Utilisation of Slags for the Manufacture of Cement

Jochens, P. R. ; Wolhuter, C. W. ; Howat, D. D.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 12, 1968
Prof D. D. Howat (Member): I am a man with a grievance this afternoon. The other authors of the paper entered into a conspiracy to ensure that I presented the paper, and finally even had the audacity to say that this was the least that could be expected from me as I had done so little of the other work. Looking at the distinguished audience here that includes some figures who have forgotten more about cement that some of us have ever learned, I realise how right the other authors were. I feel very much cast in the role of the fool who was pushed in where angels fear to tread. I hesitate to say, Sir, that I would not use the word angels in any definition of the authors of this paper. In presenting the paper, may I try to put forward a few simple points about cement that are probably as little known to the majority of the audience as they were to me-at least until very recently. Concrete, made by mixing Portland cement, sand, crushed rock and water is the most widely used constructional material in the world. Generally the production of actual Portland Cement is about two-thirds that of steel and by the time this is formed into concrete the total is about five times the world tonnage of steel produced. A very rough approximation suggests that world consumption of concrete is about one ton per person per annum. Apart from fresh water mankind consumes no other material in such quantities. What mankind originally required was a mortar to be used for joining blocks of stone or bricks. Such mortar was originally made from limestone burned in a kiln and then mixed with water. Production of mortar of this type began over 5,000 years ago. Some samples from pyramids in Egypt have shown this mortar to be in good condition although over 4,500 years old. The progress of technological development was very slow until 1824 when an English bricklayer, Joseph Aspidin, patented a new mortar material which he made by burning limestone and clay together in his kitchen stove. Aspdin called his product 'Portland Cement' because, in colour, it resembled a well-known building stone quarried in the Isle of Portland on the south coast of England. Aspid's same types of raw materials are used today in modern cement production and the product is still referred to as Portland cement. A lime-containing material such as chalk or shell and a clay-type material such as shale, slate or clay itself, are mixed in the required proportions, ground and fed to a kiln where the minimum burning temperature is about 1,500°C. The raw materials react to form hard chunks of a material known as 'clinker'. About 5 per cent of gypsum is added to the clinker and the mixture is then ground to a very fine powder, the function of the gypsum being to control the rate of setting of the concrete. The key oxides in cement production are lime, silica, alumina and iron oxide. The possible reactions occurring during and the products of the burning process are shown in Table I.
Full Article Download:
(745 kb)