What is Portland Cement?

First of all, cement is any material that bonds one item to another or items to other items. To cement together is to ‘glue together’. So the question should be “What is Portland Cement” ? Portland cement is the most universal, yet versatile, building component on the planet as it is the basic component of concrete, grouts and mortars, to name a few.

Portland cement is basically burnt Limestone and Clay. Limestone is rich in silica, alumina and iron oxide materials that blend, or fuse, together to form the clinker. A clinker is defined as burnt material, or ash. The ash in your fireplace, should you decide to sound brilliant at the morning coffee clatch, is also a clinker. Clinker is simply the incombustible residue of limestone, clay or coal although a loose definition could include wood ash in your fireplace.

The American Concrete Institute defines cement as: any of a number of materials that are capable of binding aggregate particles together. And Portland Cement is a hydraulic cement produced by pulverizing clinker formed by heating a mixture, usually of limestone and clay, to 1400 to 1600°C (2550 to 2900°F). Calcium sulfate is usually ground with the clinker to control set.