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Cement and Cementitious Material – Soundness Test for Cement By Le Chatelier’s Method

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The soundness of cement may be determined by two methods, namely the Le-Chatelier method, and the Autoclave method. In the soundness test, a specimen of hardened cement paste is boiled for a fixed time so that any tendency to expand is speeded up and can be detected. [IS: 4031 (PART 3)]

Soundness of Cement

Soundness means the ability to resist volume expansion.

Le Chatelier Apparatus

 The apparatus used is called Le Chatelier Apparatus and includes:


Glass sheets

Mixing pan



Le Chatelier Apparatus as below

Cement Soundness Test Procedure 

  •  Find the Standard consistency of Cement. (Let it be P)

  • Take the sample cement and weigh it. (Let it be W)

  • Add water to it = 0.78 P* W/ 100 and prepare the paste.

  • Le-Chatelier’s moulid shall be placed on the glass sheet and shall be filled up with cement paste. The mould shall be kept in good condition with the jaws nearest to 0.5 mm apart.

  • The mould shall be covered with another piece of glass sheet. A small weight is placed over it and then whole assembly shall be immediately submerged in water at a temperature of 270 + 20 C and kept for 24 hours and relative humidity of 50-80%.

  • The distance separating the indicator points shall then be measured.

  • The whole assembly shall again be submerged in the water at the same temperature. Water shall be brought to boiling point and kept boiled for 3 hours with the assembly submerged. The mould shall be removed from water and allowed to cool. The distance between the indicator points shall then be measured again.

  • The difference between two measurements gives the expansion of cement.

  • As per IS 269-page 7 expansion shall not be more than 10 mm.

Cement Soundness test Format

As per IS 269-page 7 expansion shall not be more than 10 mm.



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