Portland Cement Grades

Ordinary Portland Cement Grades

Just as there are various types of Portland cement available for different applications there are also various grades of cement existing within ordinary Portland cement. Ordinary Portland cement can be classified as being either 33 grade, 43 grade, or 53 grade, though sometimes the latter grade types are referred to as 42.5 grade or 52.5 grade.

Each grade type corresponds to the compression strength which is attained on the 28th day after pouring, with 53 grade having a minimum compressive strength of 53 MPa, or 530 kg/cm2. It should be noted that the number associated with a particular cement grade is the lowest strength allowable at the 28 day mark. Many cements far exceed the grade number in terms of compression strength. For instance, some 43 Grade OPCs can have a strength over 500 kg/cm2 on the 28th day.

OPC 43 and OPC 53 do not differ in chemical content, OPC 53 is simply ground much finer than OPC 43 during the final grinding process. This creates a product that is much stronger and more durable than less finely ground cements.

33 Grade Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC 33)

33 Grade Ordinary Portland Cement is now very rarely used, as higher strength cements have become increasingly popular. It is suitable for general uses such as general paving and mass concreting, but may be hard to find as it has been phased out in many areas of the world and replaced with either OPC 43 or OPC 53.

43 Grade Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC 43) / (OPC 42.5)

This type of cement is commonly used in construction work, such as residential, commercial, and industrial structures. In addition to this, most pre-cast cement objects such as pipes and tiles are made from OPC 34 cement. Because OPC 33 has now been phased out in most areas of the world, OPC 43 is also quite often used in plastering, flooring and other non structural applications.

Unless a project requires very high strength cement, most experts generally recommend the use of 43 Grade Ordinary Portland Cement. OPC 43 has a set time of around 30 minutes, and develops a minimum compression strength of 230 kg/cm2 after three days, 330 kg/cm2 after seven days, and 430 kg/cm2 after twenty eight days.

53 Grade Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC 53) / (OPC 52.5)

This cement is used for projects where a high level of strength is needed, such as in the construction of skyscrapers, bridges, and other heavy load bearing structures. Not only is this type of cement stronger than other types it is also more durable, and in lower stress applications, can be substituted for lower cement grades. If OPC 53 is substituted for a lower grade cement, overall savings in the amount of cement used can sometimes be made. OPC 53 grade cement often has a compression strength of over 580 kg/cm2 after 28 days.

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