Tends to deteriorate with age, usually due to absorption of moisture and carbon dioxide from the air. The deterioration may not be detected visibly, but the cement depreciates considerably in value. Separate consignments should be kept clear of each other as confusion often occurs in allocating spillage on board. The commodity should be stowed clear of steel, and damp ceilings and dunnage. To avoid excessive loss this commodity should, if possible be discharged in trays. Damage is usually aggravated by discharge into sheds or wharves where cement becomes mixed with sweepings and extraneous matter. When wet it becomes hard and is of no value but can occasionally be sold as a filler for bulkheads, etc. Granulated cement may be used in the making of cement piping and flooring Cement which has been in a ship's hold for a considerable length of time has a tendency to become brick hard, but this may be only superficial. On scratching the outer surface with a nail, it may be found that only a very thin outer film has been affected. Cement may be bagged when hot and consequently paper bags tear very easily. If cement in paper bags is stowed more than 15 high the strain on the lower tiers may result in tears with further handling.
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