Ordinary Portland Cement - Manufacturing and Uses of Portaland Cement
Definition of OPC
Cement can be defined as the bonding material having cohesive & adhesive properties which makes it capable to unite the different construction materials and form the compacted assembly.
Ordinary/Normal Portland cement is one of the most widely used type of Portland Cement.
The name Portland cement was given by Joseph Aspdin in 1824 due to its similarity in colour and its quality when it hardens like Portland stone.Portland stone is white grey limestone in island of Portland, Dorset.
Composition of OPC
The chief chemical components of ordinary Portland cement are:
Calcium is usually derived from limestone, marl or chalk while silica, alumina and iron come from the sands, clays & iron ores. Other raw materials may include shale, shells and industrial byproducts.
The chief compound which usually form in process of mixing:
Production & Manufacturing:
Today, Ordinary Portland cement is the most widely used building material in the world with about 1.56 billion tones produced each year. Annual global production of Portland cement concrete is around 3.8 million cubic meters per year. In Pakistan; cement production will go beyond 45 million tons per year in the next two years
Cement is usually manufactured by two processes:
These two processes differ in operation but fundamentals of both these processes are same. In Pakistan, most of the factories use Wet Process for the production of cement. There are five stages in manufacturing of cement by wet process:
In this phase, soft raw materials are first crushed into suitable size. This is done usually in cylindrical ball or tube mills containing the charge of steel balls
In this part, the powdered limestone is mixed with the clay paste in proper proportion (75%=lime stone; clay=25%)
Slurry is then introduced in rotary kiln with help of conveyor. The rotary kiln consists of large cylinders 8 to 15 feet in diameter & height of 300-500 feet. It is made with steel & is usually lined inside with firebricks.
Kiln rotates at the rate of 1-2 revolution per minute. In rotary kiln, slurry is passed through different zones of temperature. This whole process in kiln usually covers 2 to 3 hours.
Different temperature zones are as under:
In this zone, temperature is kept at 500 degree Celsius & usually the moisture is removed & clay is broken into silica, aluminum oxide, iron oxide.
Temperature is raised up to 800 degree Celsius. In this zone lime stone decomposes into lime and CO2.
In this zone temperature is maintained up to 1500 degree Celsius and the oxides formed in above zones combine together and form respective silicate, aluminates & ferrite.
This is last stage where the whole assembly cooled is up to 150 to 200 degree Celsius.
The product which is obtained from the rotary kiln is known as the cement Clinker. Clinker is usually in the form of greenish black or grey colored balls.
Grinding the Clinker with Gypsum
The Cement Clinker is then air cooled. The required amount of Gypsum (5 %) is ground to the fine powder, and then mixed with the Clinker. Finally cement is packed in bags and then transported to the required site.
Setting and Hardening:
When ordinary Portland cement is mixed with water its chemical compound constituents undergo a series of chemical reactions that cause it to set. These chemical reactions all involve the addition of water to the basic chemical compounds. This chemical reaction with water is called "hydration". Each one of these reactions occurs at a different time and with different rates. Addition of all these reactions gives the knowledge about how Ordinary Portland cement hardens and gains strength. Those compounds and their role in hardening of cement are as under:
It is used for general construction purposes where special properties are not required. It is normally used for the reinforced concrete buildings, bridges, pavements, and where soil conditions are normal. It is also used for most of concrete masonry units and for all uses where the concrete is not subject to special sulfate hazard or where the heat generated by the hydration of cement is not objectionable. It has great resistance to cracking and shrinkage but has less resistance to chemical attacks.
Tests On Ordinary Portland Cement
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF Ordinary Portland Cement:
There are lots of environmental impacts of Cement on our ecology. One of the major problems is emission of CO2 from the Cement industry. It is found that world yearly 1.6 billion tons production of cement covers 7% of carbon dioxide’s yearly production. As CO2 is harmful for human health and also for the wild life. It causes many respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and nasal infections.
The cement manufacturing industry is labor intensive and uses large scale and potentially hazardous manufacturing processes. The industry experiences accident rates that are high compared with some other manufacturing industries. There are a number of hazards inherent to the cement production process. Some examples for health hazards are:
And some examples for safety hazards:
It is responsibility of the government to implement the laws as described in EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) rule to protect both the environmental and human health.