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Cement is the world’s second most consumed substance after water. It is the essential ingredient in concrete. Cement is one of the oldest building materials in the world.It is a binding agent and a key ingredient of the most used man-made material: concrete. The demand for cement is strongly correlated to the rate of economic development. No school, house, road, hospital or bridge could be built without it.

The cement industry contributes approximate a billion pounds annually to the UK economy. It produces around ten million tons after operating 12 manufacturing and two grinding and blending plants, representing about 90% of the cement sold in the UK.

Technology and Resources

There are four main process Dry, semi-dry, semi-wet and wet which are used for the production of cement. Dry processes are more energy efficient but the choice of technology depends on the state of raw materials. Dry processes are also the choice of new plants or for those looking for expansions. Wet process is still used in some countries such as Australia, New Zealand but is being phased out in many countries.

Types of Cement

Quick setting cement: It is the combination of small percentage of aluminiumsulphate used as an accelerator and reducing percentage of gypsum with fine grinding. It is used in those works that is to be completed in very short period and concreting in static and running water.

High Alumina Cement: This type of cement is obtained by melting mixture of bauxite and lime and grinding with the clinker. It is used in works where concrete is subjected to high temperatures, frost, and acidic action. It is very hard cement with initial and final setting time of about 3.5 and 5 hours respectively.

Pozzolanic Cement: It is prepared by grinding pozzolanic clinker with Portland cement. It is used in marine structures, for laying concrete under water such as piers, bridges and dams etc.

Sulphates resisting Cement: It is prepared by maintaining the percentage of tricalcium aluminate below 6% which increases power against sulphates. It is used in construction exposed to severe sulphate action by water and soil in places like canals linings, retaining walls, siphons etc.

World Scenario

In India, the housing sector is the biggest demand driver of cement, accounting for about 67 percent of the total consumption. The major consumers of cement include infrastructure at 13 percent, commercial construction at 11 percent and industrial construction at nine percent.

The cement market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.96 percent during the period 2014-2019.