Concrete production is based on a chemical reaction that binds water and cement with fine aggregates (sand or crushed stone) and coarse aggregates. This process produces a hydrated cement paste that is stable and dense enough to bond with reinforcing steel.
It is important that the correct amount of water be added in order to achieve the desired strength and durability of the final product. Too much water can reduce the durability of the concrete.
There are many types of admixtures that can be used to change the properties of concrete and improve its ability to perform in a wide variety of situations. They can reduce the setting time of concrete, increase its early strength, decrease its water content or slow down its hydration rate.
They can also be used to increase the flowability of concrete. This is achieved by dispersing the cement particles in the mix to increase their fluidity.
This is a very effective way of improving the workability of concrete. This is a major reason why plasticizers are added to concrete mixes.
The dispersive action of the plasticizers highly improves the workability of concrete at a given water-cement ratio and water content, such that it can be placed with little compactive effort and practically without bleeding or segregation.
Superplasticizers are a new category of concrete admixtures that can be added to concrete mixtures. They can reduce the water content of the mixture by up to 30% and can improve its workability by increasing the slump. They can be used in both fresh and hardened concrete to reduce the water content or the setting time.
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