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Chapter 1
Cementitious materials

Brian Addis

1.1 Introduction SABS 1491 was adopted in 1989 and its terminology is now
“Cement” is generally defined as a binder, glue or adhesive. familiar to practitioners in South Africa. For this reason the
Cement in hardened concrete and mortar forms a matrix which term cement extenders is used in this book.
binds aggregate particles to form a strong, rigid composite.
The aims of this chapter are:
Cementitious materials for building and construction • To provide practical guidelines for the use of
consist, with very few exceptions, of portland cement on its cementitious materials.
own or blended with a cement extender. Such materials are • To describe, briefly, the manufacture of portland cement
supplied in powder form and, if mixed with water, will set and cement extenders.
and develop strength.
• To discuss chemical and physical properties of portland
cement and cement extenders.
Portland cement is used as a basis of cementitious materials
because: it is relatively cheap; setting and hardening take • To provide a bibliography for the reader who requires
place at normal temperature and pressure, and under water information at a higher technical level.
if necessary; and concrete made with portland cement can
be made to be strong and durable. This chapter is presented at three different technical levels:
practical information for the practitioner; theoretical
Cement extenders are materials that have cementing background; and a bibliography for further study.
properties when used with portland cement. Various types
are available. Those used in South Africa are derived from The information included in this chapter is intended
industrial by-products and may therefore be an economical primarily for those involved in designing, specifying and
substitute for part of the portland cement. In addition, using concrete and mortar. A detailed description of the
extenders can provide certain technical benefits. manufacture of cementitious materials is outside the scope
of the chapter.
In South Africa, cementitious materials are available as:
• Common cements which include portland cement (PC)
on its own, and factory made blends of PC and cement 1.2 Specifications and test methods
extender or filler.
Common cements are intended for use in concrete but 1.2.1 Common cements
may also be used in mortar and plaster. The South African standard is SABS EN 197 Cement - Part 1:
• Masonry cements which are formulated for use in Composition, specifications and conformity criteria for common
mortar and plaster. cements[1.1] and Part 2: Conformity evaluation.[1.2]
Masonry cements are normally a blend of PC and finely
SABS EN 197-1 Part 1: Composition, specifications and
ground limestone or hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide).
conformity criteria
Some masonry cements include an air-entraining agent.

• Cement extenders sold separately. These are: Definitions

- Ground granulated blastfurnace slag (GGBS) The standard defines the following constituents:
- Fly ash (FA) • Portland cement clinker, in terms of composition and
- Condensed silica fume (CSF) how it is made

• Granulated blastfurnace slag

Note on terminology
• Pozzolanic material
SABS EN 197-1[1.1] refers to portland cement clinker,
granulated blastfurnace slag, fly ash and silica fume as • Fly ash
“main constituents” of common cements. SABS 1491[1.6 - 1.8]
• Burnt shale
refers to ground granulated blastfurnace slag, fly ash and
condensed silica fume as “cement extenders.” • Silica fume

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