concrete reducer is a chemical compound that is added to concrete before or during the mixing process to produce concrete using less water while maintaining the material's workability, meaning it will not harden or set too quickly or too slowly. It can help decrease the amount of water needed to make concrete by 5-40%, and can also improve strength of the hardened concrete, decrease permeability, and often give the concrete a better finish.
According to ACI 212, admixtures are materials other than those normally present in concrete that are added to the mixture to modify its freshly mixed, setting, or hardened properties and that are added to the batch before or during its mixing. Examples of admixtures include concrete retarders, air entraining admixtures, water-reducing admixtures, specialty admixtures, and corrosion-inhibiting admixtures.
There are three types of water-reducing admixtures: conventional, mid-range, and high-range. Conventional admixtures decrease water content by 5%, while mid-range and high-range admixtures decrease it by 15% or more.
They work by neutralizing surface charges on solid particles and making all surfaces carry like charges, resulting in particles repelling each other to reduce flocculation and increase dispersion of cement.
Low-range water reducers, also called normal admixtures, decrease the amount of water used in concrete by up to 5% while improving workability. They are suitable for most applications, such as slabs on grade and other flatwork.
Mid-range water reducers, also called superplasticizers, decrease the amount of water used by up to 15% while providing concrete that is easier to place and has a softer surface slickness that minimizes time delays on projects where placement is difficult or pumping is necessary. They are ideal for concrete placed on roller-compacted pavements, extruded concrete, and slip-form and slip-form-mixed concrete.
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