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o Water-reducing admixtures improve concrete’s 1) Lignosulfonic acids and their salts

hardened properties. • used for construction, ceramics, mineral
o While Set-controlling admixtures are used in powder, chemical industry, textile
concrete being placed and finished in other industry (leather), metallurgical industry,
than optimum temperatures. petroleum industry, fire-
o Both, when used appropriately, contribute to retardant materials, rubber
good concreting practices. vulcanization, organic polymerization.
• provide excellent water reduction and
Water-reducing and Set-controlling Admixtures are produce good strength characteristics.
added to concrete during mixing to increase Lignosulfonates tend to entrain air, and
1. Workability can produce sticky, hard-to-finish
2. Improve durability concrete.
3. Provide easier placement
4. Control the setting time 2) Hydroxylated polymers
5. Produce easier finishing with less • are obtained by the partial hydrolysis of
segregation of the ingredients polysaccharides to form polymers of low
molecular weight. They have a
o Water reducers do essentially that: reduce the retardation effect, by themselves.
amount of mixing water required to obtain a • In order to be used as normal or accelerating
given slump. This can result in a reduction of WRA, small amounts of calcium chloride
the water-cementitious ratio (w/c ratio), which or triethanolamine should be added.
leads to increased strengths and more durable • Widely used water-reducing admixtures.
concrete. Some of the benefits associated with
these admixtures are:
o Reducing the w/c ratio of concrete has been a) Improved mobility of the concrete.
identified as the most important factor to Improved workability and easier
making durable, high-quality concrete. placement, reducing the incentive
to add water
o For a given air content, concrete strength is
inversely proportional to the water- b) May reduce segregation,
cementitious materials ratio. particularly at higher slump ranges

CLASSIFICATIONS OF ADMIXTURES c) May improve finished appearance

and reduce stickiness in finishing
Standard Test Method: flat surfaces, even when used at
ASTM C 494 “Standard Specification for increased dosages
Chemical Admixtures for Concrete”
d) Does not entrain air and can be
To be classified as a Type A (Water-reducing used at increased dosages without
Admixture) increasing air contents
o Minimum water reduction of 5% must be
obtained. e) May improve pumpability.
o Initial and Final time of setting
3) Hydroxylated carboxylic acids and their salts
not more than 1 hour earlier and
• The chief chemical characteristic of the
not more than 1.5 later
carboxylic acids is their acidity.
• Concrete containing HC admixtures is mixed
Normal 5% - 10% water reduction
and placed with a higher water content than is
Mid-Range 6% - 12% water reduction
the case with other types of water-reducing admixtures.
High-Range 12% - 40% water reduction
4) Sulfonated melamine or naphthalene o By maintaining some workability, but at a lower
formaldehyde condensates water content, concrete strengths may be
• is widely used dispersing agent for the self- increased without the need for further cement
leveling compositions such as mortar and addition
• it is an effective liquefying agent for concrete o While maintaining the same w/c ratio and
and mortar mixtures. workability concrete can be made to a given
• condensate is very useful for the brightening strength as in the reference concrete at lower
of road bricks and tunnel liner. cement content.

What is the Effect of Water-Reducing Admixtures on

5) Polyether-polycarboxylates
durability, shrinkage and Creep?

o Effect on durability
TYPE A The straight addition of admixtures of this type
WATER-REDUCING ADMIXTURES does not came any increase in permeability and
indeed where the admixture is used to reduce
ACI Committee 212.3R the w/c, then permeability is considerably
“Water-reducing admixtures are used to reduce reduced.
the water requirements of the mixture for a given
slump, produce concrete of higher strength, obtain o Effect on shrinkage
specified strength at lower cement content, or increase Admixture of this type when used as workability
the slump of a given mixture without an increase in aids on water reducers do not adversely affect
water content.” the shrinkage.

o Type A water-reducers will decrease mixing o Effect on creep

water content by 5% to 12%, depending on the Materials of this type of admixture have no
admixture, dosage and other materials and deleterious effect on the creep of concrete.
Applications of Water Reducing Concrete Admixtures
o May also improve the properties of concrete
containing aggregates that are harsh, poorly a) When concrete pours are restricted due to
graded, or both that may be placed under either congested reinforcement or this sections.
difficult conditions. By means of pump or
tremie. b) When harsh mixes are experienced such as
those produced with aggregates (crushed).
o Typically the dosage rate of Type A water- Then considerable improvement in the plastic
reducers range from 130mL to 390mL per 100 properties of concrete can be obtained.
kg (2 to 6 fl oz. per 100 lb) of cementitious
materials. c) When required strengths are difficult to obtain
within specified maximum cement content and
o Higher dosages may result in excessive where early lifting strengths are required.
retardation of the concrete setting time.
d) By addition of this admixture in concrete
o This retardation may be offset by small cement economics of about 10% can be
additions of chloride or non-chloride obtained.
accelerating admixtures at the batch plant.
Why Water Reducing Admixtures are used? & RETARDING ADMIXTURES)
o Concrete having greater workability be made  Conventional retarding admixtures
without the need for more water and so
strength losses are not encountered
These two types of admixtures are used for the b) Materials of this class (lignosulphonate
same basic purpose: containing sugar and derivatives of hydroxyl
• offset unwanted effects of high temperature, carboxylic acid) in some cases have a much
such as acceleration of set and reduction of 28- higher dispersing effect and hence water
day compressive strength reducing capacity.
• to keep concrete workable during the entire
placing and consolidation period. c) Durability increases.

The benefits derived from retarding formulations:

Applications of Retarding Concrete Admixture
1) Permit greater flexibility in extending the time
of set and the prevention of cold joints a) Where long transportation of ready mixed
2) Facilitates finishing in hot weather concrete is required then premature setting can
3) Permits full form deflection before initial set be usefully avoided by this type admixture.
of concrete
b) When concrete is being placed or transported
The amount of retardation depends upon many factors under conditions of high ambient temperature.
1) Admixture concentration c) In case of large concrete pours
2) Dosage rate
d) Concrete construction involving sliding
3) Concrete proportions
4) Ambient and concrete temperatures

 Extended-set admixtures
o Capable of stopping the hydration of Portland
cement, thereby providing a means to control
the hydration and setting characteristics of

o Used in three primary applications:

1) Stabilization of concrete wash water
2) Stabilization of returned plastic concrete
3) Stabilization of freshly batched concrete
for long hauls

o The use of Extended-set Admixtures

1) In stabilization on concrete wash water, it
eliminates the dumping of water that is
used to wash out a ready-mixed concrete
truck drum while keeping the fins and
inner drum clean.
2) To stabilize returned unhardened
concrete has made it possible to reuse
such concrete during the same
production day or the next day instead of

Advantage of Retarding Concrete Admixture

a) The hydroxyl carboxylic acid type admixture

normally produces concrete having a slightly
lower aim content them that of a control mix.