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Science and technology of

concrete admixtures

Civil Engineering, IIT Gandhinagar


Content
• Super-plasticizer
• Air entraining agent
• Shrinkage reducer
• Viscosity modifier
• Other admixtures
• Concrete Rheology
• Hydration

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Super-plasticizer
• Dispersing agent
• Works on solid-liquid interface
• Working mechanism
– Electrostatic repulsion
– Steric hindrance

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Factors affecting super-plasticizer
efficiency
• Coverage area
• Specific surface area of cement
• Alkalis, aluminates and sulphates in cement
• Mixing protocol
• Compatibility with other admixtures
• Structure of super-plasticizer (in comb-shaped
polymers like PCE)
• W/B ratio
• Secondary effects
– Retardation
– Air entrainment with high spacing factor

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Types of super-plasticizer
• Lignosulfonates (LS)
– 10-12% water reduction
– Electrostatic repulsion
• Sulfonated naphthalene formaldehyde (SNF)
– Upto 30% water reduction
– Electrostatic repultion
– Steric hinrance
• Polymelamine sulfonate (PMS)
– 20-30% water reduction
– Electrostatic repultion
– Steric hinrance
• Polycarboxylates and acrylic copolymers (PCEs)
– Upto 40% water reduction
– Steric hindrance

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Super-plasticizer

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Super-plasticizer

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Air entraining agent
• Surfactants
• Works on liquid-vapor and solid-liquid
interface
• Working mechanism
– Water surface tension reduction
– Stabilization of smaller air bubbles and prohibition
of their coalescence

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Factors affecting air entraining agent
• Coverage area
• Specific surface area of cement
• Specific surface area of fly ash
• Unburnt carbon content of fly ash
• Alkalis and aluminates in cement
• Mixing protocol
• Mixing and pumping methodology
• Compatibility with other admixtures (e.g. PCE)
• W/B ratio
• Aggregates
• Fibers
• Temperature
• Secondary effects
– Workability
– Viscosity reduction
– Strength reduction (approx. 5 MPa per 1%)
– Retardation
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Air entraining agent

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Types of air entraining agent
• Anionic
– E.g. Soap, detergents, salts of petroleum acids
– Stable bubble network
– Adsorption on cement too
• Cationic
– E.g. Ethoxylated amines
– Stable bubble network
– Adsorption on cement too
• Amphoteric
– betaines, amine oxides
– pH dependent behaviour
• Non-ionic
– E.g. alcohol ethoxylates
– Better compatibility with other surfactants
– Little adsorption on cement
– Unstable bubble network 11
Benefits of air entraining agent
• Freeze-thaw resistance
• Enhanced workability
• Enhanced rheology
• Decrease of permeability and absorptivity
• Finer air bubbles (5-200 micrometer) hence
better texture and finish

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Air entraining agent

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Shrinkage reducer
• Surfactants
• Works on liquid-vapor interface
• Working mechanism
– Water surface tension reduction
– Reduction of tensile capillary forces

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Types of shrinkage reducer
• Non-ionic
– Alcohols, glycols, amino alcohols
– Interact with SRA
– Surface tension of about 20% of water
– Adsorption on solids leads to inefficiency

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Viscosity modifier
• Control segregation and bleeding
• Water retaining or anti-washout admixture
• Crucial in SCC and with high SP dosage
• Working mechanism
– Increase stability and cohesion
– Resist gravitation forces

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Types of viscosity modifier
• Organic
– Starch, gum
• Inorganic
– Nano silica, fly ash, silica fume, fine calcium
carbonate

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Other admixtures
• Accelerator
• Retarder
• Corrosion inhibitor
• Curing compounds

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Concrete rheology
• Study of deformation and flow under stress
• Usually modelled as Bhingam fluid

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Factors affecting concrete rheology
• W/B ratio
• Chemical admixtures
• Mineral admixtures
• Time
• Mixing, pumping and placing methodology

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Concrete rheology

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Cement hydration

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Cement hydration

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Cement hydration

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Cement hydration

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Cement hydration

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Cement hydration

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Cement hydration

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Cement hydration

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Challenges
• Admixture usage with partial surface coverage
• Standard protocol for SP usage at low W/B
• Mix design method for HPC for IS codes
• Pumpability of high volume fly ash HPC
• Reduction of autogenous shrinkage in deep structures
with HPC
• High early strength of high volume fly ash HPC
• Crack growth in HPC and air entrained HPC
• Compatible combination of PCEs and AEA
• Compatibility of AEA, PCE and fly ash
• Compatibility of different PCEs
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Thank you!

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Adsorption of chemical admixtures

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Super-plasticizer

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