Producers must not only develop mix designs that provide excellent hardened properties such as durability and smooth surface appearance, they must provide fresh concretes that are flowable, consistently uniform, and achieve consistent set times.

Fortunately for the concrete industry, admixture manufacturers have been updating their formulations of water-reducing admixtures. These new products often include technologies that showcase advances in organic and polymer chemistries. These new technologies allow the fresh concrete to maintain consistent aggregate dispersion under the toughest delivery and pouring conditions without sacrificing durability or strength.

Following is a selection of water-reducing admixtures that can improve concrete's performance in a variety of applications.

Create a consistent mix

The Glenium 7000 series of high-range water-reducing admixtures is based on the next generation of polycarboxylate technology. The water reducers improve day-to-day consistency of concrete mixtures by retaining workability, which has a dramatic impact on fresh and hardened concrete properties. The Glenium series strikes a balance between workability retention and setting characteristics. BASF Construction Chemicals. 800-628-9990.

Enhance performance of SCMs

EnviroMix multi-range water reducer is recommended for concrete mixes where significant water reduction, improved cementitious material performance, normal to accelerated set times, and enhanced finishing characteristics are desired. It is especially effective in improving the performance of concrete mixes containing large amounts of fly ash and other pozzolans. Chryso Inc. 812-256-4220.

Protein-based polymers

The company's protein polymers are water-soluble powders with water manipulation capabilities that allow flexibility in water/cement ratios, open times, increased compressive and tensile strengths, and superior workability. As a water reducer, the polymers improve flow in cementitious applications and make concrete easier to pour. American Casein Co. 609-387-3130.

Precast/prestressed water reducer

ADVA Cast 575 is a polycarboxylate-based, high-range water reducer designed for precast/prestressed concrete. The superplasticizer provides extreme workability for conventional and self-consolidating mixes, even in concrete with very low water/cement ratios. It is formulated to achieve high early compressive strength with normal set times and superior finishability. Grace Construction Products. 877-423-6491.

Meet special requirements

Supercizer 7 powdered high-range water reducer is recognized for its performance in high-strength concrete and special applications. Versatile and easily to apply, use Supercizer 7 to set cables in dams, secure micropiles in stadiums or bridges, cast fine architectural pieces and countertops, or blend to produce a superior dry mix. Packaged in bulk or in patented water-soluble bags. Fritz-Pak Corp. 888-746-4116.

Multi-range water reducer

Superflo multi-range water-reducing polymers enhance concrete's workability and finishability while extending slump and improving overall mix properties. Defoamer additives maintain consistent air content throughout the entire dosage range. RussTech Inc. 502-267-7700.

Use with cement substitutes

Catexol Hydrosense polycarboxylate-based multi-range water reducer provides normal- to medium-range water reduction, while providing excellent flowability during placement without affecting initial setting time. The water reducer is designed to reduce the set time of mixes containing slag or fly ash and produces cost-efficient mixes for both horizontal and vertical applications. Axim Italcementi Group. 800-899-8795.

Admixture for volumetric mixers

Auger Aid (#1920) water reducer is ideal for volumetric concrete mixers, as it prevents “false set” in the auger. The admixture reduces water demand for high-strength mixes and results in easier finishing and placement without excess surface bleed water. Auger Aid also improves concrete's color consistency. Specco Industries Inc. 800-441-6646.

Better finishability, even in large doses

Eucon MRX mid-range water-reducing and plasticizing admixture uses advanced dispersant technologies to improve finishing characteristics. It is specifically engineered for a wide range of dosage rates without causing excessive retardation. The Euclid Chemical Co. 800-321-7628.

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