The basic characteristic of cement is that after it has been mixed with water, it will set hard as rock, and will bind together any rock or mineral fragments mixed into it. Mortar is made from a mixture of sand and cement, and bonds together bricks in a wall. Most cement is mixed with both sand and aggregate to make concrete.
In simple term, Cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. Cement used in construction is characterized as hydraulic or non-hydraulic. Hydraulic cements harden because of hydration, chemical reactions that occur independently of the mixture’s water content; they can harden even underwater or when constantly exposed to wet weather. The chemical reaction that results when the anhydrous cement powder is mixed with water produces hydrates that are not water-soluble. Non-hydraulic cements must be kept dry in order to retain their strength.
All of the great ancient civilizations utilized cement, from the Greeks to the Egyptians, the Chinese Empire to the Roman Empire. In fact, the Romans actually named the substance “cement,” although the cement that they used varied a great deal from modern cement. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that cement would become more modernized and standardized, which vastly improved the final product.
The cement industry is one of the main beneficiaries of the infrastructure boom. In earlier days, there is only one cement was available ‘Portland cement’. Now there are wide varieties of cement in the market such as ;
- Low heat cement,
- Rapid hardening cement,
- High early strength cement,
- Sulphated cement, hydrophobic cement,
- Oil well cement, high aluminum cement
- Masonry cement. Each type of cement has a specific role to play.
The choice of cement depends upon the nature of work, local environment, method of construction etc.
There are many disadvantages are also attached with the invention of cement and cement industry. In recent years, the cement industry has been responsible for contributing large amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Disturbingly, the majority of that carbon dioxide output comes from the chemical processes needed to manufacture the cement, not from the burning of fossil fuels. If environmental scientists are correct and global warming begins to harm the planet, cement production could be largely to blame.
With robust demand and adequate supply, the industry has bright future. According to cement manufacturing association survey, April 2010, Indian is the world’s second largest producer of cement with a total capacity of 224 million tones. Cement is a key infrastructure industry. With the government of India giving boost to various infrastructure projects, housing facilities and road networks, the cement industry in India is currently growing at an enviable pace. More growth in the Indian cement industry is expected in the coming years. It is also predicted that the cement production in India would rise to 236.16 million tones by 2011and expected to rise to 262million tones in 2012.
The history of the cement manufacturing in India can be traced back to 1889 when a private firm in Kolkata began manufacturing cement from Argillaceous. But the industry started getting the organized shape in the early 1900s. In the year 1914, India Cement Company Ltd started cement production in Porbandar with an output of 10,000 tons and a production of 1000 installed capacity. The First World War gave the initial momentum to the cement industry in India and the segment demonstrated a geometric growth in terms of installed capacity, number of manufacturing units and the volume output. Industry Expert terms this as the nascent stage in the history of Indian Cement industry. The Concrete association on India was established in the year 1926 to create awareness among the public with respect to the utility of cement in addition to promoting cement consumption.
Cement Company, in any country, plays a major role in the growth of the nation. Cement industries produce Portland cement which is a prime ingredient of concrete for buildings, bridges, canals and roads. There is also an enormous scope of waste heat recovery in the cement manufacturing plants that will give way to reduction in the levels of emission and consequently contribute to environment-friendly practices. Cement industry in India is currently going through a technological change as a lot of up gradation and assimilation is taking place. The recent up gradation of technology across the cement industry segment has helped the industry to enormously conserve fuel and energy and make a huge saving on materials. The industry experienced a complete shift in the technology of production, from wet process to dry process.
The competitiveness among the firms in Indian cement industry has also been evaluated. Cement industry in India was under full control and supervision of the government. However, it got relief at a large extent after the economic reform. But government interference, especially in the pricing, is still evident in India. Now, cement industry in India has successfully maintained almost total capacity utilization levels, which resulted in maintaining a 10% growth rate.
Some of the regions where major clusters of cement industries located in India are Satna (Madhya Pradesh), Yerranguntla (Andhra Pradesh), Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Bilaspur (Chattisgarh), Gulbarga (Karnataka), Nalgonda (Andhra Pradesh), and Chandoria (Rajasthan).
In a fast developing economy like India, there is always large possibility of expansion of cement industry. In spite of being the second largest cement producer in the world, India falls in the list of lowest per capita consumption of cement with 125 kg. The reason behind this is the poor rural people who mostly live in mud huts and cannot afford to have the commodity. Despite the fact, the demand and supply of cement in India has grown up. The cement industry is experiencing a boom on account of the overall growth of the Indian economy primarily because of increased industrial activity, flourishing real estate business, growing construction activity, and expanding investment in the infrastructure sector.
In every country, the cement industry plays a major role in deciding the growth. The demand and supply of cement has undergone a phenomenal growth in India. Domestic demand is one of the chief reasons for the rapid growth of cement manufacturing in India. One can say that the domestic demand for the commodity has in fact clearly overtaken the rate of economic growth in the country. On the whole, the fact that India is a fast developing nation presents an enormous scope for the development of cement industry.
A number of successful companies are leading the cement production in the country. However, about 20 big firms alone account for over 70% of the total cement production in the nation.
The major players in the cement industry in India are as follows :
- Gujarat Ambuja,
- India Cements,
- jaypee Group,
- JK Group,
- Madras Cements
- Birla Corp
The cement industry is one of the booming sectors in the India. Developments in the domestic environment and a large number of infrastructure projects have created an unforeseen demand for cement consumption in India, which is bound to increase manifold over the coming years. While concrete steps are being taken to bring down, costs, the cement industry is heading towards a very bright future in India. More than 25 lakh people are employed in cement companies. Some trends of the Indian cement industry which will add to the job prospect in this sector are :
- It is expected that the cement industry will steadily grow and more than 50 million tons will be produced annually to cater to the high demand in the real estate sector.
- The annual exports will also significantly increase by around 9 to 10% which will favorably affect the overall Gross Domestic Product of the country.
- India will become the second largest cement producing country after China.
If one is looking forward to start a wonderful career which can help to climb up the path of success, then the job in cement industry can be an ideal choice. With the growth in the infrastructure and technological projects, there has been a rise in the cement industries in the country. There are a number of employment opportunities that offer along with good salary package like site engineer, packaging engineer, sift in charge, surveyor, geologist, contractor, supervisor and other posts. Many distinguished institute in India like Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar National Institute of Social Sciences, (MP), Indore, National Council for Cement and Building Materials, and many more are offering post graduate diploma in Cement technology.
Cement is one of the most important building materials in the modern world. The Roman Empire relied on cement to build its roads, its aqueducts, and all of its other great engineering marvels. Today, modern skyscrapers couldn’t exist without the strength added to modern-day concrete by Portland cement. In other words, human society as it exists today would not be possible without cement.