Frequently Asked Questions Architectural White Cement
Can high-performance concrete be made with white cement?
It is possible to formulate high-performance white and colored concrete to achieve various improved properties such as high strength or very low permeability. By incorporating materials like calcined clay (such as metakaolin), slag, or white silica fume into the mix design along with white cement, concrete properties can be modified while still maintaining the white base color.
Applications for high performance concrete (HPC) include any structures that benefit from increased performance attributes, such as high-rise buildings made with high-strength concrete, and bridges and parking structures made with very low permeability concrete to protect against freeze-thaw and deicer attack.
Can pervious concrete be made with white cement?
The growing popularity of pervious concrete is being driven by many factors: environmental concerns like recharging groundwater, performance aspects like free-draining pavements (no surface puddles), and reduced costs for roadway appurtenances like stormwater control systems.
White cement allows not only for aesthetic improvement of the surface appearance, but can even be used to improve functionality (traffic control) or pedestrian safety of the paved area. More about architectural pervious concrete.
Can self-consolidating concrete be made with white cement? What are some of the techniques people are using to create attractive concrete surfaces?
Self-consolidating concrete (SCC) provides good form filling characteristics and a good quality finish. That makes it well suited to any type of concrete that will be exposed to view, where appearance is important. For instance, many precast concrete members are used architecturally. Using white cement in SCC offers an additional opportunity to create attractive surfaces for exposed concrete.
How is white cement specified?
A key advantage of using white cement for decorative and architectural concrete is that it provides a neutral tinting base and consistent color results. Every color option is possible with it, from pure whites to bright and pastel colors. White cement is available everywhere in North America, though you won’t find a separate specification for it. It can be specified via a number of different standards—portland cements, masonry cements, and plastic (stucco) cements.
I’ve never heard of white cement. Is it new?
White cement was first made in the United States in York, Pennsylvania, in 1907. One reason it may be less familiar to people than gray cement is that it only represents about 1 percent of total cement usage in the U.S. Annual consumption of gray cement is around 120 million metric tons, and white cement is slightly over 1 million metric tons.