Concrete is the most popular building material in the world and is made up of cement, water, aggregates, and admixtures. The hydrated cement forms the essential building material in the concrete mix, with the fine and coarse aggregates acting as a medium of dilution.
Despite its various benefits, concrete also has several drawbacks like:
- It has low tensile strength and therefore cracks easily.
- Fresh concrete shrinks after curing, because the water-cement ration isn’t stechiometric
- In sustained loading applications, concrete undergoes creep, leading to lesser prestress in prestressed construction.
- It is highly likely to break up under chloride, sulphate attack.
- The concrete in hot climates favors the evaporation of the mixing water, reducing the hydration of the cement, the workability and compressive strength
Concrete admixtures are specialized chemical or mineral compounds by concrete admixtures manufacturers that are added to the concrete mix to provide several benefits like waterproofing, water reduction or accelerated hydration rate.
Here are some of the most commonly used admixtures by admixture companies that are introduced in the concrete mix to enhance its workability and mechanical properties:
Waterproofing admixtures aim at preventing water penetration in concrete. Their waterproofing effect depends on whether the pressure of water is low, in case of rains or capillary action or high & continuous, in case of water retaining areas.
Crystalline waterproofing admixtures are the latest innovation in such admixtures, and their chemical components react with the moisture in the fresh concrete to produce insoluble crystals which permanently seal the concrete to ingress.
Water reducing (plasticizers) and high-range water-reducing (superplasticizers) admixtures by concrete admixtures manufacturers like ECMAS reduces the water/cement ratio while retaining or improving the workability of concrete.
When used with highly workable concrete, plasticizers can reduce the water intake during batching by up to 15%, while superplasticizers provide water reduction of over 30%.
Accelerating admixtures are added to the concrete mix to reduce the setting time of concrete and increase the rate of hydration.
This type of admixture are especially useful in specialized conditions like emergency repairs, faster curing applications, early mould removal or construction in regions with lower temperatures.
Air-entraining admixtures are one of the most important admixtures used in concrete construction. These admixtures use foaming agents to introduce micro air pockets in the resultant concrete to increase its durability.
Moreover, the air-entraining admixtures also help in improving the workability and cohesiveness of fresh concrete and prevent strength loss.
The proper usage of such concrete admixtures can greatly impact the mechanical properties and performance of concrete and also improve its quality.
ECMAS offers a wide variety of admixtures like superplasticizers, crystalline waterproofing admixtures and air entraining admixtures. Looking for concrete admixtures to improve the durability of your construction projects? Visit our website today to know more.