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Accelerator (for cement to settle)

A concrete or mortar adjuvant (additive) that is fed into the mixing water to reduce settling time by accelerating or speeding up cement hydration.

Adjuvant (also called additive)

A chemical product that is incorporated at small doses (less than 5% of the cement mass) into concrete or mortar to modify some of their properties.  Incorporating the adjuvant can be done before or during the mixing, or else during a supplementary mixing operation.  

  • See: "Mixing".
Agglomerate ore product (Aggregate)

Aggregates are rock fragments which are used in concrete or mortar.  The term "aggregate" is more appropriately used in this context.

  • See: "Aggregate"

Aggregates are components of concrete.  They are mineral grains that are designated based on their size that ranges between 0 and 125 mm. 

The size is the length of the side of the square mesh of the sieve through which grains pass: fillers, very fine sand, sand, or pea gravel. 

Natural aggregates are distinguished from loose rocks or massive rocks in that they do not undergo any mechanical treatment; artificial aggregates, on the other hand, are transformed from rocks or minerals by heat or by mechanical means. Natural aggregates can be rolled,  rounded or crushed and are of alluvial or crushed origin, have an angular shape and come from quarry rocks. The type of links between aggregates and cement paste significantly influences the degree of resistance of concrete.

Air exhauster

This is a piece of equipment that pulls gas or smoke from a negative pressure device. Air exhausters are especially used to draw smoke from cement kilns or to draw air from the grinding ventilators. The negative pressure (also called vacuum pressure) can reach as much as 1,000 mm of water column.

Bag filter

This is used to remove dust from gas.  It is made of several hundreds of rolls of tissue placed in several parallel rooms.  When gas passes through them, dust is eliminated and go into the pockets which are emptied periodically and alternately by mechanical rapping or by blowing air against the current. 


A bagger is an automated device for bagging.  In cement plants, a bagger can have a capacity of as much as 5,000 bags/hour.  The set is equipped with rotating nozzles (8 to16) and fed into empty bags by the arms of the device or by projection from one or two remote stations.  The central silo feeds the nozzles that are mounted on weighing scales. Automatic extraction is done during the rotations; the bags are picked up by the bands that feed the palletisation device.

  • See:  "Palletisation."
Ball mill (ball grinder)

This is a device that consists of a tube grinder that rotates on a horizontal axis.  The rotation produces balls that fall on the material passing through the cylinder.  This causes the crushing of the material so it becomes increasingly finer. The inside wall of the cylinder is protected from the wear and tear of the sheathing shield.


BHP is the French acronym for "béton à hautes performances" (high performance concrete). This type of concrete has an especially compact formulation and thus has weaker porosity.  Its mechanical resistance (from 60 to 120 MPa) and durability are far superior to that of regular concrete.


A type of material that has the capability to go from a plastic state to a solid state under certain conditions (e.g. in mixing water for hydraulic binders).  It is therefore used to assemble inert materials.  It is a component of concrete which, after the process of setting, ensures the cohesion of aggregates.


This is the transformation of limestone into lime for high temperature cooking (burning).


A calorie is a unit of measure of thermal energy. A calorie is the quantity of energy required to raise a gram of water to 1°C.

Currently, the official unit of the International System is the joule (J) :

  • one Joule = 0.239 cal.

In practice, the Watt hour is also used (Wh: 1 Wh = 3 600 J) as well as the kilowatt-hour  (1 kWh = 860 000 cal = 3,6 x 106 J).  The use of the thermal (th), or Megacalorie (1 th = one million cal) is used rarely.


Carbonation is a chemical reaction when free lime from concrete is combined with carbon gas from the atmosphere.


CEM is the designation given to cement that complies with European norm EN 197-1. CEM cements are made of different materials and are statistically homogeneous with respect to its composition.

CEM I (Formerly "CPA-CEM I")

According to the NF EN 197-1 standard, this designation refers to the "Portland" type of cement; that is, cement that is at least 95% clinker.

