Maintaining consistency of concrete quality with constantly changing cement supply

Practical advice

Concrete production industry exists in the environment where concrete raw materials supply is constantly changing. The reasons are many: business owners hunger to improve the business profitability and are looking for better material prices and suppliers and also, sometimes, concrete plants have to use what is available at the time. And yet, obligation to deliver the customers good concrete with consistent properties still prevails. It might be easier to rectify the affect of changing aggregate suppliers, but not so when it comes down to changing cement. Every cement has its own characteristics that affect concrete properties one way or the other. If we know which characteristics of cement affecting concrete specific performance and properties, we should be able to quickly respond on any changes to previously known cements at any time without radical affect to concrete performance, within acceptable tolerances. Two important concrete performance characteristics that are affecting day-to-day activity of a concrete manufacturer are compressive strength and slump. Both of them are depending on the amount of water added to freshly-made concrete and the cement characteristics. In this paper, some practical advice on how to maintain good quality concrete with different cements is offered.

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