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Test on cement

The usual tests carried out for cement are for chemical and physical requirements. They are given in relevant Indian Standards. IS 4031 (different parts) and IS 4032. The chemical standards gives permissible limits for insoluble residue, loss of ignition and other compounds and impurities like Magnesium Oxide, Sulphate, etc. The physical requirements are for fineness, soundness, setting time and compressive strength. These are mostly conducted at a laboratory. A field engineer is advised to purchase a reputed brand of cement from an authorized dealer, and ask for the test certificate. He can conduct a few field tests at the site itself for ascertaining the quality of cement.

Check at random that the packing bags are fresh and that the bags are machine stitched
Check that the bag displays Indian Standards mark and number to which it conforms.
Check the manufacturing week and the year on the bag
Open the bag and take a good look at cement, there should be no lumps
Check that the colour of cement is uniform
Check for setting. Take some quantity of cement, make it to a paste, place it on a plate and give it a square shape. Immerse the same slowly in to a bucket of water. Check that it has not lost shape and that it hardens after 24hrs
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