concrete additive water reducer superplasticizer is a chemical used to make concrete mixtures flow easier. It is available as a powder or liquid and can be added to the mix as needed for desired workability. It works by lowering the water/cement ratio and allowing for higher concrete strength with lower permeability. It may also speed up or retard concrete setting according to its chemical reaction. It can be used in high-performance concrete applications such as pumpability, self-consolidating concrete (SCC), low permeability and low water absorption.
Concrete mixes that are mixed with water reducers have a lower slump than those without them. This makes it easier to work the concrete by hand and saves on labor costs. A quality water reducing admixture can increase the slump of a concrete mix without changing the cement content.
A water reducing admixture can be used in combination with other admixtures such as set retarders, air entraining agents, silica fume and fly ash. These admixtures can help meet the performance requirements of projects such as tall columns, high-strength floor slabs or abrasion resistant hydraulic structures.
In addition to water reducing, concrete additives such as superplasticizers can be used for other purposes such as retarding the initial set of concrete or increasing its flexural strength. Some are available as chloride-free set accelerators that can be used in precast or prestressed concrete without adversely affecting the ultimate strength of the concrete. Others are hydration control additives that allow contractors to get the best possible concrete by controlling hydration and the cement particle size.
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