How Is Cement Made? Curious Facts All Kids Should Know

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 06, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Oct 11, 2021
Cement pile and trowel isolated.

Cement is an essential part of the manufacturing process across the world.

Cement is the most common type of binder used for holding everything together on a construction site. It is made by grinding various mineral-rich rocks and mixing them with substances like sand, gravel, and mortar to produce concrete.

Cement is a chemical combination of several minerals like calcium, aluminum, silicon, and iron ore. The cement-making industry is large, producing millions of tons of cement that are worth billions.

Cement made from limestone, also known as Portland cement, is the most common type of cement in the world. This type of cement is manufactured by a complex process of mining the mineral-rich raw materials from a quarry and grinding them to a fine powder.

The process of burning them in the rotary kilns helps to break the chemical bond of the materials. This produces a powdered hot clinker, which is then cooled and added to other substances for cement manufacturing.

In ancient times, Romans started making cement by combining volcanic rocks with lime. This type of cement is known as Roman cement. Since then, many different civilizations have used cement.

Not only does cement help in construction, but it is also used as an adhesive. For example, rubber cement is made by combining polymers with solvents. It is a type of gum.

Read on to find out more. If you like what you read, do check out how is cardboard made and how is copper made. 

How is cement made from limestone?

Several types of minerals are used to make cement, including limestone, clay, and gypsum.

They are ground to a powdered form called raw meal. Hard rocks such as limestone are extracted by a process called blasting. The raw mix is heated inside a cement kiln at a very high temperature averaging around 2,642 F (1,450 C).

The high temperature in the kiln is enough to break the chemical bonds between the molecules of the raw material. It results in the production of a solid substance called clinker.

The clinker is ground in the mill and combined with gypsum to make cement. The quality of clinker produced depends on the quality of the raw materials. If the raw materials are of poor quality, this will affect the strength of the building.

How is cement powder made?

Cement is a fine powder that is produced by mixing several natural materials in a kiln. The components mined from quarries and crushed in the cement mills determine the quality of the concrete used in constructions.

Cement is made by mixing raw materials like limestone, clay, and sand together in a rotary kiln and heating them at a very high temperature. This produces a clinker, which is then taken out of the rotary kiln and cooled.

After that, it is ground in a cement mill to produce the cement powder. The burning fuels, along with emissions of natural gas from the hot raw materials, heat the kiln. The crushed cement is mixed with water, rocks, and sand to form the concrete material.

Cement mortar with a trowel placed on a cement bag.

How Portland Cement Is Made

Portland cement is the most common type of cement in the construction world. It was developed from hydraulic lime in the early 19th century. The main component used in the manufacture of Portland cement is limestone, which is extracted by blasting quarries.

The raw materials used in this process are called raw meal. The final product produced by crushing the raw meal in a cement kiln and heating them at a high temperature is known as clinker.

This raw material makes up 90% of Portland cement production. The clinkers determine the quality of cement.

Modern concrete is produced by mixing the clinker with water and other aggregates in the cement mills or industries. The primary components used to produce Portland cement clinker are limestone and aluminosilicate.

Some other secondary materials used in manufacturing cement are iron ore, sand, clay, and fly ash. Portland cement is also produced by a wet method which is known as fiber cement.

In this process, a slurry is made by adding water to the materials obtained from the quarry and grinding them to a paste. There are different qualities of cement, each of them transported separately in silos in the storage.

How Asphalt Cement Is Made

Asphalt cement is one of the oldest types of cement that was used in the construction of the walls of the Mohenjo-Daro civilization. The main raw material used for manufacturing asphalt cement comes from the distillation of petroleum. Since petroleum resources have declined, the production of this cement has also reduced.

Asphalt is a black semiliquid substance obtained as a residue from the process of distilling petroleum. The elastic and viscous nature of the asphalt is helpful for cement manufacturing.

Adding asphalt to concrete is a great method for building the base of constructions. Asphalt can also be mixed with cement and concrete to form a good-quality pitch for constructing roads.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions forcurious kids facts to know about how cement is made, then why not take a look at why do cats puke, or purrrfect facts about the ragamuffin cat kids will love.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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