Raw materials

Materials used in the Cement Industry in Britain and Ireland

Almost any mineral can be used in a cement rawmix, provided that the bulk composition of the mixture will produce the desired calcium silicates and fluxes (see clinker), and provided that certain deleterious components are minimized. Broadly speaking, minerals containing high levels of calcium (usually the carbonate) are blended with lower-calcium minerals containing silicon, aluminium, and iron. Here follows a list of materials that have been used in cement manufacture in Britain and Ireland, arranged in order of their geological age. In addition to these, a number of industrial waste materials have been used as mix components throughout the history of the industry. The process of combining these materials into the final rawmix is discussed under Raw Material Preparation.

Traditional namePeriodAge MaCaCO3 content
Boulder ClayPleistocene0.01-1.65-40%
Hamstead MarlOligocene28-3420-40%
Bembridge LimestoneOligocene34-3675-85%
London ClayEocene48-552-10%
Upper ChalkCretaceous70-9092-99%
Middle ChalkCretaceous90-9485-98%
Grey ChalkCretaceous94-9780-92%
Chalk MarlCretaceous97-10050-75%
Gault ClayCretaceous100-11220-40%
Kimmeridge ClayJurassic151-1562-10%
Corallian ClayJurassic156-1602-10%
Cornbrash LimestoneJurassic16585-95%
Great Oolite LimestoneJurassic166-16870-90%
Great Oolite ClayJurassic166-1685-45%
Inferior Oolite LimestoneJurassic168-17685-95%
Blue Lias LimestoneJurassic190-20070-85%
Blue Lias Shale/ClayJurassic190-20030-50%
Rhaetic LimestoneTriassic200-20585-95%
St Bees ShalePermian252-2605-15%
Coal Measures ShaleCarboniferous300-3152-10%
Coal Measures LimestoneCarboniferous300-31560-80%
Carboniferous LimestoneCarboniferous330-35570-99%
Carboniferous ShaleCarboniferous318-3555-15%
Devonian LimestoneDevonian385-39875-95%
Ludlow LimestoneSilurian423-42675-98%
Wenlock LimestoneSilurian427-42875-98%
Upper Silurian ShalesSilurian419-4301-5%

Variation of Industry Capacity (annual clinker tonnes) by Raw Material Type

Capacity by Raw Material

Historic Usage