Blast furnace cement is used in mass construction works such in making dams, retaining walls, foundations and abutment of bridges, construction in sea water.

12. Acid Resistance Cement

Acid Resisting cement is special types of cement which is capable of resisting acids. It is manufactured by adding acid resisting aggregate such as sodium silicate, quartz, quartzite, or soluble glass in OPC.
  • It has good resisting property against acid and water.
  • It is used in construction of chemical factories.

13. Sulphate Resistant Cement (SRC)

This cement has the property which makes it to withstand against sulphate attacks. 
Sulphate Resistant Cement (SRC) is manufactured by keeping the tricalcium aluminate (C­­3A) below 6%. 
  • It is the percentage of (C­­3A) that increases the power of this cement against sulphate attacks.
  • It is used at a place where construction is exposed to severe sulphate action by soil and water.

14. Hydrophobic Cement

Hydrophobic cement is a water repellent cement. It is manufactured by mixing water repellent chemicals like petrolatum and naphthalene soap to OPC during grinding.
  • These types of cement does not get spoiled even during monsoon season.
  • They can be transported even in rain and remain unaffected.
  • It is used to construct hydraulic structures such as dams, spill ways, water tanks, water retaining structures etc.

15. Waterproof Cement

Water proof cement is manufactured by mixing a small percentage of some metal stearates like Ca, Al etc. with ordinary or rapid hardening cement during grinding process.

  • It is used in the construction of water retaining structures such as swimming pools, tanks, retaining walls, dams, reservoirs, bridges, piers (a raised structure in a body of water, typically supported by well-spaced piles or pillars) etc.

16. Fly Ash Blended Cement

This cement is manufactured by blending fly ash created by thermal station with OPC. The percentage of fly ash used for the blending is about 20 to 30%. 
  • It exhibits superior quality of resistance against weathering action.
  • The ultimate strength gained by this cement is same as that of OPC. In initial stage the strength gaining power of it is slow.
  • Some examples of this types of cement are Birla star, Birla plus, ACC Suraksha.
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