Whilst concrete is naturally a strong and high performing construction material, sometimes concrete admixtures will need to be used to modify or improve its properties. These are added to the cement and water immediately before or during mixing, and used to ensure that the product is high performing, safe, and catered exactly to the individual requirements of a project.
Let’s take a look at the main types of admixtures in concrete and their benefits:
One of the main uses of concrete admixtures is to reduce the amount of water content that is required to produce the concrete. This allows for a higher strength product to be produced without increasing the amount of cement. This leads to a higher quality result, whilst saving on the cost of materials.
Retarding concrete admixtures slow down the pace at which concrete sets. This is important for construction in hotter climates, where hot weather can cause the concrete to harden more quickly, making placing and finishing more difficult. So by using these concrete admixtures, the material is more workable.
On the contrary, accelerating concrete admixtures are important for speeding up the development of the concrete in cold climates. These concrete admixtures increase the rate at which the strength develops, reducing the time required for curing and protection, and speeding up the overall process.
Superplasticizers are also known as high-range water reducers (HRWR) and are added to concrete that has a low slump and a low water-cement ratio in order to make flowing concrete with a high slump. Superplasticizers reduce the amount of water required by a significant amount.
Air-entraining admixtures cause small stable bubbles of air to form uniformly through a concrete mix. This increases the resistance to freeze-thaw degradation, whilst increasing cohesion and improving compaction in concrete mixes that have a low-workability.
Speciality Concrete Admixtures
Speciality admixtures can also be used to cater to the individual requirements of a project. These may be used to inhibit corrosion, reduce shrinkage or inhibit alkali-silica reactivity. They are important for helping to ensure the durability of the construction.
Why Are Concrete Admixtures Important?
As you can see, there are many different types of admixtures in concrete that are used for beneficial reasons. Admixtures are important for enhancing the original properties of concrete, as well as for reducing cost. They help to ensure that the construction process runs more smoothly, and that the highest quality final result is achieved.
For assistance finding high quality concrete products for your next construction project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Al Manaratain.