Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Storage of Cement

Storage of cement is a noteworthy item, because proper arrangements for storing the cement have to be made in the factories before sale or on large construction projects before use. Proper Storage preserves its quality and fitness for use. To prevent its deterioration it is necessary to protect it from rain, sun, winds and moisture.

Moisture is the first and the greatest danger to be gaurded against. Cement has great affinity for moisture and hence it should be stored well shieled from moisture laden current of air. The exposed cement is attracted by air setting which gradually spreads. It gives to the formation of lumps. If the lumps fromed are so hard that they can not be powered by passing between the fingers, it should be concluded that the cement has been rendered useless for any sound construction.

Requirement for storehouse of cement:

It is very common in construction projects, storehouses or godowns are made at site to store cement for few days. Though these storehouses are a temporary construction, they must be constructed following requirements as below:

• The walls of storehouse must be made to prevent dampness and plastered properly, 

• A proper water proofing must be applied to roof of storehouse, 

• An elevated floor of at least 300 mm above ground level must be constructed to prevent inflow of water.For economy, flooring may be constructed using two courses of bricks (150 mm thick layer of dry bricks) over a consolidated earth layer having thickness of 150 mm above a ground surface.

• For more protection cement bags are usually staked over wooden planking connected by batten. The planks are kept 100-200 mm above floor; to save timber, often concrete are used. 

• If provision for windows is kept, least number of windows having smaller size should be selected. These should be kept closed tightly to prevent moisture movement from outside of store house.

• A new storehouse is usually not used for storing cement; the exception is when structure is dried properly.

Temporary storage of cement:

It is the special case when cement is required to stored open at site for one day or two. In such situation cement bags should be staked on dry wooden platform resting on brick masonry, dry sand or may be aggregates concrete and raise 150 mm above ground surface.

This stack of cement must be covered with polythene sheet or tarpaulin completely to give protection against ambient moisture. There should have sufficient overlap of sheet on each other. But whatever the protection may be no temporary storage for cement in open condition is allowed in wet season.

Storing information:

The following information should be noted at the time of storing cement bags:

• Cement type
• Net weight of cement (approximately)
• Date of manufacture
• Manufacturer’s name or trade mark
• Certification mark of local authority.

Removal of cement from store:

While removing cement bags from storage, bags should not be removed from only one layer at the front rather two or three layer from the back should be taken off. It will produce a stepped back rows which eliminates over-turning possibility of bags.

While removing “first in, fist out” practice is followed during consumption of bags; i.e. the oldest bags are taken out first. Bags stored having separate invoice should be stacked in storehouse separately. So that one can inspect each consignment easily and can be taken out following proper sequence.

Cement should be stored in dry, leak proof and moisture proof sheds. The shed for the storage of cement should have minimum number of windows and close fitting doors. The cement bags should be stacked on wooden planks placed about 150 to 200 mm above the floor of the shed and a space of 450 to 600 mm should be kept all round between the exterior walls and the stacks.

To prevent possibilities of lumping under pressure, the maximum height of stack should not exceed 15 bags. The width of stacks should not be more than four bags or 3 m. In stacks more than 8 bags high, the cement bags should be arranged alternatively lengthwise and cross-wise so as to ensure stability of the stacks and to prevent danger of the bags in stack topping over.
In monsoon or in situations when it is necessary to store cement for unusually long periods, the cement stacks should be completely enclosed by 700 gauge polyethene sheet or some other water-proofing membrane materials.
The stack should be arranged in such a manner that cement bags can be removed on principle of first come first served i.e. oldest cement should be taken out first.

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