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After casing, or steel pipe, is run into the well, an L-shaped cementing head is fixed to the top of the wellhead to receive the slurry from the pumps. Two wiper plugs, or cementing plugs, that sweep the inside of the casing and prevent mixing: the bottom plug and the top plug.

Keeping the drilling fluids from mixing with the cement slurry, the bottom plug is introduced into the well, and cement slurry is pumped into the well behind it. The bottom plug is then caught just above the bottom of the wellbore by the float collar, which functions as a one-way valve allowing the cement slurry to enter the well.
Then the pressure on the cement being pumped into the well is increased until a diaphragm is broken within the bottom plug, permitting the slurry to flow through it and up the outside of the casing string.

After the proper volume of cement is pumped into the well, a top plug is pumped into the casing pushing the remaining slurry through the bottom plug. Once the top plug reaches the bottom plug, the pumps are turned off, and the cement is allowed to set.

The amount of time it takes cement to harden is called thickening time or pumpability time. For setting wells at deep depths, under high temperature or pressure, as well as in corrosive environments, special cements can be employed.