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When it comes to building materials, one of the industry’s most common, versatile and necessary staples is cement. Meant to either bind or stand alone as a structural component on its own, cement has been around dating all the way back to the Romans. To this day, cement remains one of the most important building materials worldwide and can be classified by two types; hydraulic cement and non-hydraulic cement.

Portland cement is the most common type of hydraulic cement used in building and construction. Its application includes everything from building construction, home foundations, bridges, sidewalks and other infrastructure. There are some very distinct differences between hydraulic and non-hydraulic cement, so it’s important to understand all factors when selecting a material for your job site.

What Are The Uses Of Hydraulic Cement?

The more commonly used of the two classifications of cement, hydraulic cement has become popular due to its ease of use and fast drying time.  Made using a mixture of limestone, clay and gypsum and mixed together at very high temperatures, it was created with convenience and speed in mind and takes a remarkably short time to set and harden.

Its ingredients react with water to form stable calcium silicate hydrates, which causes near-instant hardening when poured. It can take as little as a few minutes to set and is able to do so even under wet conditions. This helps its use in exposed construction conditions as exposure to weather will not delay or negatively impact its drying time. It’s ideal for underwater construction projects and is commonly used to patch concrete, leaks and repair work on structures. Because of its versatility and strength, hydraulic cement has become the more commonly used of the two classifications.

What Are The Uses Of Non-Hydraulic Cement?

The first form of cement invented, non-hydraulic cement is less convenient and less practical in most applications. This type of cement includes lime, gypsum plasters and oxychloride, which means that it does not begin to harden when exposed to water. In fact, it needs dry conditions to strengthen at all. This puts its use at a serious disadvantage, as it can’t be used in open construction sites that may experience inclement weather.  Due to its lack of versatility and the fact it relies on such controlled conditions in order to set and harden, the use of non-hydraulic cement is becoming less and less common. It’s still used for brick and mortar use, and stonework, but is typically found indoors as it needs dry conditions to achieve it’s best structural strength.

Due to the difficulties and issues that arise with a long drying period, non-hydraulic cement has taken a back seat. The more its limitations are recognised and felt, the more it helps to boost the application and use of hydraulic cement in construction and other situations. While it may never become totally obsolete, it’s easy to understand why non-hydraulic cement has become unpopular in a world that almost demands convenience and flexibility.

While both types of cement have their understandable and practical applications, it’s fairly easy to see why hydraulic cement makes the most sense for the majority of projects. Knowing and fulling understanding the limitations and expectations for your project can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing which type is best for you. If you feel like you need a little more advice, feel free to get in touch and ask us. You can get in touch via the form on our contact page or call on (00973) 17 594 595.

About Al Manaratain

Established in 1959, Al Manaratain began as a manual block factory and crusher plant. Now one of Bahrain’s leaders in concrete product manufacturing, Al Manaratain is a dynamic, forward-looking company, open to developing in all areas of the concrete industry. As well as operations throughout Bahrain, we have also expanded into Saudi Arabia. Our site in Dammam allows us to provide high-quality concrete products to customers throughout Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.