Cement: it’s very cheap and convenient, yet many of us only consider it something to be used on construction sites. But, it can be used for all kinds of different home DIY projects.
A 40kg bag of cement costs R40, and is available at any major hardware store. Although this might be a bit too much for your personal project, it’s easy to store in a garage or storeroom and might be helpful for your next building project.
Here is how cement is made and some interesting ways you can use it at home.
How cement is made
Cement is made from the base elements calcium carbonate, silica, alumina, and iron ore. These are extracted from limestone rock, chalk, clayey schist or clay.
Once extracted, this raw material is ground into a fine powder, called raw meal, which is preheated and then placed in a kiln. Here it is heated up to 1,500°C before being dramatically cooled.
This product is called clinker, which is the most basic product needed in all types of cement.
A small amount of gypsum is added to the clinker, which helps regulate how the cement will set. Different additives are included depending on the kind of cement being made.
The cement is then stored in bags before being shipped out. Here are some projects to try at home:
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