CEM II (Formerly "CPJ-CEM II")

According to the NF EN 197-1 standard, this designation refers to those cements, the most common of which are:   "Portland compound cement" (where the letter "M" completes this designation); "Portland limestone cement",  (where the letter "L" completes this designation); "Portland slag cement" (where the letter "S" completes this designation) or the "Portland silica fume" (where the letter "V" completes this designation).  

CEM II cement has a clinker content of:

  • 80% to 94 %: this cement carries the "CEM II/A" designation; 
  • 65% to 79 %: this cement carries the "CEM II/B" designation.
CEM III (Formerly "CHF-CEM III")

According to the NF EN 197-1 standard, this designation refers to "blast furnace cement" made up of clinker and furnace slag, in the following alternative proportions:

  • 35% to 64% of clinker and 36% to 65% of slag: this cement carries the CEM III/A designation;
  • 20% to 34% of clinker and 66% to 80% of slag: this cement carries the CEM III/B designation;
  • 5% to 19% of clinker and 81% to 95% of slag: this cement carries the CEM III/C designation.
CEM IV (Formerly "CPZ-CEM IV")

This refers to "pozzolanic cement" which is not marketed in France.

CEM V (Formerly "CLC-CEM V")

This refers to "Cement compound", which is rarely used in France.


Cement is a hydraulic binder.  This means it's a fine powder which when mixed with water, forms a paste that settles and then hardens as a result of its reactions with water.  After curing, the paste retains its resistance and stability, even in water. 


Identification of specific characteristics and recognised features of a product, established after tests are conducted by an organisation certified by administrative authorities.  Certification engages the manufacturer to monitor and permanently control the product's compliance with the descriptions contained in the certification. 


This is a compact and impermeable sediment that turns into malleable plastic and is more or less thixotropic in water. Depending on its degree of refinement, it can have haracteristics showing physical or chemical variables. With its composition based on aluminosilicates, clay is present in raw materials used for manufacturing cement and hydraulic lime (30 to 40%). It is present in more or less great quantities in marls. Clay is generally full of impurities (mica, quartz,granite). 

  • See: "Marl."

Clinker is a basic component of cement, made from four major minerals:  limestone, silica, alumina and iron oxide. It is formed by high-temperature burning in cement kilns.


This is the processing of raw materials (limestone, silica, alumina and iron oxide) into clinker occurring at a temperature of 1450°C.


This is a fuel plant which has been transformed over the millenia into more or less pure carbon by the process of coalification.  Despite competition from petrol, gas, and electricity, coal remains an important fuel especially in industry, power plants, and in boiler rooms of large entities. 

Coal is classified based on their oxygen and water content (anthracites, lean and ¼ fat, semi-fat, fat, flame coal, lignites) and based on its dimensions (embers, hazelnut, coal cobble, lumpy, etc.).


Surface coatings (measuring about 2 cm for conventional coatings) are made up of cement mortar and/or hydraulic lime, intended to cover a wall in order to homogenise the surface and make it waterproof. There are conventional coatings (requiring three layers), bi-layers, and finally single layers (based on industrial mortars which are applied twice).

Components of cement

Cement components refer to all those materials or substances defined by French standard NF P 15-301, which make up the composition of cement in varying proportions, depending on the type of cement.

The different components are:

  • Portland clinker cement,
  • Granulated slag from blast furnaces,
  • Natural pozzolans,
  • Fly ash,
  • Calcined shale,
  • Limestone,
  • Silica fume.
Compound Portland cement

This is cement made of clinker, a regulator control, and a proportion of fly ash, lime, and slag.


Concrete is a construction material formed by mixing cement, aggregates and water, possibly supplemented by admixtures and additions. This mixture, which is set up on site or in the factory in a plastic state, could be in different forms because it is moldable; it gradually hardens to finally form a monolith. Depending on its formulation, implementation and surface treatments, performance and appearance can vary considerably.

Concrete mixer

This is a machine that is used to manufacture concrete on the construction site. It has a tank that turns on a horizontal axis or is slightly inclined, and it is where concrete components are mixed.  The mixture obtained is then applied inside the timber formwork. 

