Cement, in one of its many forms, is one of the most widely used materials in the built environment.
Dating back to Roman times mixtures of a pozzolan and non hydraulic lime have been used to produce a hydraulic cement material.
The ancient sites of Harappan civilization of third millennium BCE are built with kiln-fired bricks and a gypsum mortar.
Gypsum mortar, also called plaster of Paris, was used in the construction of the Egyptian pyramids and many other ancient structures.
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However, Aspdin's methods were "rule-of-thumb" and Vicat is responsible for establishing the chemical basis of these cements, and I C Johnson established the importance of sintering the mix in the kiln.
The use of concrete in construction grew rapidly from 1850 onwards, and was soon the dominant use for cements. Nowadays cements come in a wide variety of formulations including “Ordinary” Portland cement, White cement, Rapid hardening cement, Sulphate resisting cement and Masonry cement.
In 1824 Joseph Aspdin patented a similar material, which he called Portland cement, because the render made from it was a similar colour to the prestigious Portland Stone.
However it was not until the early 1840s that Joseph Aspdin’s son William produced the first “modern” Portland Cement.
They can also come as blends to include Portland blastfurnace cement incorporating ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) and Portland flyash cement incorporating fly ash.