Test To Check Initial And Final Setting Time Of Cement

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We need to calculate the initial and final setting time as per IS: 4031 (Part 5) – 1988. To do so we need Vicat apparatus conforming to IS: 5513 – 1976, Balance, whose permissible variation at a load of 1000g should be +1.0g, Gauging trowel conforming to IS: 10086 – 1982.

Procedure to determine initial and final setting time of cement
i) Prepare a cement paste by gauging the cement with 0.85 times the water required to give a paste of standard consistency.

ii) Start a stop-watch, the moment water is added to the cement.

iii) Fill the Vicat mould completely with the cement paste gauged as above, the mould resting on a non-porous plate and smooth off the surface of the paste making it level with the top of the mould. The cement block thus prepared in the mould is the test block.


Place the test block under the rod bearing the needle. Lower the needle gently in order to make contact with the surface of the cement paste and release quickly, allowing it to penetrate the test block. Repeat the procedure till the needle fails to pierce the test block to a point 5.0 ± 0.5mm measured from the bottom of the mould.The time period elapsing between the time, water is added to the cement and the time, the needle fails to pierce the test block by 5.0 ± 0.5mm measured from the bottom of the mould, is the initial setting time.


Replace the above needle by the one with an annular attachment. The cement should be considered as finally set when, upon applying the needle gently to the surface of the test block, the needle makes an impression therein, while the attachment fails to do so. The period elapsing between the time, water is added to the cement and the time, the needle makes an impression on the surface of the test block, while the attachment fails to do so, is the final setting time.

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  • varun bhardwaj November 25, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I self varun bhardwaj fron mmmec gorakhpur. I WANT TO CHECK CIEMENT BY TESTING BECAUSE THIS IS MY PROJECT IN CIEMENT

  • naresh kumar November 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

    initial time is 30 minutes and final setting time is 600 minutes….

  • Aarushi December 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

    answer me following,,,
    1) Importance of the test. with reference to chemical composition of cement and its hydrolysis properties?
    2) normal results expected?
    3)use of retarders?
    4) use of additives to change setting time and its importance?
    5) results of deviation of actual results from expected results?

  • Ezra January 30, 2012 at 4:41 am

    At what time does initial or final setting time start and end?and how do you give the results to students?

    • Suraj Ram April 10, 2017 at 5:08 am

      The initial setting time of ppc is 30 minutes and final setting time is 10 hours

  • E.Prasad March 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

    why need of this test

  • Nitin jain April 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

    my project on the high volume fly ash mortar so we need to check cement. we are using ppc cement but the intial and final setting time of ppc cement different from opc cement.could it possible.

    • Adil May 4, 2013 at 6:17 am

      I am also planning to do a project on high volume flash .pls help me

    • Akhtar pathan February 2, 2017 at 2:49 am

      Yes it is 100% possible because only difference in ppc and opc is initial and final setting times
      Opc take a little time for setting and ppc take a long time for setting.

  • Mustaq May 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Well i need help for structural analysis??

  • Md.Nuruzzaman May 6, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Sir,I am engineer.But i want to know difference between “port land cement and ordinary port land cement”also which are better cement for High rise building?

  • ANSHU BHARDWAJ July 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Sir, i m doing job in SGS INDIA PVT. LTD. as an inspection engineering. So i want to know that hw can i check the cement concrete ratio on site. Pls tell me the process of checking c/c ratio.

  • asela wimu November 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    what is the errors these practicals

  • md nadeem January 2, 2013 at 2:58 am

    Initial setting time is about 30 minutes
    Final setting time is about 10-12 hours…………

  • mohd masood raza March 21, 2013 at 1:46 am

    what is insulating material

  • lokeswara rao July 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Sir i am an filed engineer I am inspected a cement brick factory there use opc 53 grad cement but the problem is after 3 days of curing the brick edges should breaks after 7 days curing the brick is good.why setting of brick is slow.

  • ahmed July 22, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Do the initial setting time & final setting time differ in cements i.e. in OPC, PPC, SRC etc.

    • Thamindu November 7, 2013 at 11:39 am

      yeah it differs

  • Mohideen March 8, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Sir what is the initial setting time of concrete using retarder
    Example am using Ordinary Portland Cement with retarder conplast RP264

  • WAQAR AHMAD April 15, 2014 at 1:28 am

    not less than 45 minutes

  • Khandapu Rambabu July 11, 2014 at 4:59 am

    Intial setting time shall not be less than 30minutes.and final setting timing shall not be greater than 600minutes for OPC.For special type of cement it will vary

  • Badal Kumar Majhi November 22, 2014 at 7:48 am

    what is the soundness test of cement.

  • a.praveen November 9, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    sir why we multiply 0.85 times p
    p means consistence water percent

    • abhi June 9, 2016 at 4:52 am

      standard consistency

  • Moin Ansari March 11, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I would like to know is there any difference between initial setting time of cement and concrete if considered at same condition without adding any admixture.

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