Fineness Tests on Cement by Sieve Analysis As per Indian Standards

The fineness test of cement measures the mean size of the cement grain in the given sample. The greater the fineness value, the higher the surface area of each grain particle which results in an increase in the rate of hydration of cement, the rate of evolution of heat, and hence the rate of initial gain strength.

The fineness test on cement can be conducted by two methods:
The determination of fineness test by sieve analysis gives a measure of the limit of residue that is regained in a standard sieve, while the air permeability test measures the fineness of cement in terms of surface area either in g/cm2 or kg/cm2.

This article explains the determination of the fineness of cement by Sieve analysis by Indian Standards.


To determine the fineness of cement by dry sieving as per

IS: 4031 (Part 1) - 1996.


The fineness of cement is measured by sieving it through a standard sieve. The proportion of cement, the grain sizes of which, is larger than the specified mesh size is thus determined.


i) 90μm IS Sieve

ii) Balance capable of weighing 10g to the nearest 10mg

iii) A nylon or pure bristle brush, preferably with 25 to 40mm

bristle, for cleaning the sieve


i) Weigh approximately 10g of cement to the nearest 0.01g and place it on the sieve.

ii) Agitate the sieve by swirling, planetary and linear movements, until no more fine material passes through it.

iii) Weigh the residue and express its mass as a percentage R1, of the quantity first placed on the sieve to the nearest 0.1percent.

iv) Gently brush all the fine material off the base of the sieve.

v) Repeat the whole procedure using a fresh 10g sample to obtain R2. Then calculate R as the mean of R1 and R2 as a percentage, expressed to the nearest 0.1 percent. When the results differ by more than 1 percent absolute, carry out third sieving and calculate the mean of the three values.


Report the value of R, to the nearest 0.1 percent, as the residue on the 90μm sieve.

Optimum Result: The weight of the residue left on the sieve shall not exceed 10 % for ordinary cement. 

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