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Admixtures for Concrete

CIVE 401- 19/02/10


Dept Civil Engineering
University of Liverpool

John Dransfield
Cement Admixtures Association
www.admixtures.org.uk

Cement Admixtures Association

Admixtures

Admixtures are Chemicals typically consisting of


1 or 2 major constituents
+ 2 or 3 minor constituents

Added to the concrete during mixing


Usually as an aqueous solution, < 40% active chemical

Quantity is very small


0.2 to 5.0% Admixture by weight on cement
Active chemical usually less than 0.15% on the concrete

European Standard (BS) EN 934 parts 1 to 6 & BS 8443

Admixtures modify the properties of the concrete in the


Plastic and / or Hardened state

Cement Admixtures Association

Cement Admixtures Association

Why use Admixtures?

Economic - Producer
Optimised mix design

Placing - Contractor
appropriate workability (consistence), compactability, cohesion,
setting and strength development

Problem Solving Designer / Engineer


concrete that will meet special needs for placing or performance

Durability - Owner
Ensuring that concrete fulfils its design requirements for the
intended life of the structure

Sustainability - Everyone
helping to reduce the health and safety aspects of concrete during
placing and environmental impact during its life cycle

www.sustainableconcrete.org.uk

Cement Admixtures Association

Current Admixture Use

Admixtures are currently used in over 80% of all Ready Mixed and
Precast Concrete
Admixtures are normal ingredient of concrete, together with Cement,
Aggregate, Additions and Water

Admixture sales by type for 2006

Plasticisers
Superplasticisers
Acc / Ret
Air Ent
Water Resistant
Other Admixtures
Mortars

Cement Admixtures Association

Admixture Types to EN 934


Normal Plasticisers (Water reducers)

EN 934-2 T2

Superplasticisers (High Range WR)

EN 934-2 T3

Air Entraining

EN 934-2 T4

Accelerating

EN 934-2 T6 & 7

Retarding

EN 934-2 T8

Water Resisting (Waterproofing)

EN 934-2 T9

Mortar Admixtures

EN 934-3

Grout Admixtures

EN 934-4

Sprayed Concrete Admixtures

EN 934-5

Cement Admixtures Association

Other Admixture Types


Corrosion Inhibiting Admixtures

BS 8443 T4

Foamed Concrete Admixtures

BS 8443 T7

Polymer Dispersion Admixtures


Pumping Admixtures

BS 8443 T5

Viscosity Modifying (Segregation Reducing)


Admixtures

BS 8443 T6

Semi-Dry concrete Admixtures

BS 8443

Shrinkage Reducing Admixtures

BS 8443 T3

Washwater Recycling Admixtures


Anti-Washout Underwater Concrete
Admixtures

Cement Admixtures Association

BS 8443 T2

Plasticisers & Superplasticisers


80% of all Concrete Admixture Sales
Both types are essentially Particle Dispersants
The difference is in the dispersing power
But also in the secondary effects:
Retardation
Air entrainment

Also known as Water Reducers / High Range


Water Reducers
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Particle Dispersants

Dispersants are Polymers that adsorb onto the particle


surface by electrostatic attraction

The polymer then repels other particles, either by


electrostatic repulsion or by steric repulsion

This repulsion prevents particles from flocculating into


clumps which would trap water and by their size, reduce
mobility

In a cementitious mix the effect of the dispersant is to


increase the consistance or fluidity of the mix for a given
W/C ratio

Cement Admixtures Association

Particle Dispersion

Dispersing Effect of Plasticisers & Superplasticisers

cement flocs
reduce fluidity

cement is uniformly dispersed


increasing fluidity

add a plasticising
admixture

This Can be demonstrated with a simple grout mix

Cement Admixtures Association

Dispersant Uses
Plasticise at = Cement content & W/C
Increased Consistence

Water Reduce to = Consistance


Increased Strength,
Reduced Permeability

Cement & Water Reduce to = W/C & Consistence


Lower , lower water use, lower cementitous
Improved sustainability, lower embedded CO2

