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What is the difference between Portland cement and slag cement?

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Portland cement and slag cement are both types of hydraulic cement, which means that they harden when mixed with water. However, there are some key differences between the two types of cement.

Portland cement is a pure Portland cement clinker, which is a finely ground mixture of calcium, silicon, aluminum, and iron oxides. Portland cement is the most widely used type of cement in the world. It is known for its high strength, durability, and versatility.

Slag cement is a blended cement that contains a mixture of Portland cement clinker and ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS). GGBFS is a by-product of the iron and steel industry. Slag cement is known for its high strength, durability, and resistance to chemical attack. It is also more environmentally friendly than Portland cement.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between Portland cement and slag cement:

PropertyPortland cementSlag cement
Main ingredientPortland cement clinkerGround granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS)
DurabilityGoodVery good
Resistance to chemical attackGoodVery good
Heat of hydrationModerateLow
Environmental impactHigherLower


Portland cement is used in a wide variety of applications, including:

  • Construction of buildings, bridges, roads, and other structures
  • Production of concrete products, such as blocks, pipes, and pavers
  • Soil stabilization
  • Wastewater treatment

Slag cement is often used in applications where high strength, durability, and resistance to chemical attack are important, such as:

  • Marine structures
  • Wastewater treatment plants
  • Bridges
  • High-rise buildings
  • Mass concrete pours
  • Hot weather concreting
  • Soil stabilization in aggressive environments


Both Portland cement and slag cement are good choices for a variety of applications. The best choice for a particular project will depend on the specific requirements of that project.