OPC or PPC Cement for Building Construction?

When it comes to the selection of cement for building construction, the two main available category of cement in the market are Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and Portland Pozzolanic Cement (PPC). Both the cement vary based on the constituent particles preset in it and the nature of rate of hydration and curing period. 

Also Read: Top 10 Types of Cement Used in Construction

In current situation, there is sever shortage of water that restricts the curing days, hence demand cement or concrete mix that will cure within a shorter period. The cement selected hence is dependent on the project type, the location of site and the curing facilities available.

Also Read: How to Choose Cement?

Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)


OPC is a cement product obtained my mixing together calcareous and argillaceous materials with or without silica, alumina or iron oxide at a higher temperature and burning it into clinkers. This is later grinded with gypsum to obtain cement. This is hence the traditional process of cement making without the addition of any modern materials. 

OPC is apt for all buildings types that are not exposed to extreme moisture, salt and chemical attacks.

Among OPC, there is 33-Grade, 43-Grade and 53-Grade. OPC 33-Grade is used for small works like plastering, 43-Grade is used for non-RCC works and plastering works, while 53-Grade is used for RCC Structures, bridge construction, buildings and prestressed concreting works. All these number represent the compressive strength of cement after 28 days.

Also Read: How to Choose Between Different Cement Brands?

Portland Pozzolanic Cement (PPC)


Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) is called as blended cements as fly ash is mixed with cement. In eastern regions, fly ash from steel plants are available in plenty and they meant to be the cheapest material available for the manufacture of PPC. Hence, the availability of raw material and manufacture of cement decides the selection of a cement type for a construction. In such regions, PPC would be more cheaper compared to OPC.

PPC is obtained by grinding portland cement clinkers, gypsum and pozzolano material like fly ash to get a uniform mixture called as the pozzolana cement. The difference between the PPC and OPC is the pozzolana content. The pozzolana is a siliceous and aluminous material. Fly ash is the major source of pozzolano which is obtained from thermal power plants. As per Indian standards, 15 to 20 percent of cement raw material of fly ash added to make PPC. 

The presence of moisture, undergo reaction with fly ash making compounds that imparts additional strength to cement.

Watch Video On: Grades of Concrete  ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓

Benefits of PPC over OPC


  • PPC is obtained from a by-product  which primarily makes it an sustainable and green cement compared to OPC.
  • The use of pozzolano for cement helps to provide more hydration products that create a more well packed and dense structure. This improves the impermeability and resistance to water penetration of PPC made structures.
  • The use of PPC reduces the heat of hydration of cement, which makes working at site easier.
  • PPC concrete have a really compact microstructure that improves its resistance to chemicals.
  • PPC is sold cheap compared to OPC, as the limestone used in OPC is replaced by fly ash.

Due to the following benefits, PPC is used for mass concreting works. PPC possess a darker color compared to normal OPC. Due to the high benefits of PPC, it is sold as a premium product compared to OPC.

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