Masonry Cement

Masonry cement is a special kind of cement used to make mortar, it combines all the advantages of lime mortar and eliminates all the disadvantages of cement mortar.

To increase plasticity and water-retentiveness, a little amount of an air entraining agent and a mineral additive is also added to this cement.

In this article you’ll learn:

So, if you’re ready to go with a it, this article is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

What is Masonry Cement?

This cement is a carefully formulated cement that is mixed in a certain ratio with sand and water to produce a strong binding mortar.

This mortar stands out for its power, toughness, beauty, and resistance to deterioration from chemicals and the environment.

It is frequently used in stonework, block, and brick masonry for mortar and stucco work, but is not supposed to be strong enough for concrete masonry.

Purpose of Masonry Cement:

  • In masonry, the mortar acts as a binding agent and filler for the spaces between separate masonry sections.
  • Ordinary cement mortar is inferior to lime mortar in terms of workability, water retention, shrinkage, and extensibility, despite being stronger and setting qualities when compared to lime mortar.
  • It fixes the issues while maintaining cement mortar’s optimal characteristics.

Masonry Cement Composition & Properties:

The cement clinker is pulverized and mixed with either pozzolanic or non-pozzolanic (i.e., inert) and waste materials to produce this cement.

In the proper amounts, gypsum and plasticizers that trap air are also included.

It is typically kept to have a finer consistency than OPC.

Fly ash or calcined clay are two examples of pozzolanic materials. Limestone,

Some examples of inert materials include conglomerates, dolomite, and granulated slag.

You can also add waste materials like mining tailings and carbonated sludge.

Physical PropertiesRequirements
Fineness: Residue on 45-micron IS Sieve, Max, Percent (by wet sieving)15 %
Setting Time (by Vicat Apparatus):
(a) Initial, Min 
(b) Final, Max

90 minutes
24 hours
(a) Le-Chatelier expansion, Max
(b) Autoclave expansion, Max

10 mm
1 %
Compressive Strength:  The average strength of at least three mortar cubes of 50 mm in diameter made of masonry cement mixed with normal sand in a volumetric ratio of one to three,
7 days
28 days

2.5 MPa
5 MPa
Air Content:  Mortar with a minimum air content of 6% and a composition of 1 part masonry cement and 3 parts standard sand by volume6 %
Water Retention:  Minimum 60% of the initial flow remains after suction of mortar made of 1 part masonry cement and 3 parts standard sand by volume.60 % of the original flow

The following production stages are identical to those for OPC.

Types of Masonry Cement:

N Masonry cement:

For outdoor and above-grade walls (including stone veneer) that are exposed to inclement weather and extreme heat, Type N cement is typically indicated.

Type N mortar mix is made of 1 part Portland cement, 1 part lime, and 6parts sand m, which has medium compressive strength.

It is regarded as a general-purpose mix that can be used for load-bearing installations above grade, outside, and indoors.

 It is also the mortar mixture of excellent for brickwork using soft stone (such as limestone).

The cement of type N is the most popular among homeowners and it is the finest choice for general application.

Usually, it reaches a 28-day strength of around 750 pounds per square inch (psi).

S Masonry cement:

Type S cement is appropriate for many applications at or below grade since it has a strong compressive strength of over 1,800 psi and a good tensile bond strength.

It works incredibly well under seismic, wind, and soil pressure.

Type S is typically chosen for a variety of below-grade applications, such as masonry foundations, manholes, retaining walls, and sewers, as well as at-grade projects like brick patios and walkways.

Although Type S cement must have a minimum compressive strength of 1,800 psi, it is generally mixed at strengths between 2,300 and 3,000 psi.

M Masonry cement:

The Type M cement mix is advised for heavy loads and below-grade applications like roads, retaining walls, and foundations since it contains the most Portland cement.

Although type M cement has a minimum compressive strength of 2,500 psi, it has weak adhesion and sealing qualities that makes it unsuitable for many exposed applications.

 Due to its strength are comparable to the natural stone, Type M is ideal for use with it.

Advantages of Masonry Cement:

The following is a list of masonry cement’s benefits:

  1. The workability of this cement has increased.
  2. It retains water well.
  3. Mortar made using this cement is smooth, plastic, cohesive, and strong but still extremely workable.
  4. As mortar cement, it is more resilient.
  5. Due to the low heat of hydration, shrinkage, and temperature movement cracks are significantly decreased.
  6. Since it takes a longer time to set, there is more time to work with the mortar while building with masonry or plastering.
  7. It is simple to handle when building stonework.

Disadvantages of Masonry Cement:

The following is a list of masonry cement’s drawbacks:

  1. It can be used as cement in mortar.
  2. Due to its inferior strength to OPC, it cannot be employed as a construction material for concrete.
Also read: Rapid Hardening Cement | High Alumina Cement | Hydrophobic Cement


The lifespan of the masonry construction is influenced by the mason’s level of craftsmanship in addition to the mortar qualities of the masonry cement.

The completed masonry work will be watertight at that point and may last for a good number of years without requiring much upkeep or repair.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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