Fineness of cement is one of the main contributors to physical properties like hydration setting time and strength and is an important specification parameter in norms like ASTM C150. Typically, fine particles contribute to exothermal hydration and will lead to cracking, while coarse particles hamper the hydration process through reduced surface area.

Blaine and sieving are well established techniques to characterize the fineness of cement through one single “averaged” number. However, this does not give the full picture as cement consists of a full particle size distribution from fine particles through to coarse particles. It is in fact this full particle size distribution that determines the overall physical properties of cement. For example, two different cements with the same Blaine number can still have very different hydraulic properties which can be explained by the full particle size distribution. Furthermore, the full particle size distribution of raw materials and cement is strongly connected to the energy consumption during milling and grinding as well as the fuel consumption in the kiln.

Laser diffraction is a technique that gives the full particle size distribution of cement and its intermediate products, which are available as lab and on-line instruments for real time information and process control. During this webinar QC managers, process control managers and plant managers will learn how the technique works and how the technique can be implemented in the production process to optimize the cement quality, reduce energy and fuel consumption and increase margins.