|Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is white cement different
and why is it used in decorative concrete?
There are only slight chemical and physical differences between
gray portland cement and white portland cement. These differences
are due to raw material differences and sometimes, though not always,
slight differences in manufacturing. The goal is to minimize the
oxides (particularly iron and manganese) that impart the grayish
color normally associated with portland cement.
|Source: “What is White Cement,”
Concrete Technology Today, PL991, Portland Cement Association,
Cements have difference strengths based on their physical and
chemical composition. White cement, which is typically ground
a little finer
than gray cement, often has characteristics that make it behave
somewhat intermediate between general use cements like ASTM C150
Type I or ASTM C1157 Type GU and their high early strength counterparts,
C150 Type III or C1157 Type HE.
portland cement is perfect for decorative concrete because it provides
a neutral tinting base. This allows for the brightest, richest colors
to be achieved in concrete, and requires the least amount of pigment
to accomplish the chosen color. Conversely, where muted colors are
wanted, white cement allows for the cleanest pastels. And, where
no color at all is desired, white cement allows for bright white
concrete to be made. It is important to note that sand acts like
a pigment, too, so sand color should be considered when formulating
the concrete. White sands, either manufactured or natural, are good
choices for decorative concrete.
White cement could be used for any of the same applications where
gray cement is used, but it rarely is. As a premium product, it
is best suited to specialty applications where appearance is a high
priority, like precast and stamped concrete. It’s also used
to make colored mortars and stucco finish coats.
For more information on white cement and decorative concrete click
ASTM C150, Specification for Portland
ASTM C1157, Performance
Specification for Hydraulic Cement