Concrete plant

Fixed facility for the industrial production of ready-mix concrete (BPE).

Concrete topping

Work involving cement mortar which is cast in a thin layer (3 to 5 cm) on a concrete floor to ensure flatness.


This is a device located at the output of a cement kiln (furnace) intended to bring the temperature of clinker from 1400°C to room temperature.

  • Ballonet coolers are made of cylinders equipped with chains, joined to the outer area of the rotating kiln's shell.  The clinker is cooled when it passes through the cylinders because of the air drawn in by the kiln for combustion. 
  • Grill coolers and perforated plates are more widespread in use.  They are made of a series of rows of moving plates that push the clinker towards the end of the exit point (using a material bed that is 60-90 cm thick). Blowing air from below to the upper section ensures cooling via the plates.  As it leaves the clinker bed, the hottest portion of the air goes up to the kiln to aid in the combustion, whereas excess air goes out at the back of the device. 
Cracked aggregates

These are aggregates that come from cracked rocks. 

Crusher (also called breaker)

This is a crushing machine or device that is used mainly in quarries.  Crushers can be jaw crushers (they move reciprocally, as in a nutcracker), hammer crushers, and for softer or rotary materials, crushers can be grinding crushers that grind in between inverted vertical cones (in the case of pea gravel - also called peastone or peagrit). 


Crushing is the splitting of rocks into small pieces by grinding or hammering.


This is a process by which CO2 is released from limestone raw material when it is subjected to heat (850 to 950 °C). The remaining lime (CaO) then combines with silicates and aluminates to form clinker. This reaction absorbs significant amounts of heat and is the main heat consumption station of the cement kiln.


A dolomite is a carbonate sedimentary rock containing at least 50% of carbonate, the essential of which is in the form of dolomite. 

  • Dolomite: carbonated mineral, dolomite crystal, which can be white (when it is pure).

Dosage refers to the quantity of the different components of concrete (expressed as kg/m3).

  • Example: concrete dosage of 350 kg/m3.
Electrostatic filer

Electrostatic filters are widely used in cement plants to eliminate dust from gas in the kiln or in fireplaces of grinders. Suspended particles in the gas are negatively charged by wires in between plates and are attracted by the plates because of the very high potential difference applied (50 to 100 kilovolts). The dust layer is gathered by hitting on the receiver plates.  After crossing several chambers, dust is eliminated from the gas with an efficiency that can reach a few milligrams of dust per cubic meter.  The gas has to be first packaged in a packaging tower. 

  • See: "Packaging tower."
Energy recovery

By-products, waste or combustibles are first introduced into the production process to use their heat content to produce heat.  These products are either total or partial substitutes of primary combustible materials such as coal, fuel or gas.  Using them helps save primary energy sources, avoids their polluting destruction, and prevents their release into the natural environment. 

  • For example, in a cement plant, tires or residual solvents serve as fuels for the kiln (or furnace).

Fines refer to:

(a) All grains (granular class 0/63 μm) passing through a sieve of 63 μm, regardless of the component to which it belongs (Cables, cement, additions, fillers).

(b) Finest particles of raw material. They are used to describe the flow of material when they come out of dividers (separators) (as opposed to grits or orts).  

  • See: "Divider."
Flour (rawmix)

This refers to the raw material that comes from the cement kiln after grinding (the size of the grains is similar to that of baker's flour, hence the name; however, rawmix is the more appropriate term).

Fly ash

Fly ash is produced from burning coal in power plants, and used as a source of silica and alumina in manufacturing clinker, or as a replacement of part of the clinker in manufacturing compound Portland cement.

Formulation (Concrete)

This is an operation carried out to determine the dosage (in weight, instead of in volume) of the various components of concrete to satisfy the resistance requirements and the desired characteristics for a any given concrete product.

