Concrete, the single most widely-used building material in the world, has a history dating back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. Given that concrete is used twice as much in construction over all other building materials, emphasis on quality, performance and sustainability is essential for the industry to grow and thrive.
One of the most important ingredients in high performance, long-lasting, durable and beautiful concrete produced today are concrete admixtures. Concrete admixtures are natural or manufactured chemicals or additives added during concrete mixing to enhance specific properties of the fresh or hardened concrete, such as workability, durability, or early and final strength.
Chemical Admixtures are One of the components in High Performance Concrete
The first step in optimizing concrete is to recognize that concrete is no longer simply cementitious materials, aggregates and water. It is a high performance material with not just four, but seven essentials – consisting of water, cementitious material, sand, gravel, chemical admixtures, additives and fiber reinforcement .
Engineering of concrete structures is a continuously evolving process. Invention and development of new construction methods place increasing demands on the building materials. Concrete producers face this technological challenge daily alongside other factors such as economy, ecology, raw material and energy costs and logistical complexity. In the duration of the whole construction process, time itself is an increasingly important factor.
Sika provides a wide range of concrete admixtures with innovative options for concrete mix design, whether it’s for substantially reducing the water content of a mix (e.g. with Sika® ViscoCrete), using a more economical mix design or achieving sufficient early strength. Sika’s concrete admixtures help you meet the challenges of modern concrete technology and the construction business.
A full range of plasticizers, superplasticizers, and workability enhancers is available from Sika.
Sika’s admixtures can improve fresh concrete workability properties like pumping or self-compacting, which enables concrete to flow easily through and into confined spaces.
All participants in the construction process want to achieve sufficient early strength to allow formwork removal as quickly as possible, whether in shotcrete for construction sites or in concrete production.
An essential characteristic of concrete is its durability. Knowledge about concrete technology together with a full range of appropriate concrete admixtures will help meet concrete durability requirements.
With the addition of fibers made of various materials and different shapes, the ductility and tensile behavior of concrete can be increased.
A wide range of concrete essentials complete the product range – from mold release agents, curing agents to surface retarders.
Specific site requirements regarding extended workability time of fresh concrete before hardening can be perfectly tailored with the help of set retarders.