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What is lime?

The root meaning of the word lime is a sticky substance. Lime is a generic term that includes all of the oxides and hydroxides of calcium and magnesium, but excludes the carbonates. Up until the pervasive use of cement in 19th century, lime is used widely in construction, including lime plaster, lime mortar and lime concrete. The result of lime is similar to that in cement, i.e. hardening, yet the ways to reach that result and chemical reactions behind is quite different.

Calcium carbonate:

from limestone or seashell; stable, hard

Calcium oxide, Quicklime:

– unstable, appear as lump or powder. will easily react with water, during which heat is released

Calcium hydroxide, Slaked lime:

unstable, appear as power or soaked in water. will react with carbon dioxide in the air