What is super plasticizers
The ability to make high-strength concrete with less water has become an increasingly important issue for both the residential and nonresidential construction industries. However, reducing the amount of water used in the mix often reduces its workability. It may also lead to excessive bleeding and drying shrinkage, which can damage the formwork. The solution lies in the use of super plasticizers, an admixture that transforms stiff, low-slump concrete into flowing, pourable, easily placed concrete.
These chemical admixtures allow you to make concrete with 15% less water, without sacrificing its workability. Essentially, they’re able to replace the water used in the mix by adsorbing and dehydrating cement particles. This allows you to achieve a higher slump for ease of placement, and create denser, more durable concrete.
However, using super plasticizers can affect the strength and set time of concrete, so it is very important to choose a superplasticizer and VMA that are compatible with one another. Additionally, the type of superplasticizer and the VMA chosen will impact the consistency and flowability of concrete. For example, sulphonated melamine formaldehyde condensates (SMF) and ligno-sulfonate cellulose superplasticizers tend to increase the space between cement grains. This destabilizes the air void system in the concrete and can result in premature deterioration, while MLS and polycarboxylic ether superplasticizers have less of an effect on this.
Ideally, you should add the superplasticizer at the final stage of mixing, after all the water has been added. This will help to ensure that the dosage is evenly distributed throughout the concrete and prevent it from getting stuck in a clump. It’s also important to mix for at least 3-5 minutes to give the superplasticizer enough time to react with the cement and begin its workability.
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