The foundation of a building depends on the raw materials that comprise the basic structure of the building. One such inseparable part of the construction is the cement. Cement finds an impeccable application in almost all types of construction works. It does not count whether you are constructing a building or a bridge. Cement is something that makes your building foundation steady. However, it is not always a good idea to sit ideal and let the construction company choose the cement for you. Always opt for the cement that undergoes a stringent testing procedure to verify the cement quality.
Instruments for Testing Cement
The Initial Sample Testing- To test the cement quality, initial sample testing gives an overall picture of the cement quality. First, there is a specific tube cement sampler. This sampler collects the cement sample from the packaged cement bags. Next, a metal brass tube has a wooden handle attached to it with an air hole. It helps to pick up about 700 grams of cement sample from the packed cement bags. Then there is a slotted tube sampler with telescopic brass tubes having a conical end. It helps in easy penetration inside the cement sample from a depth of about a meter.
Test for Fineness– After the initial sampling, there comes the test to measure the fineness of the cement. It is an essential step towards a better construction procedure. It is to determine the particle nature of the cement and, the powdery nature of cement will determine the application of the cement mixture in the various construction procedures. There is estimation that the powdery texture of the cement ensures more surface area and the holding capacity of the cement particles to the solid surface. The variable flow air permeability instrument comprises a U-shaped glass manometer with a latex sheet and plunger.
There is also a suction bulb present with a chemical named Dibutylphthalate that ultimately helps in the fineness of the cement particles. There is another instrument that measures the cement fineness. It is the constant flow air permeability instrument that measures the accurate surface area of the cement particles in terms of the total surface area of the cement. This instrument works on a specific principle where dry air with constant velocity passes through the precast bed material. The rate of airflow through the bed materials remains under examination. It gives the overall flow rate of the cement mixture. It will also help to decipher the exact porosity and fineness of the cement particles. There is also an automated Blain apparatus that measures the apparent fluid movement through the cement mixture to examine the viscosity of the cement particles.
Vicat Instrument- This instrument measures the consistency of the cement paste that finds application in various construction procedures. The Vicat apparatus consists of a metal Vicat in the shape of a cone having a movable rod clamped on the upper portion. This apparatus aims to measure the consistency of the cement based on the initial and final setting time of the cement mixture.
Testing the cement for its comprising features like moisture-holding capacity and air permeability may narrate a complete story about cement usage in different construction processes. It is, therefore, necessary to test for each of the specific aspects of cement to choose the better quality for a durable building foundation.