When it comes to choosing the right type of admixture for your concrete project, there are a few factors you need to take into account. Two of the most common types of admixtures are low strength and high strength. But what’s the difference? And which one is right for your project? In this article, we will explore the differences between low and high strength admixtures and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
What is Admixture?
Admixture refers to the addition of materials to concrete before or during its mixing to modify its properties. They can be used to improve the workability of fresh concrete, increase its strength, or speed up or slow down the setting time. There are generally two main types of admixtures: chemical and mineral. Chemical admixtures are the most commonly used type and are further divided into five categories:
- Strength and durability enhancers
- Air entrainment
- Water reducers
- Set accelerators
- Specialty admixture
Now that we know what admixtures are, let’s take a closer look at low and high strength options.
Low and High Strength Admixtures
These admixtures fall into the strength and durability enhancers category and, as the names suggest, they are used to increase the strength and durability of concrete.
Low strength admixtures are typically used for lower-strength concrete applications, such as sidewalks, driveways, and other non-structural projects. Low strength admixtures are also often used in precast concrete applications. High strength admixtures, on the other hand, are designed for use in high-strength concrete applications, such as bridges and buildings. High strength admixtures can also be used in precast concrete applications, but they are typically not necessary.
Another major difference between low and high strength admixtures is the amount of water they contain. Low strength admixtures typically have a higher water content, which makes them ideal for projects that require a lower compressive strength. However, this also means that low strength admixtures are more susceptible to freezing and thawing cycles. On the other hand, high strength admixtures have a lower water content, which makes them ideal for projects that require a higher compressive strength. However, this also means that high strength admixtures are more expensive than low strength admixtures.
Other Types of Admixtures Explained
- Air entrainment admixture: There are two types of air entrainment admixtures: Air entraining and air-detraining admixtures. Air entraining admixtures increase the amount of air in concrete, which makes it more resistant to freezing and thawing. Air detraining admixtures do the opposite; they decrease the amount of air in concrete.
- Water reducers: Water reducing admixtures are used to increase the workability of fresh concrete without adding water. They can be used to improve the pumpability of concrete, increase its finishing quality, and decrease the overall water-cement ratio.
- Set accelerators: Set accelerator admixtures are used to speed up the setting time of concrete. They are often used in cold weather applications or when a quick turnaround is needed.
- Specialty admixture: Specialty admixtures are those that don’t fit into any of the other categories. They include admixtures to inhibit corrosion, aid with grinding, decrease the concrete weight with functional fillers, increase the fire resistance of concrete, improve its bond strength, and even change its colour.
How Bisley International Can Help
Are you looking for a quality concrete admixture supplier? Look no further than Bisley International! We offer a wide range of admixtures for all your concrete needs. Contact us today to learn more!