Fresh concrete testing

This is the phase that concrete goes through after the mixing stage.  It precedes the settling stage.  This means that concrete is transformed into a plastic state, ready for transport and application. The workability of concrete during this manufacturing phase is appreciated by people in the industry.  A sample piece of concrete undergoes a slump testing with the Abrams cone (also known as the slump cone).  


Fuel is matter that can be in solid, liquid, or gas form. When oxygen is present, it burns and releases high-intensity heat which is used for heating. 


(a) The measurement of an aggregate's granularity; that is from the scaling of the size of the grains that it contains as they pass through a series of squared mesh sieves, where the sizes become standardised.  

 (b) Granulometry or granulometric analysis (particle size analysis): This is the measurement of the proportion of various granular sizes of grains from a powder, sand or aggregate.


This is a grinding device. In cement plants, a grinder can either be a ball grinder, pellet grinder, or a roller grinder.


Grinding is a process that reduces materials into powder form or into very fine particles.  Grinding can be done:

  • by cracking (Minerals),
  • by  crushing (Dyes, cement)
  • or by crumbling (Garbage).

In a cement plants, grinding facilities are usually equipped with a grinding device or equipment and a separator that returns materials and substances that are too large back to the grinder along with all dust particles resulting from ventilation.  

Grinding agent

The more familiar name is "grinding aid". These products are designed to facilitate the process of grinding the clinker used in the proportion of a few hundred grams per ton of cement produced. 

  • See: "Grinding."

This is calcium sulfate or the natural byproduct of the industrial manufacturing of phosphoric acid or citric acid.  It is added to cement to regulate its setting. 


The hardening of a material is a step in mortar and concrete manufacturing:  after it settles, the material passes from a plastic state to a solid state, becoming resistant. 

HCV (High Calorific Value - also called Gross Calorific Value)

High Heating Value (or Gross Calorific Value): this is the quantity of heat released by the complete combustion of 1 kg of fuel.  The water from this combustion is in condensed form.  It is measured - experimentally - by the combustion of a given quantity of a bomb calorimeter (almost adiabatic).

HCV is measured in kcal per kg (or therms per ton) and also in kilojoules/kg.

  • Example: HCV = 9 800 kcal/kg or 41 018 kilojoules/kg.
Heat balance

This is the measurement of the heat exchange between a closed space and the outside environment. For cement plant burners, more specifically, heat balance evaluates heat gains and compares them to the needs related to physical-chemical transformations and heat loss.  


An operation that is carried out in cement plants to obtain a thorough mixing of the components of the rawmix (flour) before burning (cooking).  It can be done batch-by-batch or continuously.  Mechanical or pneumatic stirring can be used for this purpose. 

Hydration (Cements)

This refers to a chemical phenomenon whereby fixed cement mixed with water initiates the setting and hardening process.  This reaction is accompanied by the release of heat that is more or less significant, depending on the type of cement.

LHV (Lower Heating Value)

Lower Heating Value (also called Net Calorific Value):  this refers to the quantity of heat released from the complete combustion of 1 Kg of fuel; the water that results from this combustion is in the form of vapor. The value is obtained by subtracting the heat absorbed when the water evaporates. 

For most fuels, HCV (high heating value or gross calorific value, in Kcal/kg) = PCI - 5 400 % H or H - where H is the hydrogen content of the fuel.

  • Example: Heavy fuel HCV = PCI - 200 in kcal/kg. The LHV is measured in kcal per kg (ou therms per ton) and also in kilojoules/kg.

A binder that is obtained by the calcination of limestone that is more or less siliceous. Distinction is made between aerial lime (non-hydraulic lime), which becomes hard under the action of carbon dioxide  in the atmosphere, and hydraulic lime, which settles when mixed with water. 


Limestone is a sedimentary rock that essentially contains calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Calcite is the most stable crystalline form and is also the most common.  Dolomites are a distinct group because they are mixed carbonates (calcium and magnesium).

Limestone is one of the clinker-based raw materials.  It provides the lime necessary for silicates and aluminates to form.  The magnesia content of limestone that is used must be of a limited percentage in order to avoid the formation of uncombined magnesia during the cooking process which can provoke the long or medium term swelling of concrete. 