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Slump Test

Cement Admixtures Association

Plasticisers vs Superplasticisers
Plasticiser

Superplasticiser

Main constituent

Lignosulphonate
Selected Carbohydrates

Melamine Polymers SMFC


Naphthalene Polymers SNFC
Polycarboxylate Ethers PCE

Typical dose (40%


Solution)

0.3 to 0.5%

0.6 to 1.5%

Cost

Plasticiser x 2
Not economic for cement cost
savings

Overdose

Retardation
Air Entrainment

Little effect till x 2 overdose


Without water reduction, mix
may segregate

Water reduction

8 to 12%

16 to 30% +

Blends of superplasticiser with lignosulphonate give cost effective mid range


products with beneficial properties.

Cement Admixtures Association

Increased Consistence 1

Add the plasticiser / superplasticiser to the concrete.


W/C does not change so strength and durability are
unchanged, only consistence increases

50 to 120 mm slump for site use


Normal Plasticiser

180 to 220 mm slump for flowing concrete and congested


reinforcement
Mid range or Superplasticiser
Pump mix

Self Compacting Concrete for self levelling concrete, very


congested reinforcement, high quality surfaces, difficult
shapes, H&S vibration free (reduces noise), no vibration
white finger and back problems.
PCE Superplasticiser needed

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Photo 1

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High Flow but not quite self- compacting

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Water Reduction

Normal Plasticiser Water Reducer


Typically 8 to 10%
Benefit for this application limited:
Help offset strength loss in air entrained concrete
Reduce permeability for water resistant concrete

Main use is to reduce cement & water to reduce cost


May also provide some increased consistence

Superplasticisers High Range WR

Typically 16 to 20% can go to over 30% with PCE


Large strength increase, especially at early age
Permeability reduced by an order of magnitude
Finds extensive use for:
Precast early age strength, reduced need for heating
Durability reduced chloride penetration, carbonation etc
Early strength on site road & airfield repair

Cement Admixtures Association

Water Reduction and Strength


Superplasticiser
Water Reduction
Control w/c = 0.6
30 MPa @ 28d
- 20%

w/c = 0.48
42 MPa @ 28d
+ 40%

- 30%

w/c = 0.42
50 MPa @ 28d
+ 67%

Cement Admixtures Association

Water Reduction on Porosity


1m3

Cement Water

W/C

Agg

Wt

350

200

0.57

1850

Vol

110

200

700

Hydration Void/Pore
Water
Water

80

Wt
Vol
Wt
Vol

Cement Admixtures Association

120

Water Reduction on Porosity


1m3

Cement Water

W/C

Agg

Wt

350

200

0.57

1850

Vol

110

200

Wt

350

160

700
0.46

Hydration Void/Pore
Water
Water

80

120

80

80 (-35%)

1895

(-20%)

Vol

110

160

730

Wt
Vol

Cement Admixtures Association

Water Reduction on Permeability


40

Permeability X 10-14 m/s

35

Powers
30

Admixtures
25
20
15
10
5
0
0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

0.55

W/C

Cement Admixtures Association

0.6

Water Reduction and Chloride


Diffusion
Water Cement ratio plays a major part in reducing
the ingress of aggressive chemicals including
chloride ions due to the use of de-icing salts or
exposure to a marine environment
Mix

Cement

W/C

28d Strength Chloride Diff


Mpa
X 10-12 m2/sec

Control

305 PC

0.61

31.5

51.0

HRWR

305 PC

0.51

45.0

22.0

Control

375 PC

0.51

44.5

28.0

HRWR

360 PC

0.41

58.0

8.1

HRWR

450 PC

0.34

72.0

5.4

Cement Admixtures Association

Self-Compacting Concrete

Cement Admixtures Association

Self-Compacting Concrete

SCC resulted from the development of PolyCarboxylate


Ether (PCE) Superplasticisers.

SCC requires a combination of:


High fluidity
Resistance to segregation
Resistance to blocking in congested reinforcement

Earlier Superplasticisers could not consistently produce


concrete that exhibited all these properties.

SCC requires greater control on constituent quality and on


production control so is not appropriate for all concrete.

