As we round out the first quarter of 2023, the shortage of cementitious materials continues to plague many areas of the country and ready-mixed companies are still not able to fulfill all their orders or may have to delay specific jobs because they are unable to get the cement needed to meet the concrete design specifications. This is especially true for high-strength concrete mixes. With no real end to this logistical problem, many in the industry are trying to find alternative solutions to mixes that require higher amounts of cement. Fortunately, the answer has been here all along – in the form of superplasticizers.
How Can Superplasticizers lower cement requirements?
Superplasticizers are traditionally known for their water-reducing qualities to improve the flow of concrete without adding additional water and compromising the overall strength of the mix. These same qualities are also what allows for the reduction of cementitious materials.
When mixed with water cement particles become naturally attracted to one another and tend to form clumps. This means that only some of the cement particles can properly complete the hydration process, which lowers the strength of the finished product. High-strength mixes call for higher amounts of cement to increase the percentage of cement that bonds and hydrates with the water molecules. When a superplasticizer is present in the mix, it bonds with the cement particles and neutralized the force that pulls them together. This keeps them from forming clusters in the mix and frees more of the cement molecules to complete the hydration process. So you get the same result, with less cement than a traditional high-strength mix.
Which super plasticizer reduces cement requirements the most?
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a superplasticizer for your concrete mix. You’ll want to take into consideration the flowability and strength requirements, as well as weather conditions and application. For information about how to choose the right superplasticizer for your concrete, check out our product video. Don’t forget to follow our social media sites for more information about how our products can improve your concrete.