Al Manaratain is one of the leading suppliers of Ready-Mix concrete in Bahrain and as such we are often asked why ice is used when pouring ready mix concrete? Well, we are going to explain to you now the reason for this, so keep reading if this is something that you are looking for the answer to.
It seems like the obvious answer but essentially ice is used in ready-mix concrete in order to reduce the temperature of the concrete, most often in hot countries where the ready mix concrete exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important that the concrete has time in this process to develop strength and durability. Therefore using ice, in turn, helps to slow down the cement hydration process, which is the heat produced during concrete curing.
The favourable temperature that must be maintained as concrete cures, ranges between 10 – 21ºC for the minimum required curing time. The implications of not maintaining this temperature during the curing process are the loss of strength, more cracking happens, it sets quickly and increases the water demand.
If you are familiar with using concrete in cold locations, you may use hot water within your ready mix concrete to increase the temperature of the concrete to avoid ice forming, that can damage the concrete if used.
Not just any ice is used in this process, cubes of ice often have a tendency to stick together and clump into blocks, therefore flake ice is used.
Flake ice is used as this does not stick together and the particles are small enough to melt in the concrete evenly in a shorter time than that of different forms of ice.
You may have used chilled mixing water within ready mix concrete and ice is used when pouring ready mix concrete for the same reason. However, using ice can have a bigger impact on the temperature, than using cold water can, as a result of the amount of heat that is needed to melt the ice.
Those who use ice in ready mix concrete should ensure that all of the ice is melted before pouring to avoid damage to the concrete and ensure the effectiveness of the concrete, however, the ice should not melt before being added into the cement mixer.
With the importance of concrete in the building process, it is vitally important to cool ready mix concrete correctly, because without this can cause detrimental effects to the quality of the concrete resulting in a decrease in the durability of the projects that use the concrete.
If you’d like some information and guidance about using ice when pouring ready mix concrete, please get in touch today to speak to a member of our team who would be happy to help.