Cement Admixtures Association

Use of high consistence concrete

Pre 1970 most concrete 50 to 120mm slump, occasionally 180mm

1970 1995 up to 220mm slump


Based on SMF or SNF Superplasticisers
required little vibration or compaction

1990 Japan introduces SCC

1995 Europe experiments with SCC

2003 to date SCC use increasing


Widely used in Precast
Low noise
Early strength
Excellent surface finish

Used on site mainly for special applications:


Difficult access
Difficult shapes
Improved surface finish

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High Flow but not Self-Compacting

Cement Admixtures Association

SCC mix design

High powder content

Mix design must 100% consistently achieve:

PC + ggbs, pfa, limestone fines etc 450 to 600 kg/m3


PCE Superplasticiser
Sand 45 to 55% of aggregate
Coarse aggregate normally <16mm
Viscosity Modifying Admixture may be needed

Good flow
No segregation
Good passing ability through reinforcement /no blocking
Appropriate viscosity / speed of flow

SCC mix design requires an in depth knowledge of concrete mix


design and materials as well as consistently good constituents
SCC should only be purchased from companies with a proven track
record for consistent and high quality supply of this type of concrete.

Cement Admixtures Association

Consistence by Slump Flow

Most SCC will have a slump


flow of 660 750 mm

A J-Ring or L-Box should not


significantly reduce the flow
and there should be no
height step from inside to
outside the bars.

Coarse aggregate should be


visible at the surface and
right up to the outer edges

There should be no
indication of bleed or grout
separation even if left to
stand.

Cement Admixtures Association

Precast High flow & No Vibration

Cement Admixtures Association

Site High flow & No Compaction

Cement Admixtures Association

High flow and good passing ability

Cement Admixtures Association

Cement Admixtures Association

Precast Surface Detail

Cement Admixtures Association

Surface Quality

Cement Admixtures Association

Air Entrainment

1% Air reduces strength by


about 5%

Air entrainment:
Provides Freeze Thaw
resistance. Is a
requirement for highway
pavements
Air increases the
apparent paste volume,
increasing cohesion,
reducing settlement and
can significantly reduce
bleed
In low fines mixes and
semi dry concrete it
lubricates the mix,
improving compaction

Cement Admixtures Association

Freeze-Thaw

Cement Admixtures Association

Cohesion/Bleed reduction

Cement Admixtures Association

Freeze Thaw Resistance

Occurs when saturated concrete is subjected to Freeze


Thaw action.
Water in the capillaries freezes, generating pressure and
causing the surface to spall

Aggravated if de-icing salts are used


De-icing salts can increase the rate of freezing within the
concrete
Can result in osmotic pressure due to concentration gradients

Entrained Air:
Does not fill with water in saturated concrete due to capillary
action
Relieves the pressure if water in the capillaries start to freeze
Bubble spacing needs to be small (< 0.2 mm spacing factor)
Bubble size typically less than 0.3 mm

Cement Admixtures Association

Air Entrained Concrete

N/mm2

W/C

Air

Control

58

0.50

1.3

HRWR

74

0.40

1.0

AEA

53

0.47

3.5

Dynamic Modulus %

120
100
80
60
40

Control
HRWR
AEA

20
0
0

30

60

90

120

150

800 1000

Freeze thaw Cycles

Cement Admixtures Association

Accelerating Admixtures

Acceleration of Set or Strength?


Most types do one or other not both.

Sprayed Concrete accelerators


very fast set, not covered in this talk.

Calcium Chloride
accelerates both set and strength.
very cost effective
enhances corrosion of embedded steel

Other Accelerators
Less effective than Calcium chloride
Usually accelerate Set or Strength but not both

Cement Admixtures Association

Use of Accelerating Admixtures

Superplasticisers have generally replaced strength


accelerators

Accelerators are most effective at low temperatures

Use accelerators for very early strength, < 12 hours

> 12 hours strength, better to use HRWR


24 hour strength can be more than 200% of a control mix
HRWR can be used with a set accelerator
Accelerating HRWR admixtures are also available

Use set acceleration for:


Early finishing of floors
Early strength for access (Pavement repairs - Roads/Airports)

Cement Admixtures Association

Retarding Admixtures

Most retarders do not maintain the workability at the initial


level
Some special workability retention admixtures are available
but usually need a special accelerator to initiate setting.

