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What is Cement


Cement is a fine, soft, powdery-type substance. It is made from a mixture of elements that are found in natural materials such as limestone, clay, sand and/or shale. When cement is mixed with water, it can bind sand and gravel into a hard, solid mass called concrete.

Did you know? Four essential elements are needed to make cement. They are Calcium, Silicon, Aluminum and Iron.

Calcium (which is the main ingredient) can be obtained from limestone, whereas silicon can be obtained from sand and/or clay. Aluminum and iron can be extracted from bauxite and iron ore, and only small amounts are needed.

Cement is usually gray. White cement can also be found but it is usually more expensive than gray cement.

 

Cement Manufacturing Process
 
1.) Limestone is taken from a quarry. It is the major ingredient needed for making cement. Smaller quantities of sand and clay are also needed. Limestone, sand and clay contain the four essential elements required to make cement. The four essentiaelements are calcium, silicon, aluminum and iron. 
 
   
Excavator loading dump truck
 
 
2.) Boulder-size limestone rocks are transported from the quarry to the cement plant and fed into a primary crusher which crushes the boulders into marble-size pieces.
 
3.) The limestone then goes to a pre-blending yard  where it is stacked and reclaimed  into storage silos
 
   
conveying system stacking material into yard and silos

 

5.) The raw meal is fed via the preheater tower into the rotary kiln to undergo a process called "sintering". Sintering means: to cause to become a coherent mass by heating without melting. In other words, the raw meal becomes sort of partially molten. The raw materials reach about 2700° F (1480°C) inside the kiln. This causes chemical and physical changes to the raw meal and they come out of the kiln as large, glassy, red-hot cinders called "clinker".
 
 
6.) The clinker is cooled and intimately ground into a fine gray powder in a ball mill with an extender (usually blast furnace slag) and a small amount of gypsum to control the setting.  It is now the finished product - Portland cement.
 
The cement is then stored in silos (large holding tanks) where it awaits packaging. It is then packed into 50kg bags, and some is distributed using bulk tankers. The cement is stored in a warehouse awaiting conformity tests before it is loaded into trucks and rail wagons.
 
silos where the clinker and slag is stored pending further processing
 
 
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