Understanding the Different Types of Concrete Additives and Their Benefits

Posted on: March 16, 2023

A concrete admixture refers to a material other than water, aggregates, hydraulic cement and fibre reinforcement used to modify the properties of concrete during mixing. Accurately predicting the time, it will take for your concrete to set is an exacting science that you may not have time for when working under tight deadlines. Using a concrete additive can make the outcome of the concrete mixture more predictable.

Types Of Concrete Additives

1. Water Reducing Admixtures: Water reducing admixtures reduce the amount of water needed to bring the concrete to the right consistency which is especially useful in hot weather. Even though heat makes concrete set quickly, adding too much water to keep it pourable can weaken it. The lesser the water in your mix, the stronger your concrete will be. A water-reducer is one of the best types of concrete additives you can use to increase strength and durability. Most concrete foundations have water reducing admixtures added in the formula.

One of the main benefits of using water reducing additives is that they shorten the curing time and allow civil engineers to quickly move on to the next stage of construction.

2. Retardants: Admixtures that delay cement’s initial rate of hydration and increases its setting time are known as retardants. Gypsum and calcium sulphate are the most used retardants. Other substances that can be used as retardants include starch, cellulose, derivatives, sugar and acid salts.

The advantage of using concrete additives like retardants is that they delay the setting time of concrete and maintain the workability and cohesion for a longer period.

3. Air-entraining Admixtures: Adding an air-entraining chemical to your cement is recommended for any project undertaken in freezing temperatures. The admixture works by creating microscopic bubbles, which make the concrete more workable. The bubbles also provide the concrete with flexibility to survive the contraction and expansion of freezing and thawing which would otherwise lead to cracking. Air-entraining concrete additives are useful for projects such as sidewalks driveways and parking lots.

One of the main benefits of using an air entraining agent is workability. The air bubbles act as a lubricant and increase the fluidity of the mixture. This increases the pumpability of the concrete and makes it easier to transport from one location to another.

4. Air Detraining Admixtures: Over entraining of air can be caused by adding more quantity of admixture than is required or by using multiple admixtures. Some aggregates also release air into the mix. The most used air detainer is tributyl phosphate. Dibutyl phosphate, water-insoluble alcohols, water-insoluble esters of carbonic, boric acids and silicones can also be used for this purpose, but they must must be used carefully so that the concrete has the right amount of air.

The benefits of using a chemical admixtures such as air detraining admixtures is that it reduces the amount of concrete rejected due to the presence of high entrained air. Moreover, it allows for high-speed mixing of cement and fly ash without foaming.

About Vinati Organics

Vinati Organics is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of IBB. The miscellaneous polymers we offer provide industries with many benefits such as a reduction in production costs without depreciation in quality. Due to our research capabilities and expertise to develop new and environmentally friendly chemicals, we have a strong presence in more than 35 countries around the world.