The condition that defines the ability of mortar or concrete to be transported, handled, and implemented (applied); it is characterised by the consistency and plasticity of the material. 

  • See: "Workability."

Marl is a mixture of natural clay and limestone in various proportions.  If the amount of limestone is lower than 10%, marl is said to be marl clay.  In higher amounts, marl is called limestone marl. Marl is generally described as a carbonate (lime and magnesia to a lesser extent).  It is a primary raw material essential to cement manufacturing; it makes the fraction or proportion of clay rich in silicates and iron.  

  • See:  "Carbonates."
Megapascals (MPa)

This is a unit of pressure measurement that is used to evaluate the mechanical resistance of mortar and concrete.

  • 1 Megapascal = 1 newton/mm2 (formerly 10 bars).

Milling is the second major phase in cement manufacturing; it consists of grinding and reducing clinker into powder form with the other components of cement.


A mixer is a piece of equipment (device or apparatus) that is used to mix the components of concrete.

There are two types of mixers, depending on the part which moves during the mixing process:  

  • Concrete mixer: the drum follows a horizontal axis or is slightly inclined (the main force acting on the mixture is gravity); 
  • Mixer: this has a drum (or curved device) and pallets which are agitated by relative motions.

Mixing is the action of combining the components of concrete and then mixing them so as to obtain a homogeneous mixture.


Mortar refers to a mixture of cement, sand, and water, and possibly combined with admixtures and additional substances. The characteristic that distinguishes it from concrete is it has no pea gravel. 

When mortar is prepared on site:

  • it is done with pre-dosed dry industrial mortar, mixing all of the components 
  • or it is delivered from a central site.

Mortars are used for making gaskets (joints), coatings, toppings and for various sealing, reclaiming and clogging works.


A nozzle is a combustion device placed on the axis of the rotating kiln (or furnace) and is fed with fuel, coal, gas or secondary fuels. Nozzles can burn several types of fuels simultaneously.  Flow capacity can reach as much as 15 to 20 tons per hour on the largest kilns. Blowing air under pressure in the nozzle assures the start of the formation and shape of the flame (called "primary" air).  The rest of the combustion air comes from the recovery of hot air obtained when the clinker cools down. 

Packaging tower

A tower located at the exit (or output) of smoke from the pre-heating tower for cooling and humidifying purposes, in order to optimise the performance of the electrostatic precipitator downstream. 

  • See:  "Electrostatic."
Pea gravel

An aggregate with a diameter ranging from 1 to 31.5 mm.


This is a granule with a diameter that measures between 20 and 125 mm.

Pebble mill or vertical grinder

This is a set of floating suspended  2, 4 or 8 rollers (sort of wheel types) that provide strong support through a lifting jack on a rotating and circular plate. The material to be crushed is placed on the plate. Under the effect of centrifugal force, the material passes under the rollers where it is crushed. Driven by a strong current of air, it feeds a divider that returns the largest particles back to the plate.
See: "Divider." 

Portland Cement

This is a cement base made with clinker and a regulator control. 


This is a material/substance of volcanic origin composed of silica, alumina, and iron oxide in the form of fine powder; it can be combined with lime to form stable compounds with hydraulic properties (hardening in water).  By extension, pozzolan refers to those natural or artificial materials having the same property. Pozzolans are components of certain types of cement.


Precalcination is a system whereby combustion is activated before going into the kiln (furnace); this reduces the amount of energy required by the kiln. 


This is a combustion chamber located at the bottom of the pre-heating tower, and is fed with all types of fuels in combustion air temperature (750 to 900°C) from the cooling of the clinker.  The precalciner can generate up to 55% of heat required to make the kiln (furnace) function efficiently. 

  • See: "Preheater".

This is the production of construction materials carried out outside the area or location in which they will be used, in a plant or factory, or in a place near the work site.  Numerous components can be pre-fabricated in concrete for posts, beams, load-bearing panels, coverings, facade panels, cladding, as well as standardised components for blocks, joists, pre-slabs, hollow slabs, tiles and finally, road work pieces, water sanitation or urban structures.


