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Water Reducing Admixture

Function
Water-reducing admixtures usually reduce the required water content for a
concrete mixture by about 5 to 10 percent. Consequently, concrete containing a
water-reducing admixture needs less water to reach a required slump than
untreated concrete. The treated concrete can have a lower water-cement ratio. This
usually indicates that a higher strength concrete can be produced without
increasing the amount of cement. Recent advancements in admixture technology
have led to the development of mid-range water reducers. These admixtures reduce
water content by at least 8 percent and tend to be more stable over a wider range
of temperatures. Mid-range water reducers provide more consistent setting times
than standard water reducers. It has been used primarily in hot weather concrete
placing, pumping, and tremie. Careful concrete placement is required, as the initial
setting time of concrete will take place an hour earlier. It affects mainly the fresh
properties of concrete by reducing the amount of water used by 5% to 10% while
maintaining a certain level of consistency.
Mechanism
Water reducers are surface active chemicals calledsurfactants. In absence of
water reducer, cement particles,being very fine, cling together and flocculate when
water isadded to cement. Due to flocculation, a lot of water isentrapped by cement
particles and it becomes unavailable for workability. Water reducer admixtures induce negative
chargeon cement particles due to which the flocculated cementparticles get dispersed
due to repulsion. The entrapped water now becomes free and available for workability.
Advantages
Reduces the water content by 5-10%
Decreases the concrete porosity
Increases the concrete strength by up to 25%
Increases the workability (assuming the amount of free water remains
constant)
Reduces the water permeability
Reduces the diffusivity of aggressive agents in the concrete and so
improves the durability of concrete
Gives a better finish to surfaces

Superplasticizer Admixture
Function
Superplasticizers, also known as high range water reducers, are chemical
admixtures used where well-dispersed particle suspension is required.

These
polymers
are
used
as
dispersants to
avoid
particle
segregation(gravel, coarse and fine sands), and to improve the flow
characteristics of suspensions such as in concrete applications. The
capability of superplasticizers to reduce water requirements 12-25%
without affecting the workability leads to production of high-strength
concrete and lower permeability. The ability of superplasticizers to
increase the slump of concrete depends on such factors as the type,
dosage, and time of addition of superplasticizer; which; and the nature or
amount of cement. It has been found that for most types of cement,
superplasticizer improves the workability of concrete.
Purpose
The main purpose of using superplasticizers is to produce flowing concrete
with very high slump in the range of 7-9 inches (175-225 mm) to be used
in heavily reinforced structures and in placements where adequate
consolidation by vibration cannot be readily achieved. The other major
application is the production of high-strength concrete at which is ranging
from 0.3 to 0.4
Performance
For optimal performance and to avoid slump loss, superplasticizers should
be added at a job site, immediately before delivery of concrete.
Unfortunately, this involves the added expense of special equipment, a
reduced amount of control over the uniform addition of superplasticizers,
and it often results in the addition of extra water to the mix. Adding the
superplasticizers at the concrete and cement manufacturing plant reduces
these risks and the wear on the truck mixer. Doing so can, however, result
in slump loss prior to reaching the customer's job site.