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Re: Masonry Cement

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Good question.  It's clear from the several replies that definitions of
those terms are not held in common.

Structural engineers usually deal with portland cement that is intended as a
binder with aggregates for making concrete.

Masonry cements are used for making masonry mortar and stucco and, in
addition to containing portland cement, usually contain other constituents
such as hydrated lime, clay, and ground slag.  The other constituents are
generally used to affect workability during placement, set-up time and
color.  Masonry cements are generally proprietary products, and the lists of
ingredients are not available; they are specified to achieve a known

Masonry mortar is used to bond masonry units together in masonry
construction.  It can be made using water and sand mixed with portland
cement, or with masonry cement, or with portland cement and lime, or other
combinations of ingredients.

Premix mortar does not seem to be a precise technical term; it probably
refers to packaged dry mixture of aggregate and cementitious material use to
make concrete, mortar or stucco.  In southern CA, there is a "Premix" brand
of packaged concrete and mortar products that is sold by the sack and mixed
with water on-site to make the desired concrete, mortar or stucco.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA

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