Considered to be the most common type of cement in use today, Portland cement is used for all sorts of building projects. It is an ingredient in materials used for sidewalks, buildings, and as a binder between other substances, such as stone or brick. The basic formula appears to have originated in the late 18th century, and it was first identified by this name in the early 19th century.
The name for the dry cement product is derived from the similarity of the finished product to Portland stone, which was quarried in England in the early 19th century. Using methods that were somewhat like the procedure for making Roman cement, Joseph Aspdin was awarded a patent in 1822 for creating the cement. The original formula called for the use of cement clinker and a small amount of other ingredients. The stability of the product made it ideal for use in the creation of mortar and other binding materials.
Aspdin’s son William later enhanced the formula for Portland cement. After moving to Germany in 1843, the younger Aspdin continued to refine the product, which led to it being used in many building projects around the country. By 1878, its use in Germany was so common that the government saw fit to issue a standard on the product.
Today, the core ingredients for Portland cement include cement clinker with a small amount of calcium sulfate, although other ingredients are sometimes introduced as well. Concrete is the most common building material that is created using this cement, but the mixture is also commonly used in the creation of stucco and mortar. There are also certain types of grout that are created using it as an ingredient. In some instances, the Portland cement is purchased in dry form and mixed with other ingredients at the building site to produce the desired building material. At other times, it is included in ready-mixed products that require nothing more than the addition of water to create the building element.