Guide for buying Cement
Cement is the most important raw material used in any construction because of its binding property either independently or with other aggregates. Hence, it’s essential to pick the right type and quality of cement for the construction purposes. Before we get to the cement buying guide, it’s important to know that cement is usually available in bags for purchasing and one bag of cement typically weighs around 50 kgs.
8 Tips for buying cement
(1) Types and Grades of cement:
(i) Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) – Grade 43 and Grade 53
The numbers 43 and 53 indicate the compressive strength of cement in Mega Pascals (MPa). For instance, Grade 43 OPC attains strength of 43 MPa after a curing period of 28 days.
Which cement is better, 43 grade or 53 grade?
Grade 43 cement’s setting time is slower than Grade 53 which results in less micro-cracking and long term strength. It is usually used in general Civil Engineering construction work i.e. brick masonry, plastering, flooring, RCC work etc.
Grade 53 cement attains the strength early compared to Grade 43 because of its quick setting time. But this may also lead to micro-cracking. It is usually used in the scenarios where high early strength is required, like high-rise buildings and RCC structural works.
(ii) Portland Pozzolona Cement (PPC)
PPC gives long term strength and enhances the durability of structures. PPC is usually used in scenarios where extra durability is required and preferred in mass construction.
Because of its resistance to moisture and other aggressive environments, PPC is typically used for construction works in and nearby coastal areas.
Cement older than 90 days from the date of manufacturing is not recommended and should be retested as per IS code requirements. Always check the date of manufacturing and make sure the cement is fresh and the bags are machine stitched and not tampered.
Each cement bag should have manufacturer brand logo, cement type (OPC or PPC), weight of the cement bag, manufactured date, license no., ISI mark for meeting quality standards printed on it.
Cement should be in fine powder form and feel smooth upon touch, and should be free of granular lumps. Presence of hard lumps indicates moisture in the cement bag.
Cement is ideally in greenish grey color and the color spread should be uniform.
Also Read: 6 differences between OPC and PPC cement
(5) Drop test:
Cement when dropped in a bucket of water settles down and does not float on the water surface.
Cement prices fluctuate daily and you should check prices of cement across brands and outlets thoroughly for best prices before ordering.
Upon arrival of ordered cement, it’s always a good practice to check the number of bags delivered and if the number matches the quantity ordered.
Cement bags should be arranged in a stack in header-and-stretcher position i.e. alternately length-wise and cross-wise. This is done to reduce the air circulation as much as possible and to avoid toppling of the bags in the stack.
Bags should not be let in contact with water and moisture to avoid lumps.
Buy cement online at L1supply.com for best prices in Chennai. L1supply offers cement from all major brands like UltraTech, Dalmia, Ramco, Coromandel, Maha, Bharathi, Zuari and many more.