What is Portland Cement? | Manufacturing and Chemical Composition

Portland Stone Quarry
(Source: Ian saunders / Working Portland stone quarry / CC BY-SA 2.0)

What is Portland Cement?

Portland Cement is a type of cement, when it hydrates, the resultant hardened product resembles natural stones quarried from Portland in the U.K. (as shown in the picture)

It was first developed by Joseph Aspdin in the early 19th century.

How Portland Cement is manufactured?

It is manufactured by grinding Calcareous and Argillaceous materials and then mixing them in proportion. The mix is then burned in a kiln at a temperature of about 1500 degrees celsius resulting in the formation of nodular-shaped Clinkers. These clinkers are then crushed into a fine powder and mixed with 3% to 5% gypsum. The resultant product formed is called Portland Cement.

What is the chemical composition of Portland Cement?

The portland cement consists of oxides in varying proportion:

NameOxideAbbreviationPercentage Content (%)
LimeCaOC60 – 67
SilicaSiO2S17-25
AluminaAl2O3A3-8
Iron OxideFe2O3F0.5-6
MagnesiaMgOM0.1-4.0
Potassium Oxide ,Sodium OxideAlkalies (K2O , Na2O)K or N0.4-1.3
Sulfur TrioxideSO3S1.3-3.0
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