The different types of cement

Published on 30 January 2008 (updated on 13 February 2008)

Cements are products which have the property of hardening on contact with water and which remain strong and stable even under water

The different types of cement
A total of 20 million tonnes of cement were manufactured in France in 2003.
Its compliance with standards is achieved by manufacturing techniques and tests.
The cement in common use has two labels (CE and NF) which confirm:

* in the case of the CE label: that the product complies with European health, safety and environmental regulations and are therefore meet the standards for use.
* in the case of the NF label (combined with the CE label) the products benefit from additional gaurantees as regards composition, performance and tests.

The reference standard is the European Standard published by AFNOR: NF EN 197-1 "Cement - Part 1 : composition, specifications and conformity criteria for common cements".
Cements are divided into five types depending on the nature and proportion of their constituents. They are also divided into three strength classes (32.5 - 42.5 - 52.5), defined on the basis of their normal minimum strength after 28 days.

Portland Cements CEM I These are used for reinforced concrete that is subjected to high stresses, prestressed concrete, and pre-cast products with the best performance (pipes, blocks, beams) and special purposes (coatings, adhesives, resurfacing products, etc.).
Composite Portland Cements CEM II/A or B These are used for the majority of common works, with or without reinforcement, masonry, certain precast products, etc.
Blast furnace cements CEM III/A or B or Composite cements CEM V/A ou B These tend to be used exclusively for deep foundations, mass concrete or works in agressive environments (grouting, piles, livestock buildings, gypseous soil, saline or extremely pure waterrès pure, etc.

The "CE" label signifies that the product meets European standards.

The "NF" label guarantees that the cement complies with the composition and performance laid down in the standard.