Colored cement is more used every day to add color to concrete, mortar or any other cementitious formulation. Nowadays, architects and designers use colored cement as a tool to incorporate an element of innovation, differentiation and exclusivity to their projects. Thanks to color the possibilities in architecture design have been expanded.
Furthermore, cementitious products manufacturers are aware of the importance of adding color to cement, as it makes it possible to give an added value to their products and have a degree of differentiation from their competition.
This increase in the use of colored construction materials has been possible thanks to new developments in the incorporation and handling of pigments in recent years.
Construction materials are colored using pigments, but not all pigments are suitable for the job; to be used for cement coloration pigments must have the following properties:
Resistance to the aggressiveness of strongly alkaline cement paste
Light and weather fastness
Insoluble in the mixing water (and rainfall)
Easy handling and incorporation
Pigment must not change mechanical properties of the final material
Pigment must not change setting time and other characteristics of the cementitious formulation
The options for cement coloration are not as broad as in the case of other applications such as plastics or coatings, because organic pigments and dyes are not recommended. Coloration is then restricted to inorganic pigments, and the most usual inorganic pigments for the cement coloration are Synthetic and Natural Iron Oxides for Red, Yellow, Black and Brown, Chrome Oxide Green for Green, some Ultramarine Blues and Cobalt Blue for Blues, and for white color, white cement is usually preferred. This leads to a limited color palette and few options for differentiation for architects and designers.