Usually when someone hears the words “ Portland cement ” they instantly think of the yellow 80-pound bags of Quikrete you can buy at the hardware store . Just add water and “ BAM ” you have concrete . Portland cement is the fine gray powder that bonds aggregate and sand together in concrete . Portland cement is a hydraulic cement , hence it derives its strength from the chemical reaction between water and cement This process is know as hydration . Hydration is an exothermic reaction that releases energy in the form of heat . ASTM C150 lists the five different types of Portland cement used .
Type I Portland cement is general purpose cement . This is standard cement used for construction or the bags you can get at the hardware store . Applications include sidewalks , culverts , concrete pipe , and tanks .
Type II Portland cement is used for moderate sulfate resistance or less heat is required during hydration . Applications for type II cement are piers , bridge abutments , retaining walls , precast concrete , and any structures anticipating contact with sulfate in soil or water .
Type III Portland cement has high early strength and causes rapid hardening of concrete . Type III is used when formwork needs to be stripped quickly after the concrete pours .
Type IV Portland cement is low heat cement and is used in applications where too much heat during hydration is undesirable dams .
These applications are larger scale concrete structures such as
Type V Portland cement is used for high sulfate-resistant applications .