Plasticizer is a chemical concrete additive that is added to concrete during the mixing process. Its main purpose is to improve the properties of the finished product. There are different types of plasticizer available. The most common types are phthalates, ethylene glycol, and acrylates.
Workability of concrete
Adding a plasticiser to concrete can increase its workability, making it more compressible. The amount of water in the concrete mix is important, as too much will make the mixture too fluid and hard to compact. The plasticiser should be added to concrete at a level of 0.1% to 0.4% of the cement volume. The dosage should be adapted to the initial slump of the concrete and the mix's final strength.
Plasticizers, or water reducers, are compounds that impart a plasticizing effect on wet concrete. They consist of a mixture of organic and inorganic substances. They are primarily used for their water-reducing capacity, but they also improve the workability of concrete and indirectly add strength to hardened concrete.
The amount of water required for making concrete with plasticiser varies, depending on the type of cement and admixture you are using. Generally speaking, it is best to add a minimum of 2% plasticiser to every kilogram of cement used. Regular concrete without plasticizer is stiff and unworkable, making it unsuitable for most construction projects, including home projects. Adding plasticiser to the concrete mix increases its fluidity and reduces the need for additional water.
When used in large quantities, plasticisers can reduce the water content in concrete by as much as 30 percent. They also reduce the time required for the concrete to set and give the finished product high flow properties. However, the use of superplasticizers can cause the concrete to quickly lose its workability.
Effect of water/cement ratio on the workability of concrete
The water/cement ratio plays a major role in determining the strength and workability of concrete. A higher w/c ratio means that the concrete will be more workable and easy to pour. A low w/c ratio means that the concrete will be less workable and prone to segregation.
The water/cement ratio is the weight ratio of cement to water in a concrete mix. A lower water/cement ratio will yield stronger and more durable concrete, but it will also be difficult to work. Water and cement are best mixed at a ratio of 0.45 to 0.60, but if the mix is too low, it may not be sufficiently mixed and may be uncooperative. In such cases, plasticizers are used to reduce the proportion of water.
Effect of superplasticizers on the workability of concrete
Superplasticizers are additives to concrete that enhance the workability and properties of the finished product. They reduce water content in concrete by up to 25-35%. They also improve impermeability, which is related to the water/cement ratio. They also improve durability by reducing the penetration of chlorides and sulphates. However, they are expensive, largely due to the manufacturing expenses.
Although the use of superplasticizers has many benefits, they also have some major drawbacks. The main disadvantage is the loss of workability. In addition, superplasticized concrete tends to be sticky. This can make troweling difficult and can tear the surface. One way to counteract this problem is to use a higher proportion of coarse aggregate in the mix.
Dosage of superplasticizers in concrete
Superplasticizers are used to improve the strength of concrete. There are several types of SPs on the market, each with different properties. One type is PCE, which is a polycarboxylate ether. However, different brands contain different proportions of this additive. Considering the varying characteristics, it is difficult to establish the optimum dosage. To simplify the optimization process, a simple test method was developed.
The effect of superplasticizers on the rheological properties of flowing concrete is dependent on the type and amount added. Low dosages of these additives will have little effect on the rheological behavior of the concrete, whereas high dosages may cause problems such as bleeding and segregation. In order to achieve maximum performance, the dosage must be determined by using a slump flow test and other tests.
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