[Q&A]: Reader's query pertaining to use of OPC & PPC

One of our reader, Vinoth, asked us through feedburner flare:
"In my site, we use OPC only for RCC and PPC for brick work and plastering. Any particular reason?"

Bricksnmortar Edesk replied:

Dear Vinoth, While its practically difficult to source OPC for retail consumption these days as compared to PPC, one can still procure OPC giving a premium of about Rs.10 to Rs.30 per bag. The government sector and PWD still insist on use of OPC due to bureaucratic and red-tapism, despite their counterparts in strategy planning themselves promoting use of permissible additives like flyash, slag, pozzolana, etc. in cement to save the fast depleting limestone reserves.

Coming back to the point, we presume 'your site' means a house or commercial establishment that you are getting constructed, and it doesn't refer to a big-value construction project. Please correct us in this assumption of ours in case you try to convey something else. By this presumption, we mean to say that large scale builders in metros and major cities of India tend to procure OPC in bulk (meaning loose cement in bulkers and not by bags); and procure flyash of reasonably permissible quality separately; fill the two in hoppers/bins at their batching plants at site; and then lastly make concrete by proportioning the two in certain allowed volumes. By doing this, these players bring down their input cost on cement and thereby value-add on their profitability. Mostly, in private sector, builders and contractors seldom use OPC for normal construction across India as it adds to the construction cost, and has no real benefit in terms of construction quality as well.

As you must have read in our post "What is the difference between OPC and PPC (cements)?", PPC is as advantageous to use as OPC in all normal construction activities (foundations, columns, beams, slabs, masonry, plastering, etc. etc.). We would like to hear from you a bit more in detail about your usage and type of construction and contracting arrangement so that we can elaborate more.
Feel free to be in touch with us anytime. Hope this initial conversation of ours is beneficial to you in
understanding some basics of civil engineering of day-today lives.

Bricksnmortar Edesk

The context is India centric essentially in terms of price indicators and usage. Abbreviations used in this post are elaborated hereunder for all readers to understand their terminology...
  • OPC - Ordinary portland cement
  • PPC - Pozzolana portland cement
  • RCC - Reinforced cement concrete
  • Rs.    - Indian Rupee
  • PWD - Public works department
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Editor's note: We share such conversations between our readers/ subscribers publicly on our blog (of course without revealing his/her/their full identities and contact details for necessary confidentiality reasons) for the simple purpose of symbiotic knowledge sharing with other readers too, who may benefit from the essence of the query sent to us.

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