Concrete gains its strength over time through a process called hydration. Normally, it takes 28 days for a typical concrete mix to reach its specified strength. High-early strength concrete, sometimes referred to as fast track concrete, achieves its specified strength at an earlier age than ordinary concrete. It can be made by using special admixtures, specific concreting practices and other construction methods.
Typically, concrete that is designed for high early strength has a low water to cement ratio, more cement and possibly other supplementary cementitious materials. In some cases, it is cured in an autoclave to increase its temperature and speed up the hydration process. These methods can be costly and require specialized equipment.
There are also a variety of commercially available admixtures that can be used to produce high-early strength concrete. These include set accelerating admixtures that decrease the time it takes for the concrete to transition from its plastic to rigid state, and hardening enhancing admixtures that increase the rate at which concrete develops its early strength, but do not affect the final setting time.
Fritz-Pak’s Non-Chloride Accelerator (NCA) is an affordable admixture that works to speed up the crystallization that occurs during hydration, increasing the concrete’s strength for the first couple of days. It does not reduce the final strength of your concrete, and it can be added to a wide range of concrete mixes. This can make a big difference in your project’s timeline and budget, as well as helping to ensure that your concrete will have the required strength at its intended service life.
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