Q.: The specs require Type V cement. There is none available in this vicinity. Is there anything I can use instead, so I won't have to ship Type V a long distance?

A.: According to the Portland Cement Association, some Type II cements will serve the same purpose as a Type V. ASTM C 150 makes the following requirements for Type V but not for Type II:

  • The SO3 content must be less than 2.3 percent.
  • The C3A (tricalcium aluminate) content must be less than 5 percent.
  • The amount of 2C3A-plus-C4AF must be less than 20 percent.
  • The sulfate expansion must be less than 0.045 percent.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) also requires a lower limit on heat of hydration for Type V cement, but according to the Portland Cement Association this is usually of no consequence.If a particular brand of Type II cement will meet the additional requirements for Type V, or can be made to meet them, that Type II cement can be substituted. Buyers can ask, if they wish, for assurance that the Type II does meet the requirement by requiring that it be certified on a mill report. If the cement arrives in bags it will probably be labeled Type II because of packaging routines, but the mill report will supersede the information on the label.