This is an operation carried out in cement plants to obtain a pre-mix or pre-blend of crushed or cracked raw materials before grinding. It can be done batch by batch (a prehomogenization pile is formed while a second pile is undergoing the process) or continuously in circular fashion (simultaneous rotation, unloaded, and then starting again). In the industry, this operation is also referred to as continuous stockpiling or alternate stockpiling.

Pumping (Concrete)

This is a process whereby concrete flows into its target destination when it is pumped from a feeding hopper through tubes towards the place where it is poured. Pumping concrete can be done horizontally with distances reaching 400 m (1.5 km) and vertically with distances reaching 100 m (0.1 km).


This is a term that refers to raw material that is proportioned or measured before it goes into the cement kiln.

Ready-mix concrete (French acronym - BPE)

This is a type of concrete that is manufactured in an off-site construction facility or on a construction site.  It is processed in a fixed mixing equipment, and delivered by the manufacturer to the user, fresh and ready to use.  

Refractory (Concrete)

Refractory concrete can withstand or resist very high temperatures (up to 1,800°C). Cement and refractory aggregates are used in its formulation.  As an example, refractory concrete is used to make the inside walls of kilns (furnaces, ovens) or chimneys.

Reinforced (Concrete)

This is a type of concrete in which steel reinforcements (wires, smooth bars, steel bars, welded mesh) are properly placed to ensure a structure's resistance to tensile forces.

Resistance of concrete

Resistance refers to the set of characteristics describing the resistance of concrete when it is subjected to compression, tension (traction) and bending.  In France, concrete resistance is traditionally tested on concrete projects 28 days after implementation and application.  In the United States, the period is 56 days. 


This is an adjuvant which, when put in mixing water, increases the start and finish times for cement to set in concrete, mortar or grout.

Rounded aggregates

These are aggregates of alluvial origin made of grains with a rounded shape.


This is an aggregate with a diameter smaller than 6.3 mm.


Self-leveling refers to mortar or concrete that are fluid but are not really self-leveling, and are extended by a simple transition from a float or from a mason's rule to produce a very flat surface. 

Self-leveling coat

Qualifying as a coating for patching or smoothing out soils that have the special characteristic of spreading easily into the float (and some even on brushes) and then tightening by correcting - through creeping -  the inequalities left by the spreading tool.  

Self-placing concrete (French acronym: BAP)

This is concrete not requiring vibration to be applied, thanks to its high workability. It is also called self-compacting or self leveling concrete (French acronym: BAN).


In cement plants, a separator is a piece of equipment or device used in the grinding area to sort the materials coming out of the grinder into fine or large particles:

  • The large particles are returned to the grinder to be ground into even smaller particles.
  • The fines constitute the production.

It is a controlling device that helps varies the cutting of grain size separation.

  • See: "Fines."

This is the point when concrete, mortar or cement paste begins to develop resistance.  The setting of these materials is tested using the NF P 15-431, NF EN 196-3 testing standards.

Setting regulator

This is a cement component intended to stop the effects of hydration.  The most frequently used setting regulators are gypsum and calcium sulfate.

Setting time (measurement)

The setting time of cement is determined by observing the penetration of a needle in a cement paste, the consistency of which has been standardised ("normal" paste), until the penetration reaches a depth specified in the NF EN 196-3 standard.

The device, called the Vicat apparatus" can measure the time between the starting time of the contact with water and cement and starting time of the setting (insertion of the Vicat needle up to 4 mm deep), as well as the finish time for setting (insertion of almost zero). 


This is the name given to the cylinder of a rotary kiln.

