White Portland Cement (WPC) has the same properties as grey cement, except for color. This is determined by its raw materials in the manufacturing process which after adding tints become clear and bright. WPC is made with raw ingredients that have low iron and magnesium content – two elements that determine the cement grey tint. Different colors of concrete can be created and to achieve wider color range two or more pigments can be combined. Greater variety of decorative looks, as it is typically confined to architectural application, can be achieved by using colored aggregates and varying the surface finish treatment or texture. WPC is also used for basic cement research because of the iron and magnesium lack which improves the resolution of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements.
Mix designs for white or colored concrete are formulated based on each ingredient’s effect on concrete color:
Type and color of cement
Type and dosage of pigment
Type and dosage of admixtures
Type, gradation, color, and cleanliness of fine and coarse aggregates
Consistent proportions, especially maintaining a uniform water-cement ratio.
A key advantage of using white cement for decorative and architectural concrete is that it provides a neutral tinting base and consistent color results. Every color option is possible with it, from pure whites to bright and pastel colors. For every architectural project, once a mix design has been developed, sample panels should be built at the job site. These mockups serve as references for color and overall surface appearance.
Due to the advantages of white cement, it is used in architecture for interior decoration and external ornaments – such as terrazzo and colored concrete products.
It is used primarily in areas such as: