Cement is a dry gray powder and it’s just one ingredient that’s in concrete.
Concrete in its simplest form is made up of water, sand, rocks and cement. And it takes all of these things to make the high-strength concrete that we use as a building material.
Cement is a dry, gray, very fine powder, and cement’s a manufactured product. So since this is a manufactured product, that does mean that its properties can vary a little bit from source to source. Now there are standards used around the world to make sure that the finished product has the same important properties,but there will be some minor variations in how each manufacturer gets to their final results.
It starts with the mining operation where we extract limestone, which is the main ingredient. And this limestone is going to be mixed with a few other products: usually some clay, maybe some gypsum, maybe a few other trace minerals. And all of this stuff gets blended together in a very large industrial kiln. And that kiln is heated to over 2,000 degrees. And this heating and blending process forms a new product called clinker, and it comes out of the kiln looking like a pile of new rocks that we just made.
And its color can vary from plant to plant depending on those source products and trace minerals. Now this clinker is then ground into the very fine powder that we know as cement.
At this point, the cement is going to be transported to the next company in the supply chain where it’s used as an ingredient in everything from products like fiber cement siding. It may go a block company who uses it to make masonry blocks or bags it so it can be used in the field to make mortar to stick those blocks together.
But a lot of it is gonna end up being shipped to a concrete batch plant, or sometimes we also call these ready-mix concrete companies. And these are the companies that are gonna take this cement and combine it with all the other ingredients that i mentioned to make concrete.
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