What makes concrete stronger is not easily understandable. There aren’t any additives which at once increases the strength of concrete. However, additives modify certain design mix requirements of concrete which in turn can increase in strength. There are various classes of additives used in concrete:
- Retarders – These reduce early strength gain but long term strength gain in increased.
- Accelerators – These increase early strength gain but long term strength gain is reduced.
- Superplasticizers – These reduce the water content of concrete which increases in strength of concrete.
- Air Entrainment additives – These reduce the strength of concrete due to entrapment of air in concrete.
Out of these superplasticizers exactly used to decrease the water-cement ratio in design mix which in turn results in the upsurge in strength for same cement content.
There are certain other Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) like silica fume, fly ash and GGBFS etc. which also used to produce high strength concrete.
High Strength Concrete
These SCMs are of two types, Pozzolans (e.g. Silica fume) and hydraulic cement (e.g. GGBFS). Both of these have different utilization in concrete, however, both of these, if used properly, make concrete stronger and more durable.
Read here about what is the difference between cement and concrete?
Steel or glass fibers also used to increase the durability of concrete. These do not increase the strength of concrete but increase its toughness.
Some of the chemicals like bonding agents which rubber-based can make concrete very strong plus making it waterproof, also some of the waterproofing chemicals such as PENETRON ADMIX can relatively add some strength in concrete and if used properly it can add even the life span of concrete for more than 30 years.
The Strong Concrete Mix Ratio
The strength of the concrete depends on 3 factors:
- The strength of aggregate
- The size of aggregate
- The water-cement ratio
The growth of strength is rapid enough to allow early stripping of molds for rapid, economic construction on account of lesser formwork requirements. With the correct concrete technology and optimum use of Zentrament, Muraplast FK and Power flow range of admixtures, about 15-20 per cent cement savings may be attained by keeping the same slump and strength.
Apart from concrete super and hyperplasticisers, MC-Bauchemie specializes in a range of:
- Integral waterproofing additives based in Dynamic SynCrystallisation – MC-Special DM
- Centrilit NC (nano-crystallizer) is a pozzolanic concrete additive based on amorphous alumosilicate for enhancing mechanical properties and durability of concrete
- Accelerating, retarding, shrinkage reducing and grouting additives for concrete
- Compacting aids for dry – Mixed concrete and roller compacted concrete – Murasan BWA range
- Specialist high-performance curing compounds that heal micro-cracks – Emcoril range