Standard Covered Aspect Specification (Latest Revision)
IS 269:2015 Ordinary Portland cement VI
IS 455:2015 Portland slag cement V
IS 1489 (Part 1):2015 Portland Pozzolana cement IV
IS 1489 (Part 2):2015 Portland Pozzolana cement IV
IS 3466:1988 Masonry cement II
IS 6452:1989 High alumina cement for structural use I
IS 6909:1990 Super sulphated cement I
IS 8041:1990 Rapid hardening Portland cement II
IS 8042:2015 White Portland cement III
IS 8043:1991 Hydrophobic Portland cement II
IS 8229:1986 Oil-well cement I
IS 12330:1988 Sulphate resisting Portland cement
IS 12600:1989 Low heat Portland cement
IS 16415:2015 Composite cement
Product Covered Aspect Standard
Clinker and Hydraulic Cements Fineness by sieving IS4031:1996 (Part 1)
Specific surface area by Blaine Air permeability method IS4031:1999 (Part 2)
Soundness-Le Chatelier, Autoclave IS4031:1988 (Part 3)
Standard Consistency IS4031:1988 (Part 4)
Initial Setting time IS4031:1988 (Part 5)
Final settling time IS4031:1988 (Part 5)
Compressive strength IS4031:1988 (Part 6)
Compressive strength of masonry cement IS4031:1988 (Part 7)
Transverse & compressive strength of plastic mortar using prism IS4031:1988 (Part 8)
Heat of hydration IS4031:1988 (Part 9)
Drying shrinkage IS4031:1988 (Part 10)
Density IS4031:1988 (Part11)
Air content of hydraulic cement IS4031:1988 (Part 12)
Measurement of water retentivity of masonry cement IS4031:1988 (Part 13)
Determination of false Set IS4031:1989 (Part 14)
Determination of fineness by wet sieving IS4031:1991 (Part 15)

Quality control is a very crucial aspect for businesses to establish a minimum performance protocol and ensure strict adherence to safety requirements. The quality control system also makes sure that products, processes and overall functions perform steadily. Various Government agencies introduce regulatory guidelines from time to time to ensure standard compliances across all sectoral domains. In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is responsible for the development and compliance of various standards on products or services across all sectors. This helps in facilitating a level playing field and a common understanding of a product. Additionally, several cement companies in India have adopted voluntary protocols and practices to establish best practices and do demonstrate a sustainability conscious business leadership.

Notable benefits of having a set of specified standards are as follows1:

Drives innovation and assures consumers

The development of any new product is always associated with market acceptability related risks. Availability of quality standards and product adherence to the same brings a sense of assurance amongst the consumers with the use of a new product(s).

Example: Over the past two decades, the Indian Cement Industry has been able to swiftly replace the OPC product with environment friendly blended cement types. This has been made possible on account of persistent innovation by the Indian cement companies and complementing product quality standards. Availability of standards led to better acceptability among the consumers and encouraged cement companies to develop low footprint products without compromising on the quality and utility at the end use.

Interlink trade and products value chain

Standards bring uniformity among similar products, which in turnenable seamless development of the domestic market and overseas trade opportunities. It imparts common understanding across different brands and product variants.

Example: With its adherence to ISO standards on quality and environmental performance, the Indian Cement Companies are proudly communicating their prowess in best practices in cement manufacturing. This also enables the acceptability of compliant products across different economic zones and geographies.

Improve efficiency and optimise the use of raw material

Regulations and standards enabling optimisation of natural resources and higher productivity facilitate the application of state of art technology and best practices. The Indian Cement Industry has always been proactive in the adoption of energy and resource efficient operations.In fact, the Indian cement companies have overachieved their energy efficiency improvement targets assigned to them through the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) programme.

Key Standards applicable to the Indian Cement Industry

The Cement (Quality Control) Order 2003 2 prohibits manufacture, sale and distribution of cement, which does not conform to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications and does not bear the standard mark. Table 1 enlists 13 standards pertaining to the cement industry.

Physical Attributes

The quality of cement depends on a variety of factors, including technology; fuel and raw material characteristics, plant operations and quality control procedures, among others. Table 2 enlists physical attributes that have been standardised for cement powders, cement pastes and mortars.

Chemical Attributes

The chemical composition of cement is an important factor to determine its performance across various applications. Table enlists chemical attributes that are verified for cementitious materials.

BIS standards about chemical attributes of cement
Product Covered Aspect Specification (Latest Revision)
Clinker, Hydraulic Cements, GBFS, copper slag, steel slag and lead zinc slag Loss on ignition, SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, CaO, MgO. SO3, Insoluble residue, sulphur as sulphide, Free lime, Na2O, K2O, Cl IS4032:1985
TiO2, Mn2O3, MnO, P2O5, Phosphorus IS12423:1988
Glass content IS12089:1987
Clinker & Hydraulic Cements (Instrumental method – X Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer) SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, CaO, MgO. SO3, Na2O, K2O, Cl, TiO2, Mn2O3, MnO, P2O5, Cr2O3 IS12803:1989
Future Outlook

Quality Standards are necessary to maintain consistent quality, ensure safety measures and promote active trade across various geographies. A periodic reassessment of all standards ensures continued alignment with national priorities and suitable alignment with the global economies, particularly with the evolving standards being increasingly performance led.

  1. Follows: https://www.snv.ch/en/information-on-standards/what-are-the-benefits-of-standards.html
  2. 2003: https://bis.gov.in/MandatoryProducts/QCOrder/SO%20No.%20191(E).pdf
  3. Cement: https://bis.gov.in/index.php/product-certification/products-under-compulsory-certification/scheme-i-mark-scheme/