Summary
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco, and non-specialty grout. It was developed from other types of hydraulic lime in England in the early 19th century by Joseph Aspdin, and is usually made from limestone. It is a fine powder, produced by heating limestone and clay minerals in a kiln to form clinker, grinding the clinker, and adding 2 to 3 percent of gypsum. Several types of portland cement are available. The most common, called ordinary portland cement (OPC), is grey, but white portland cement is also available. Its name is derived from its resemblance to portland stone which was quarried on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England. It was named by Joseph Aspdin who obtained a patent for it in 1824. His son William Aspdin is regarded as the inventor of "modern" portland cement due to his developments in the 1840s. The term portland in this context refers to a material or process, not a proper noun like a place or a person, and should not be capitalized. The low cost and widespread availability of the limestone, shales, and other naturally occurring materials used in portland cement make it a relatively cheap building material. Its most common use is in the production of concrete, a composite material consisting of aggregate (gravel and sand), cement, and water. Portland cement was developed from natural cements made in Britain beginning in the middle of the 18th century. Its name is derived from its similarity to Portland stone, a type of building stone quarried on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England. The development of modern portland cement (sometimes called ordinary or normal portland cement) began in 1756, when John Smeaton experimented with combinations of different limestones and additives, including trass and pozzolanas, intended for the construction of a lighthouse, now known as Smeaton's Tower. In the late 18th century, Roman cement was developed and patented in 1796 by James Parker.
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Mortar (masonry)
Mortar is a workable paste which hardens to bind building blocks such as stones, bricks, and concrete masonry units, to fill and seal the irregular gaps between them, spread the weight of them evenly, and sometimes to add decorative colors or patterns to masonry walls. In its broadest sense, mortar includes pitch, asphalt, and soft mud or clay, as those used between mud bricks, as well as cement mortar. The word "mortar" comes from Old French mortier, "builder's mortar, plaster; bowl for mixing." (13c.).
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A cement is a binder, a chemical substance used for construction that sets, hardens, and adheres to other materials to bind them together. Cement is seldom used on its own, but rather to bind sand and gravel (aggregate) together. Cement mixed with fine aggregate produces mortar for masonry, or with sand and gravel, produces concrete. Concrete is the most widely used material in existence and is behind only water as the planet's most-consumed resource.
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