18th Nov 2022 -

A popular range of cement used across the UK, Blue Circle offers standard products alongside a specialist range intended for quick setting, extra strength, or visual uses. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll look through the product range of Blue Circle cement and answer some popular questions about mixing quantities, drying times, and expiry dates.

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The Essentials of Cement

Cement is a binder used within the production of both concrete and mortar, which are essential components of almost every man-made structure on the planet. It has been used for millennia, from a combination of limestone and fine aggregates, alongside other elements like aluminium and magnesium. In modern construction, cement will be made to precise mixes within factory settings. While cement can be sold alone and mixed to produce the desired product, ready-mix concrete and mortar are also available, where cement has been pre-combined with aggregates and is ready for water to be added. The most popular cement within modern construction is portland cement, often sold as ordinary portland cement (OPC).

What is Blue Circle Cement?

Blue Circle is a cement producer founded in 1900, that today produces a wide range of cement supplies. While Blue Circle was purchased by French company Lafarge in 2001, the name continues to be used in the UK. Blue Circle offers a wide range of cement products catering to different needs.

The Blue Circle Cement Range

Alongside their standard cement options, there is a wide range of standard Blue Circle products available, giving specific benefits or intended for specific uses. Each of these will be sold in 25kg amounts as standard, usually in weatherproof plastic bags.

  • Blue Circle General Purpose Cement: A standard all-purpose cement suitable for concrete and mortar uses, this all-in-one solution will offer great performance.
  • Blue Circle Mastercrete Cement: A professional multipurpose option, Mastercrete cement will offer enhanced resistance to water freezing and thawing attacks, and an easier mixing and finishing process.
  • Blue Circle Procem Cement: For strength-based usage, this specialist cement is intended for structural applications like concrete, offering high strength.
  • Blue Circle Extra Rapid Cement: Regular cement can take days to reach usable strength, while extra rapid cement will be suitable for foot and vehicle traffic within hours. Rapid-set cement allows jobs to be completed more quickly, or to be completed around difficult weather.
  • Blue Circle Snowcrete Cement: This white portland cement is intended for attractive visible applications in concrete. It can also be used for repairing marble tiles, and will not normally be used for structural purposes.
  • Blue Circle Sulfacrete Cement: Designed to protect concrete and mortar from sulphate attack. This can occur from soil, groundwater, and seawater connecting with cement products.

In addition to their range of cement, Blue Circle also produce ready-to-use mortar and concrete products, with specialist options like Blue Circle Slab Layer intended for use under patio paving slabs, or Blue Circle Quick Repair Concrete, which is designed for small DIY jobs like concrete repairs.

A construction worker holding a trowel with weatherproofing mortar, cement and concrete for concrete blocks to build a wall.

Blue Circle Cement Mix Ratio

For general-purpose concreting, Blue Circle recommends a mixture of one part portland cement, 2 parts sand, and 3 parts 20mm aggregates. This could be Blue Circle General Purpose Cement. For mortar to a designation III mix, Blue Circle recommends a mix of 1 part portland cement, 1 part Blue Circle Hydralime, to either 5 or 6 parts sand.

Blue Circle Cement Drying Time

Regular cement will take between one and two days to set, but will not reach its full strength for around 4 weeks, with some strength-based uses acceptable during that time. Using a fast-setting alternative such as Blue Circle Extra Rapid cement will drastically reduce those times, with setting taking around 30 minutes, and some strength-based uses available within around 12 hours. Reaching full strength will still take a comparable amount of time, but if you are looking for a quicker construction make sure you opt for a rapid-set option.

What is the Shelf Life of Blue Circle Cement?

All concrete must be stored in safe and dry conditions, but even then it will have a limited shelf life that it must be used within. All Blue Circle cement products will have a use-by date marked on their packages that must be adhered to. This will normally be around 3 months. Expired cement will reduce in strength over time, and can become lumpy. There are also health and safety concerns around expired cement, which can release dangerous chromium IV. You should check the shelf life of all cement products, and not open or use expired bags of cement.

Looking For Quality Cement Delivered Across the UK?

Building Materials Nationwide stocks quality cement and cement products for delivery across the UK. Alongside cement, we also stock a full range of aggregates, and several ready-mix concrete and mortar products. We work across the building industry, aiming to be the one-stop shop for professionals, saving them time and money. For customers within the industry, we also offer trade accounts. Our trade accounts grant access to our full product range, express nationwide delivery, and the services of a dedicated account manager.

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