Retarders delay the setting

Setting equates to the time when two layers of concrete can


no longer be vibrated to fully remove a joint between
concrete pours.

Retarders are often incorperated in plasticisers or


superplasticisers to give higher initial workability and
hence longer workability = Retarding Plasticisers etc

Cement Admixtures Association

Workability retention and Set retardation 1

Workability
retention

Retardation

Cement Admixtures Association

Slump Retention Normal Plasticiser

200

Slump mm

Control
150

Water
Reduced

100

Plasticised

50
0
0

30

60

90

120

150 180

210

Time after mixing, min

Cement Admixtures Association

Slump Retention Retarding Plasticiser

200

Slump mm

Control

150
Retarded

100
Plasticised

50
0
0

30

60 90 120 150 180 210 240

Time after mixing, min

Cement Admixtures Association

Workability retention and Set retardation 2

Slump

0 slump but not set


NO cold Joint

80 mm
0 mm
0 slump & setting
Cold Joint Formed

Set

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Water Resisting (waterproofing)


Function:
Reduce water absorption into the concrete surface
and / or
Reduce passage of water through the concrete

Action:
Reduce number and continuity of the capillary pore
structure with a water reducer
AND:
Block the capillary pores
OR:
Line capillaries with hydrophobic material to prevent
capillary suction into the concrete

Cement Admixtures Association

Water Resisting Admixture Selection

Hydrophobic types line


the capillary wall but are
only effective against
rain and low water
pressure

Capillary blockers are


needed if there is water
pressure

Many waterproofing
admixture also contain a
water reducer to reduce
the capillary continuity

Cement Admixtures Association

Corrosion Inhibiting Admixtures


Act on embedded steel
Increases the passivation state of the steel
Raises Corrosion threshold potential
Coat surface with resistant organic mono
molecular layer

Migratory, surface applied corrosion inhibitors


are not admixtures.

Cement Admixtures Association

Corrosion Inhibitor Use

Corrosion Inhibitors are not a substitute for good concrete

They do provide additional protection at the end of the


structures working life.
They work by increasing the time for corrosion to start,
after the time when chloride or carbonation reaches the
embedded steel surface

Durable concrete design should prevent chloride or carbon


dioxide from reaching the steel within the design life of the
concrete

Cement Admixtures Association

Corrosion Inhibitor principle

Concrete Spec
PC 350kg/m3,
W/C 0.40
Reinforcement at 40 mm
Chloride Diffusion Coeff 9x10-12 m2/s

No Corrosion Inhibitor
Chloride corrosion threshold 0.4% on cement
Threshold reached after 30 years

Corrosion Inhibitor added at 10 lit/m3 (30% soln)


Chloride corrosion threshold raised to 0.8% on cement
Threshold reached after 60 years

Cement Admixtures Association

Other Admixture Types


Corrosion Inhibiting Admixtures

BS 8443 T4

Foamed Concrete Admixtures

BS 8443 T7

Polymer Dispersion Admixtures


Pumping Admixtures

BS 8443 T5

Viscosity Modifying (Segregation Reducing)


Admixtures

BS 8443 T6

Semi-Dry concrete Admixtures

BS 8443

Shrinkage Reducing Admixtures

BS 8443 T3

Washwater Recycling Admixtures


Anti-Washout Underwater Concrete
Admixtures

Cement Admixtures Association

BS 8443 T2

Further Information on Admixtures

As a condition of membership CAA members all provide a


high level of Technical Support as well as supplying high
quality products

CAA web site: www.admixtures.org.uk


Details on CAA member companies
Free download publications:

ATS = 17 Admixture Technical Sheets


AIS = 15 Admixture Information Sheets
AES = 12 Admixture Environmental Sheets
Guideline documents on SCC, VMA and Special Purpose
Admixtures

Concrete Society Technical Reports:


TR 18 Guide to admixture selection
TR 62 Self-Compacting Concrete

Cement Admixtures Association