13 Best Types of Cement For Concrete Mix

In the field of construction, there are many types of cement used for construction purposes. Different types of cement have different properties, uses, and benefits. It is essential to understand the types of cement and their roles in building solid and lasting structures.

What is Cement?

Cement is the only chemically reactive component of concrete that shows binding properties after reacting with water. This type of cement is known as hydraulic cement. It is composed of silicates and aluminates of calcium ions that harden when combined with water.

Based on the composition of materials used during its production, different types of cement have unique characteristics, applications, and uses.

Types of Cement and Their Uses

1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)

Ordinary Portland Cement, often referred to as OPC, is the most widely used type of cement in the construction industry. It is manufactured by grinding clinker, which is a mixture of limestone, clay, and gypsum into a fine powder. The annual global production of approximately 3.6 billion tons.

It attains 70% strength in 7 days.  It possesses excellent compressive strength, making it suitable for load-bearing structures.


  • It is widely used in the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure projects.
  • It is primarily used in the production of concrete. It binds aggregates such as sand, gravel, and crushed stone to form a solid and durable composite mass.
  • It is used for manufacturing precast concrete elements such as beams, columns, slabs, and panels.

2. Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC)

It is similar to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) but contains additional pozzolanic materials, such as fly ash, volcanic ash, or silica fume. This cement is formed by grinding pozzolana and cement clinkers together. It attains compressive strength with age.

It provides a darker appearance on drying as compared to ordinary Portland cement. It imparts water tightness to the structure and resists the effects of sulfates.


  • It is employed for underwater concrete pouring and sewage treatment.
  • It is used in residential and commercial construction projects, including foundations, columns, beams, and slabs.

3. Rapid-hardening cement

It contains a higher proportion of finely ground clinker and has a higher percentage of tricalcium silicate and dicalcium aluminate which helps in hardening quickly compared to regular cement. This cement is used where faster work is needed so that formwork can be removed early. Its 1-day compressive strength is about 11.50 N/mm2 and 3 days is nearly 21 N/mm2. This cement requires less curing.


  • It is widely used in road works etc.

4. Extra Rapid-hardening cement

Extra rapid hardening is obtained by inter-grinding calcium chloride with rapid hardening Portland cement.  It is a specialized type of cement that hardens even faster than regular rapid-hardening cement.


It is used in emergency repairs or situations where construction needs to resume quickly.

5. High alumina Cement

High alumina cement is a hydraulic cement produced by a combination of bauxite and limestone. Bauxite is an aluminum ore. Due to its high alumina content, which is normally not less than 32%, it has high-temperature resistance and develops strength quickly.

The initial setting time of this cement is 3.5 hours and the final setting time is 5 hours. The 1-day and 3 days compressive strength is about 40 N/mm2 and 50 N/mm2. Since it generates a lot of heat and sets quickly, it cannot be utilized in mass concrete works.


  • Due to its property of resisting high temperatures, it is primarily used in refractory applications, workshops, etc.
  • High alumina cement is used in the production of precast concrete products that require rapid setting and early strength development.

6. Blast Furnace Slag Cement

Blast Furnace Slag Cement, also known as slag cement or GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag), is a type of cementitious material that is produced by grinding blast furnace slag. The slag is a residual product of the iron and steel industry.

The properties of this cement are more or less the same as those of ordinary Portland cement. It gives less strength in the early days and hence it requires a longer curing period. The cement is durable but not suitable for use in dry arid zones.


The chemical resistance of slag cement makes it suitable for marine structures, such as ports, harbors, and coastal protection works.

Slag cement is commonly used in green building projects.

7. Colored Cement

Colored cement, also known as colored concrete or colored mortar, may be obtained by mixing pigments with ordinary cement. These pigments can be either synthetic or natural and come in a wide range of colors The amount of coloring material may vary from 5 to 10 percent. If this percentage exceeds 10 percent, the strength of the cement is affected.

Various color pigments and their effects:

Chromium oxide              Green Color
CobaltBlue Color
Iron Oxide                           Brown, Red, or Yellow Color
Manganese dioxide         Brown, Red, or Yellow Color


  • This cement is widely used for finishing floors, external surfaces, and artificial marble.
  • It is also used in window sill slabs, stair treads, etc.

8. Expanding Cement

It is produced by adding an expanding agent sulpho-aluminate. This cement shows expansion on drying or curing whereas other cements shrink.


  • It is used for the construction of dams and reservoir structures.
  • Used for repairing damaged concrete surfaces.
  • Commonly used for grouting anchor bolts.

9. Low Heat Portland Cement

Low-heat cement is made from similar raw materials as regular Portland cement, including limestone, clay, and gypsum. It has less percentage of tricalcium silicate and dicalcium aluminate which results in slow hydration of cement and low heat of hydration is evolved. This cement possesses less compressive strength. The initial and final setting time is about 1 hour and 10 hours.


  • It is mostly used for mass concrete works.

10. Quick Setting Cement

This type of cement is produced by adding a small percentage of aluminum sulfate and by finely grinding the cement. It is a type of cement that hardens and sets at a much faster rate than regular Portland cement. While the setting time for regular cement can range from several hours to days, quick-setting cement can be set and hardened in 10 to 30 minutes.


  • It is used to lay concrete under static water or running water.

11. Hydrophobic Cement

It also known as water-repellent cement or waterproof cement, is a specialized type of cement that can repel water. It has high workability and 28 days of strength is equal to that of ordinary Portland cement.


  • It is used in waterproof basements and foundations to prevent water infiltration and dampness.
  • It is used in water structures such as dams, spillways, or other submerged structures.

12. Sulphate Resisting Cement

Sulfate-resisting cement is more resistant to sulfate attack than ordinary Portland cement. It has a low percentage of tricalcium aluminate and is much finer than OPC.


  • It is used in structures that are susceptible to alkaline attacks such as canal lings, culverts, retaining walls, etc.
  • It is used in areas where the soil has more sulfate content.

13. White Cement

White cement is specialized in various types of cement that is known for its white color. It is produced using raw materials that have low iron content, manganese, and chromium. It is more expensive than ordinary cement and stored in closed containers only.


  • It is used in architectural and decorative works such as precast elements, sculptures, and ornamental structures.
  • It is also used for tile grouts, marble, flooring, exterior finishes, etc.

FAQs on Different types of cement

Which type of cement is best?

Different types of cement has its specific properties, it all depends on the requirement of a construction project.

Which type of cement is used for house construction?

OPC (53 grade) and PPC are best suitable for house construction.

Which type of cement is best for plastering?

Both OPC and PPC provide good strength and durability. OPC is used where a fast setting and a strong bond are needed. PPC is used in areas prone to aggressive soil conditions or for exterior surfaces exposed to harsh weather.

Which type of cement is used for the roof slab?

Both OPC and PPC are commonly used for slab construction. The selection between OPC and PPC depends on the project requirements, budget, and local availability.

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