Product Marking and Conformity Assessment of Portland Cements on the Ghanaian Market
Cement bound concrete materials and complementary fittings are requisite ingredients for all civil engineering works. In all these, Portland cement, a basic binding ingredient for the concrete work is the dominant binder. In Ghana, there are various brands of cement on the market. Five major brand products currently in circulation include the Ghana Cement (GHACEM), Western DIAMOND Cement (DIAMOND), CIMAF Cement, DANGOTE Cement and SUPACEM Cement. Increased infrastructural development has placed high demand on cement consumption. Consequently, new products keep emerging in the market. Indeed, a standard measure to provide product marking and evaluations of conformity to standard Class thresholds are required for the desired specification, properties and the performance quality of the cement products. This research therefore sets to ascertain the strength quality of the five cement brands on the Ghanaian market by checking their conformity to C-30 and C-40 standard compressive tests, using their 32.5-R and 42.5-R flagship brands. To achieve this, concrete cubes were moulded with fixed mix ratio of 1:1⅟2:3 and 1:1:2 for C-30 and C-40 respectively. To achieve the desired strength conformity, the slump as well as the coarse and fine aggregate constituents were standardised. The results indicated that the cement brands despite parading same strength thresholds in the market, do not exhibit same strength build-up. There are significant variations in growth of compressive strength over time. It was observed also that conformance threshold within 28 days was not attained for a number of the brands. Indeed, not until 56 days or more some of the brands could not achieve their desired compressive strength thresholds.