You are on page 1of 3

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Composition
250 Concrete compressive strength [MPa] 6-component system UHPC 200

Purpose of admixtures: modify the properties of concrete (fresh / hardened properties)


Concrete admixtures are substances added to concrete or mortar in liquid form, as a powder or a granulate to change the properties of the fresh concrete or hardened concrete.

Chemical admixtures
types, mechanisms, application

150 HSC/HPC 100

Dr. Hans Beushausen Professor Mark Alexander

Cement Aggregates Additives/Extenders Admixtures Water Air

50

NC

0 1,0 0,8 0,6 0,4 0,2 0 Water-cement-ratio [-]

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Modification of fresh concrete properties


Improve workability (without change in water content)
Make stiff concretes workable Reduce compaction energy /efforts

Modification of fresh concrete properties


Improve workability (without change in water content) Makes stiff concretes workable Reduce compaction energy /efforts Reduce water content (without loss of workability) Same amount of cement lower w/c ratio higher strength Or: same w/c ratio less water less cement ($) Adjust setting time Accelerators (precast concrete, early stripping requirements, need to open to traffic (bridges, slabs, etc)) Retarders (e.g. Readymix (hot weather, long distance delivery, etc) Reduce segregation (high slump concretes (>150 mm), SCC) Improve pumpability (Readymix)

Reduce water content (without loss of workability)


Same amount of cement lower w/c ratio higher strength Or: same w/c ratio less water less cement ($)

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Modification of hardened concrete properties


Accelerate strength gain at early ages Increase strength (although this is commonly done by adjusting w/b ratio or binder type) Improve durability (mainly by reduction in permeability)
Mechanism: reduce water/binder ratio (less water, same workability, same amount of cement, better pore structure) If used to reduce water and cement content, no real effect should be expected

Types of admixtures
Plasticisers Superplasticisers Air entrainers (durability (freeze-thaw); workability) Accelerators Retarders Waterproofers Pumping aids

Plasticisers / Superplasticisers
How they work: When cement is wetted it tends to agglomerate due to electrostatic attraction between particles This results in large internal friction between the large odd-shaped agglomerations These also trap water between each other and reduce the water available for lubrication Plasticisers bond to the surface of the cement particles and neutralize electric charges. Later, as hydration proceeds, they debond from the cement particles. Effect is not chemical, but purely physical

Improve frost resistance

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Plasticisers / Superplasticisers: benefits


Cost
Compare: admixtures vs. savings in cement (same w/b ratio, less water needed for required workability, hence less cement)

Air entrainers
Small amounts of air in fresh concrete: bubbles of 50 to 250 m, uniformly dispersed Not removed by vibration. Air bubbles affect fresh and hardened concrete

Air entrainers
Hardened concrete
Resistance to frost damage (expansion & contraction stress development. Air bubbles provide space for the growth of frozen water crystals) Air bubbles reduce strength (5% reduction for 1 Volume-% of air)

Improved strength
Use less water, add plasticiser, hence receive higher strength (same workability, lower w/b ratio)

Fresh concrete
lowers internal friction and therefore increases workability. This may be used for reduced water content Reduces tendency to bleed (improve grading, act as small aggregates) Improves cohesiveness Improve pumpability

Water reduction
Depends on admixture dosage: SP: Water reduction of 15-25%, normal dosage: 1-2% mass per mass of cement Overdose might lead to segregation and/or retardation. Plastic settlement can occur cracking

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Accelerators
Chemical reaction to increase the rate of hydration of cement Purpose: early strength and early setting (traffic, formwork removal, etc) Concrete should be placed immediately after mixing. Applications Casting at low temperatures Precast manufacture Shotcrete (e.g. tunnels)

Accelerators

Retarders
How they work: Bond to the surface of cement particles and inhibit reaction between cement and water Purely physical effect Function similar to plasticisers, but the particles are smaller and hence cover the cement grains more effectively and prevent reaction with water Delay the setting time, thus increasing the period available for placing and handling (Readymix (long transport), avoid cold joints, etc.)

Consider long-term strength development

High early-age strength is often achieved at the cost of having lower long-term strength

Can delay setting time up to 24 hours Normal dosage: 150 500 ml / 100 kg Sugar water (dont use!) Commercial retarders Negative effect may be: increased bleed and hence poor surface quality and lower durability (bleed channels). What might help here is re-vibrating after a few hours

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Retarders
Applications Mass concretes (massive foundations and dams) Concreting at high outside temperatures Architectural concrete (exposed aggregates) Readymix (long distance transport)

Stabilisers viscosity modifying agents VMA


Stabilising the homogenous texture of fresh concrete even with a very flowable consistency. Stabilisers prevent sedimentation and reduce water separation (bleeding).

Stabilisers viscosity modifying agents VMA

Applications Underwater concrete


Flowable to high-flowable concretes (SCC) Rebound reducer for shotcrete.

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Concrete Technology for Structural Engineers Workshop, May 2010

Admixtures: application, testing, selection


Some aspects to consider
Check the design mix through a range of trial mixes to make sure that the admixtures dont have negative effects and that an optimum costperformance ratio can be expected Admixtures may behave differently with different cements, aggregates, w/b ratios, and mix proportions, and may also be affected by the environment Suppliers usually give clear instructions on dosage. Slight over-dosage or under-dosage may completely change results and defer from the desired outcome Trained personnel are necessary

Thank you