Silica fume

Silica fume (also known as microsilica) is a byproduct of the silicon industry and its alloys. Silica fume is produced when SiO gas (silicon dioxide) condenses, or when Si metal (silicon metal) oxidizes on the surface of electro-metallurgy kilns whose fumes are captured and then filtered.  These microsilicas are generally made more dense in order to facilitate storage and handling operations.  Silica fume takes the form of a basic spherical bead from amorphous silica (SiO2), the diameter of which varies between 0.1 and 0.5 micron. Their silica content varies between 70% to 98%, depending on the unit of production and the developed alloy.

In the case of concrete, silica fume occurs via two reactions:  

  • By the effect associated with the granular form and the ultimate fineness of the powder;  
  • By pozzolanic reaction due to the high content of amorphous silica.
Silo (or storage container)

This is a large-capacity reservoir or container that is generally cylindrical in shape.  It stores dry materials (sand, cement, etc).  The material that is stored in a silo is loaded from the upper section and then unloaded at the lower section.  The silo can be made of either steel or concrete, and is equipped with various extraction devices. 

  • See: "Tremie".

Slag is a by-product of cast iron manufactured from blast furnaces in metallurgy.  It has hydraulic characteristics similar to those of clinker and as such figures in the composition of some cements (e.g. metallurgy cements).


A standard is a document that contains the technical and other specifications of a product, service or method, established in conjunction with the parties involved (manufacturing representatives, consumers, public authorities and specialised organisations like the CSTB - Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment)

Standards become mandatory only by ministerial acts or decisions.  They can be of various types:  testing standards, performance standards, safety standards or terminology standards.

  • An ISO standard is a standard developed and/or adopted by the International Organisation for Standardization.
  • An EN standard is a standard adopted by the European Committee for Standardization.
  • A standard carrying the "NF EN ISO + n°" reference is a full reproduction of the European standard, which itself reproduces the international standard of the same number.
Thermie (Th)

Thermie refers to the unit of heat energy. 1 Thermie = 1,000 Kcal = 1,000,000 calories. 
This unit is replaced by the energy unit - the joule: 1 Thermie = 4,1855 Megajoules (or 4,185,500 Joules).

The specific consumption of cement kilns are measured:  

  • By thermie - per ton of clinker (old units); 
  • By gigajoules - per ton of clinker (new units). 

  •  Example: A kiln consumes 850 thermies per ton of clinker - which is the equivalent of 3,558 megajoules per ton produced.
Tremie (also called "hopper)

A truncated storage device for bulk materials (sand, aggregates, cement) and made of either steel or concrete.  In the lower section, a tremie ends with a material-drawing device by the force of gravity. 

Truck mixer

A truck equipped with an inclined rotating drum in which the movement of concrete is maintained while it is being transported to the construction site.

Type of cement

A standardised classification of cement depending on its components.

There are five types of cement:

  • Portland,
  • Compound Portland,
  • High blast cement,
  • Pozzolanic cement,
  • Slag cement and fly ash.

Cement packages also mark the type of resistance of the cement.


A compaction operation of fresh concrete after it is applied, the purpose of which is to improve its compactness.  The vibration can be done internally or externally.


This refers to concrete that contracts due to hydraulic phenomena - which can be either evaporation or absorption of mixing water before and during setting time.  It can also be due to heat or thermal phenomena, caused by the cooling subsequent to the rise in the temperature that occurs with cement hydration or because of climate variations. 


A property that more or less characterises the ease of installing or implementing concrete or mortar.  Workability is related to a material's plasticity and fluidity, varying according to the type of work and the conditions on which it will be used or implemented. It is evaluated by measuring how it spreads out and how it slumps.

  • Synonym: Maneuverability.
X ray flourescence (also called XRF Analysis)

This is a technique used to determine the chemical composition of cement or raw materials.  It quickly controls and determines, in a very precise manner, the various stages of cement manufacturing. 

When an analysis takes place which lasts for only a few minutes, samples in compact powder form (or diluted in a glass bead) are subjected to a beam of x-ray. An x-ray beam coming from a powerful tube agitates the components of the sample material.  The X-ray flourescence enables the agitated atoms to be re-emitted at characteristic wavelengths, making it possible to obtain their degree of concentration by measuring their intensity. 

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