Many people do not know the difference between cement and concrete, as part of a Group that manufactures both, it is our responsibility to enlighten you of the difference. Cement and concrete are by nature different. Cement is an ultra fine gray powder that binds with sand and rocks into a mass or matrix of concrete. Indeed, CEMENT is the key ingredient of concrete.
Concrete is the world’s most widely used building material. Annual global production of concrete hovers around 5 billion cubic yards (1.2 billion tonnes).
Before Portland Cement was discovered, natural cement was produced by burning a naturally occurring mixture of lime and clay. Because the ingredients of natural cement were mixed by nature, its properties varied as widely as the natural resources from which it was made.
The first cements were made by the Assyrians and Babylonians who used clay. The Egyptians later advanced to the discovery of lime and gypsum mortar as a binding agent for building such structures as the pyramids. The Romans finally developed a cement that produced structures of remarkable durability. The Roman Forum, the Coliseum and Roman Baths built about 2 B.C. are examples of early Roman architecture in which cement mortar was used. The secret of Roman success in making cement was traced to the mixing of slaked lime with pozzolana, a volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius. This process produced a cement capable of hardening with the addition of water. During the Middle Ages, this art was lost and it was not until the scientific spirit of inquiry was revived that the secret of Hydraulic Cement – cement that will harden on addition of water, was rediscovered.
During 1756 to 1830, many men experimented with the manufacture of cement. Most renowned are John Smeaton a British Engineer who from his trials was able to rebuild the Eddystone Lighthouse in England; L.J. Vicat and Lessage in France; and Joseph Parker and James Frost in England.
In 1824, Joseph Aspdin, a bricklayer and mason in Leeds, England, took out a patent on a hydraulic cement that he called Portland Cement, as its colour resembled the stone quarried on the Isle of Portland off the British Coast. Aspdin’s method involved the careful proportioning of limestone and clay, pulverizing them, and burning the mixture (in his kitchen stove) into clinker, which was then ground into finished cement.
Portland Cement is today, a predetermined and carefully proportioned chemical combination of calcium, silicon, iron and aluminum. Natural cement gave way to Portland Cement, (which is made by TCL Group’s subsidiaries, ACCL, CCCL and TCL and which is predictable, known product of consistently high quality.