Best Practices for Concrete Finishing

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White Cements are generally used as a decorative alternative to standard gray portland cement. White cements can be used in combination with white aggregates to produce white concrete for decorative architectural applications.

Although the color of white portland cement can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, it will generally match the color of white sand/aggregates used in the mix.

White Cement and Color

White portland cements are made by inter-grinding or blending white clinker with a limited amount of gypsum to control setting time. Because of their fineness (high Blaine surface area) and high percentage of alite, they have higher strengths than gray cements at all ages. The use of white portland cement has certain advantages over the use of gray portland cement in concrete:

Easier mixing, placing and finishing due to reduced bleeding

Decreased risk of efflorescence

Increased durability due to decreased sulfate attack and alkali silica reactivity

When a general contractor or builder needs to have concrete poured for a project, they should consider the following:

Define the scope

Review the overall project plans and specifications and identify any areas where concrete will be required. If you are working with an architect or engineer, make sure that your input is included in their drawings.

Consider the mix design

Make sure that the mix design required for your project is specified or discussed with your ready mixed supplier. If you are working on a commercial building, it is likely that specific strength requirements must be met. Make sure that the appropriate rebar is used to reinforce the concrete slab. Discuss any special admixtures that may be required for your project with your ready mixed supplier.

Specify concrete delivery time

When do you need the concrete? Do you need it delivered within a certain time of mixing? Be realistic about when you need the concrete placed and talk to your ready mixed supplier about what time frame can be accommodated based on their schedule. Can they meet your need? If not, perhaps another supplier should be considered.

Provide access to placement site

Make sure that there is adequate access for ready mixed trucks to reach their destination as directly as possible. Any delay in reaching the placement site will only result in additional

Concrete finishes are commonly specified by architects and engineers. The finish can be a different color, have a decorative pattern, or it can be made to look like another material (e.g. brick or stone). There are also many different textures that can be created in the concrete itself.

It is important to understand the difference between a concrete finish and a curing compound. A curing compound is an application that protects the concrete from rapid moisture loss while it cures and strengthens over time. A concrete finish does not protect your concrete from rapid moisture loss – it only changes the appearance of the concrete.

White Portland cement is a hydraulic cement, which, as we know, means that it hardens when water is added. White Portland is made using clinker (a combination of limestone and clay) and chalk or marl. It also contains gypsum.

White Portland cement has very low iron and magnesium contents. This gives the cement a very white color after it has been ground. However, this does not mean that once concrete made with white Portland has been cured, that it will have a white color. The concrete will take on the color of the pigment used in the mix design.

Pigment is added to concrete for many reasons, but most importantly to give color and beautify concrete surfaces (inside and out). Some of the pigments used in concrete are natural and some are synthetic. A pigment may give one type of coloring when used in one type of cement but will give different results when used with another type of cement such as white Portland vs gray Portland.

Concrete pigments can be used in both interior and exterior applications, although there are some pigments that work better indoors than outside. Natural pigments may fade over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight; however this can be controlled by limiting the amount of natural pigment used in the mix

When it comes to the type of cement used in a project, most people don’t know the difference between white portland cement and gray portland cement. The truth is, there is only a slight difference.

The most significant difference between white portland cement and gray portland cement is that white portland cement is typically made from limestone or chalk while grey portland cement is made out of clay or shale. This difference affects the appearance of concrete, as well as its strength and other properties.

White Cement

White concrete is often used for architectural or decorative purposes, such as bridges, or for aesthetic reasons in structures like hospitals or labs where keeping a sterile environment is important. White portland is also used to make terrazzo floors and other decorative treatments. It’s also used in making mosaics and creating parging (a thin coat of mortar).

White portland cement can be mixed with other materials to make colored concrete. In this case grey aggregate must be used rather than white because the darker color will hide any trace of grey that might otherwise show through the finished surface if white aggregate were used.

The basic ingredients for producing white cement are chalk and clay, which both have very low amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Grey port

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White Portland cement is a form of ordinary Portland cement that differs from grey Portland cement only in its light color. The color of white cement is determined by its raw materials and the manufacturing process. Metal oxides (Fe2O3, Mn2O3, Cr2O3 etc), in particular iron oxide more than 0.2%, is detrimental to whiteness and causes the product to shade towards grey.

The color of white cement is determined by its raw materials and manufacturing process. White cement with high content of TiO2 is considered as pure white cement; however, this kind of white cement has high cost of production due to the shortages and high prices of raw materials such as ilmenite and natural gas or petroleum coke which are used for the TiO2 production.

High content of Al2O3 (more than 15%) can also cause a grayish color in white cement. Some other factors that cause grayish colors are:

1- Presence of excessive amounts of transition elements, such as Fe, Mn, Co, Cr, Mo and Ni in raw materials.

2- Use of some waste materials such as blast furnace slag instead of clay or shale.

3- Incorrect burning temperature or lack of sufficient burning temperature during clinker

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