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Field Tests For Cement
Following four field tests may be carried out to ascertain roughly the quality of cement: (1) Coolum (2) Physical properties (3) Presence of lumps (4) Strength (1) Colour: The colour of cement should be uniform. It should be typical cement colour i.e. grey colour with a light greenish shade. This is not always a reliable test. But it gives an indication of excess lime or clay and the degree of burning. (2) Physical properties: The cement should feel smooth when touched or rubbed in between fingers. If it is felt rough, it indicates adulteration with sand. If hand is inserted in a bag or heap of cement, it should feel cool and not warm. If a small quantity of cement is thrown in a bucket of water, it should sink and should feel sticky on the surface. A thin paste of cement with water should feel sticky between the fingers. If the cement contains too much pounded clay and silt as an adulterant, the paste will give an earthy smell. (3) Presence of lumps: The cement should be free from any hard lumps. Such lumps are formed by the absorption of moisture from the atmosphere. Any bag of cement containing such lumps should be rejected.
(4) Strength: The strength of cement can be roughly ascertained in the following ways: (i) The briquettes with a lean or weak mortar are made. The size of briquette may be about 75 x 25 mm x 12 mm. The proportion of cement and sand may be 1:6. The briquettes are immersed in water for a period of 3 days. If cement is of sound quality, such
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