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Concrete’s Secret Ingredients

As you may already know, pouring concrete in cold weather can lead to bad news. Water expands when it turns into ice, so freezing temperatures can do some serious damage to your concrete if it hasn’t set yet. The success of many concrete projects relies on the temperature of the surrounding environment. You don’t want to risk weakening your concrete with fractures or spalling (the official term for rocklike material breaking into smaller pieces).

One solution is to add ingredients to your concrete that will strengthen the mixture. We talked a little about the recipe for concrete in another article, but we didn’t go into specifics about admixtures. Admixtures are typically either mineral or chemical in nature.

Mineral Admixtures – These types of additives decrease the chances of thermal cracking and reduce the amount of cement used in concrete, which can significantly cut costs. Using these ingredients will make the concrete easier to work with as well.

  • Fly Ash
  • Silica Fume
  • Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag

Chemical Admixtures – These ingredients are used in smaller quantities but can have a huge impact on the concrete. These additives have effects like reducing the moisture content of the whole mixture or the total amount of time that the concrete needs to set.

  • Air-Entrainment
  • Water-Reducing
  • Set-Retarding
  • Accelerating
  • Superplasticizers

If you’re interested in learning more about concrete, simply contact us and we’d be happy to answer any of your questions.