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Monday, 29 January 2018

Early History of Modern Cement

The story of the invention of Portland cement is, however, attributed to Joseph Aspdin, a Leeds
builder and bricklayer, even though similar procedures had been adopted by other inventors.
Joseph Aspdin took the patent of portland cement
on 21st October 1824. The fancy name of portland was given owing to the resemblance of
this hardened cement to the natural stone occurring at Portland in England. In his process
Aspdin mixed and ground hard limestones and finely divided clay into the form of slurry and
calcined it in a furnace similar to a lime kiln till the CO2 was expelled. The mixture so calcined was
then ground to a fine powder. Perhaps, a temperature lower than the clinkering
temperature was used by Aspdin. Later in 1845 Isaac Charles Johnson burnt a mixture of clay and
chalk till the clinkering stage to make better cement and established factories in 1851.
In the early period, cement was used for making mortar only. Later the use of cement was
extended for making concrete. As the use of Portland cement was increased for making
concrete, engineers called for consistently higher standard material for use in major works.
Association of Engineers, Consumers and Cement Manufacturers have been established to specify
standards for cement. The German standard specification for Portland cement was drawn in
1877. The British standard specification was first drawn up in 1904. The first ASTM specification
was issued in 1904.
In India, Portland cement was first manufactured in 1904 near Madras, by the South India
Industrial Ltd. But this venture failed. Between 1912 and 1913, the Indian Cement Co. Ltd.,
was established at Porbander (Gujarat) and by 1914 this Company was able to deliver about
1000 tons of Portland cement. By 1918 three factories were established. Together they were
able to produce about 85000 tons of cement per year. During the First Five-Year Plan (1951-
1956) cement production in India rose from 2.69 million tons to 4.60 million tons. By 1969
the total production of cement in India was 13.2 million tons and India was then occupying
the 9th place in the world, with the USSR producing 89.4 million tonnes and the USA
producing 70.5 million tonnes1.1. Table 1.1 shows the Growth of Cement Industry through
Prior to the manufacture of Portland cement in India, it was imported from UK and only
a few reinforced concrete structures were built with imported cement. A three storeyed
structure built at Byculla, Bombay is one of the oldest RCC structures using Portland cement
in India. A concrete masonry building on Mount Road at Madras (1903), the har-ki-pahari
bridge at Haridwar (1908) and the Cotton Depot Bombay, then one of the largest of its kind
in the world (1922) are some of the oldest concrete structures in India.

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