[Q&A]: Difference between types of cement (N or 1 or 10...)??

An anonymous visitor surfing through our site yesterday posted a comment on one of this blog's previous posts (Titled: "Do You Know Which Cement Type To Buy & Use?") and posed a nice question for us to ponder upon.

The question was---
"Whats the difference between type N and Type 1 or 10 cement?"

Now, frankly speaking, Team Bricks-n-Mortar doesn't have a straight forward answer to his/her question since we don't know as which part of the world this respected visitor hails from, and to which country's and/or global region's Cement Standards would be applicable there.

Now, so as to bring the other layman visitors reading this article also on a comfortable frequency of this discussion, it will prudent to describe to them in brief that
Cement can be differentiated into various categories and types depending upon various product mix types/ names/ ingredient compositions/ grades/ fineness moduli/ characteristic strength factors/ setting times/ chemical & inert properties/ and a gamut of so many other features. Another most important factor for designating cement is the region of the world where this cement is produced or used.

For example, the United States of America will be designating cement based upon their ASTM standards, while the European standards would designate cement in terms of European
codes of practice.

Other countries, like India, would differentiate cement based upon ingredient product mix type, viz., OPC (ordinary portland cement), PPC (pozzolanic portland cement), PSC (pozzolanic slag cement), SRC (sulphate resisting cement), etc. besides differentiating by the grades (33-grade, 43-grade, 53-grade, which essentially represent the fineness index of the cement in terms of blaines as how much finer the cement is. Just to add on to it, the more fine the cement, the more quickly it will set, and the more heat of hydration it will produce while attaining the strength. Now, people may think thats good, but the reality is that for ordinary house related construction works, more/quick heat of hydration produced may result in cracks and uneven shrinkages if the curing is not done adequately).

Cement is also differentiated by certain countries by
type of usage, like different grades for housing, masonry, concrete, precast elements, foundations, etc. (e.g., CEM II/A-LL 42.5 R, which is Swedish cement for housing; or like CEM I or CEM II / A – S, L, V or W and CEM II / B – S, L, V or W 42,5, or like masonry cement: MC 12, etc. etc. etc.)

Ooops, seems like this answer (or should we say, an attempt to answer as near as possible to the query) is shaping up like a big discussion board without actually knowing which direction exactly it needs to head. And it seems to be wise to kindly request our Anonymous query sender to please guide us further. Other readers/subscribers/patrons of this blog may also pour in their insight. We shall form their inputs as part of this post.
Last, but definitely not the least, would again thank all our readers who show in interest, help answering other people's queries and make the purpose of this blog4social cause meaningful. THANK YOU ALL FOR CONTRIBUTING.

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  1. Pls guide if I should buy OPC or PPC for renovation purposes. I live in Rajkot (India)

  2. Hi Vaibhav!
    Greetings from Team@B-n-M!

    You can very well use PPC for your planned renovation works. It has equally good properties as OPC. The only difference between OPC and PPC is that PPC uses flyash as an ingredient up to the prescribed limits set by Indian Standards. There is no reason why you should not use PPC.

    And, in fact, there is quite a possibility that you will get only PPC in the market as OPC production is minimal in almost all of cement plants, and whatever OPC is being produced otherwise, is probably already earmarked for Govt. agencies and projects.

    For any other query/clarification, please feel free to ask.

  3. READERS' QUERY received from
    DAL (dallasdal10@hotmail.com) on 30/sep/08:

    "What is the difference between Type N and s cement IN THE UNITED STATES?"


    B-n-M replies:

    The denotions- 'N', 'S', 'M', 'R' etc. in American standards (i.e., the ASTM standards) are essentially the strength levels characterized for cement testing and classification for use in production of various cement products like mortars, concrete, etc.

    To let you understand in simple terms, the Compressive Strength
    (that is the avg. of 3 cubes minimum), for Type 'N', Type 'S' & Type 'M' should be characterized by a minimum value of
    500psi(3.4 MPa), 1300psi(9.0MPa), 1800psi(12.4MPa)respectively for 7-days strength;
    whereas these values for similar 28-days strength must be characterized by a minimum value of 900psi (6.2MPa), 2100psi (14.5MPa) & 2900psi (20.0MPa) respectively.

    Hope your query has been answered DAL. For assistance on more topics/ questions, do keep a track on us by subscribing to our feeds.

    (for Team@Bricks-n-Mortar.com)

  4. Hi!

    Wan i know the difference of OPC and PPC cements



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