11+ Differences Between OPC and PPC Cement

11+ Differences between OPC and PPC cement

OPC vs PPC | Pozzolana Portland cement contains 10-25% of pozzolanic material such as fly-ash, clay, etc as a substitute for OPC clinker. 

Strength, composition, durability, etc are the parameter to distinguish b/w OPC and PPC.

opc vs ppc

The major difference between OPC and PPC is the raw materials used for the production of OPC and PPC. 

It is just raw materials that are slightly different from each other. But their functional properties, uses, requirements are in the opposite side to each other.

Okay, let me explain it clearly.

Let's start from the basic.

I promise that you won't have any doubt in future regarding this topic.

OPC stands for Ordinary Portland cement whereas, PPC represents Portland pozzolana cement.

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Ordinary Portland cement is most widely used cement which is derived from mixing limestone and other raw materials such as clinker, gypsum, magnesia, etc.

Portland pozzolana cement may not be very common in use but economical in nature which is produced by mixing 10-20% portland clinkers with pozzolanic materials such as fly-ash and calcined clay.

Can I ask you a question? (I am assuming yes!)

How many types of cement do you know about except OPC and PPC?
-Comment your answer below.

Back to the topic.

As per design requirement, environment exposure, concrete strength OPC or PPC can be choosen for construction.

At the end of this article, I will give my opinion on which one is better, OPC or PPC?


Here I highlighted 9 key points to differentiate OPC and PPC.

  1. Chemical composition.
  2. Compressive strength.
  3. Permeability.
  4. Workability.
  5. Heat of hydration.
  6. Fineness of cement.
  7. Applications.
  8. Cost.
  9. Curing time. differences
  10. Durability.
  11. Emission of Co2.
  12. Resistance towards sulfate, alkalies, Chlorides, etc.
On the basis of above 11+ points, OPC and PPC can be classified.

 1. Chemical composition

OPC contains the following-

  • limestone (60-70)%
  • silica (17-25)%
  •  iron-oxide(0.5-6)%
  •  alumina(3-8)%
  •  gypsum
  •  magnesia
  •  sulphur-trioxide
  •  potash/soda(0.5-1.3)%
which is same as traditional composition of cement.

Whereas, the chemical composition of PPC is slightly different from OPC.

PPC is made up of OPC clinkers with 10-25% added pozzolanic material.

Fly-ash, Clay, shell, Rice-hulk ash are mostly used as a pozzolanic material.

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2. Compressive strength

To achieve the desired amount of strength of concrete, its necessary to select the right type of cement.

Initial strength and long-term strength are the two primary factors while selecting the right type of cement.

The initial strength of Ordinary Portland cement is higher than PPC.

Compressive Strength of OPC

But the long term strength of Pozzolona portland cement is greater than the Ordinary Portland cement.

Compressive strength of PPC

Now it's pretty clear that choosing between PPC and OPC is depending upon the requirement of the design.

If high strength is required for the construction at the initial stage then it's obviously OPC.

Vice versa!!

 3. Permeability

Permeability is the quality of any substance to measure how much liquid/water can pass through them.

Low permeability means a lesser amount of fluid/water can pass through that matter.

The opposite goes for High permeability.

Due to the absence of pozzolanic material (Fly-ash, clay, etc) Ordinary Portland cement is highly permeable to the water.

As Portland Pozzolana cement is less permeable, it is suitable for a structure such as bridge piers, a foundation where the waterproof structure is recommended.

⚫ 4. Workability

In simple words, Workability means how easily it can flow on the surface.

The Workability of Concrete made with OPC cement is less.

Whereas PPC causes high workability of concrete.

5. Heat of hydration

In the hydration process, Some compound of cement reacts with water which causes the hardening of concrete.

For ordinary portland cement, Hydration process takes less time to be completed than PPC and produce more heat than PPC.


In this case, the hydration process takes longer time and produces less heat during the hydration process.

Hence making it suitable for mass concreting where heat produced by the hydration process may harm the structure.

⚫ 6. Fineness of cement

The ratio of the specific surface area to the volume of cement gives an idea about the fineness of cement.

PPC is finer than OPC and also due to the presence of pozzolana material it helps to improves the pore size distribution.

⚫ 7. Applications

Ideal applications for Ordinary Portland cement are commercial and industrial complexes, high-rise buildings, Road, bridges, flyover, Heavy defense structure, etc.


Brickwork, plastering, residential building, mass concrete, marine work, etc are the places where Pozzolana Portland cement is suitable.

PPC advantages

8. Cost

As the expensive clinker is replaced by pozzolana material such as fly-ash, the price of PPC is less than the OPC.

OPC is slightly more expensive than PPC.

⚫ 9. Curing time

During the curing process, concrete gains its major portion of desired strength.

Due to the presence of pozzolana material, Curing time of PPC increases.

Curing time of OPC(7days) is less than PPC(10 days).

⚫ 10. Durability

Again PPC wins the race for the crown of 'Durability'.

The durability of the structure is very vital for its long life span.

The durability of PPC is higher than OPC.

⚫ 11. Emission of Co2

During the manufacturing process of cement(especially OPC) large amount of Co2 emits.

As 10-25% pozzolana material is added to the PPC which makes it more environment-friendly.

During the manufacturing process of OPC, the amount of emission of carbon-di-oxide is bigger than PPC.

12. Resistance towards sulfate, alkalies, Chlorides


PPC is more weather resistant than OPC.

Hence, during the construction of structures which is more likely to get exposure to chloride, sulfur, etc PPC is more adapted than OPC.


Okay, here I shared 11+ differences between two different types of cement.

Comment below if I missed any other.

As I said I will give my opinion on these two types of cement.

Choosing the right type of cement for construction work whether it is a residential building or highrise building, is very important.

So, First of all, we must know the design requirement like whether the structure requires initial strength or it should have a longlasting design life.

There is much more design parameter which should be followed such as structure's exposure to harsh chemical, strength, water-proof, etc.

Ordinary Portland cement and pozzolana portland cement both have their own pros and cons.

Comment below if you still have any unanswered question.

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11+ Differences Between OPC and PPC Cement 11+ Differences Between OPC and PPC Cement Reviewed by Civil049seminar on February 01, 2019 Rating: 5

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