What are OPC and PPC?
Cement is the most important material used in constructions as it binds the rest of the building materials together and ensures strength and durability of the structure. There are two main types of cement available, and choosing the right type of cement determines the quality of the construction. There has been a lot of debate around OPC vs PPC and which one of the both is more suitable for a specific construction. This article helps you in finding out what are the differences between OPC and PPC, and which type of cement is better for your construction project.
(1) Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC):
OPC has been the most common type of cement used for years due to its abundance and low production cost. OPC is produced by grinding limestone and secondary materials to fine powder.
Compared to PPC, OPC usually takes little time for setting, which is important for large scale constructions, thus speeding up the process of determining the length of the construction period.
In addition to the quick setting time, OPC also takes very little time for curing. Curing period is the time taken by concrete to get settled completely and maintain the moisture for hydration reaction to occur normally so that concrete develops hardened properties over time. Curing plays a crucial role in determining the structural integrity of the construction.
OPC, in turn, is classified into three grades: OPC 33 Grade, OPC 43 Grade, and OPC 53 Grade. The Grade number is the respective compressive strength (in MPa) achieved after 28 days of curing.
(2) Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC):
PPC is a variation of OPC. Pozzolana materials such as fly ash, calcined clay, and volcanic ash are added to OPC, and the result leads to PPC. Pozzolana materials are added to the cement in the ratio of 15% to 35% by weight.
PPC is available in one grade and its strength is similar to that of OPC 33 Grade after curing.
6 Differences between OPC and PPC cement
(i) OPC has shorter setting time compared to PPC
(ii) OPC has higher initial strength compared to PPC
(iii) OPC cannot be used for mass concreting due to its high heat of hydration, whereas PPC can be used for mass concreting
(iv) OPC is less durable compared to PPC
(v) OPC provides lower resistance to aggressive chemicals compared to PPC
(vi) OPC is usually costlier than PPC
Also Read: Buying Guide for TMT Steel Bars
Advantages of OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement)
(i) Due to its shorter setting time (compared to PPC), OPC is recommended in projects where props are to be removed early.
(ii) Higher initial strength compared to PPC.
(iii) Shorter curing period, and as a result low curing costs.
Advantages of PPC (Portland Pozzolana Cement)
(i) PPC uses natural and industrial waste, hence reduces environmental pollution.
(ii) PPC is highly resistant to sulphate attacks and hence used in construction of dams, foundations and buildings nearby the sea shore, reservoirs and marine constructions.
(iii) PPC is cheaper than OPC.
(iv) PPC has lower initial strength compared to OPC, but hardens over a period of time with proper curing.
(v) Best choice for mass concreting, plastering and masonry.
(vi) High durability compared to OPC.
Which cement is better for your construction project?
People often wonder, which is better – OPC or PPC? To sum it up, OPC is commonly used for commercial purposes, and PPC is used for residential purposes. Both OPC and PPC are used in the construction of slabs as well.
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