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Even a layman knows that concrete is one of the fundamental elements in construction. Everywhere you look, concrete is within structures, be they bridges, residences or even dams. Concrete is made up of Portland cement and aggregates, such as sand or gravel along with water. But, on its own, concrete is a plain building material, without any of the special properties that can make a dwelling inhabitable. Plus, on its own, concrete may not have the right handling or binding ability.
An expert builder will tell you that concrete has to be fortified further with Additives, which can be in powder or liquid forms. Additives are required in tiny quantities to control and enhance concrete benefits and reduce their unwanted properties.
Additives are classified into two major categories – Chemical and Mineral. Chemical additives will give you better quality concrete at phases that involve mixing, shifting, moulding and curing. It also is useful during problematic stages of concretization, can change hardened concrete behaviour and overall helps in reducing costs.
Mineral additives are equally valuable in cost-reduction and also affect properties of hardened concrete through hydraulic or ‘pozzolanic’ processes. Pozzolans are natural materials derived from active sites, such as volcanic ash, silica fume and fly ash. Overall, mineral additives improve concrete-strength and reduce its permeability.
All additives have to be mixed with the concrete in small quantities and are commercially available as
Binding Additives – bond additives enhance the concrete’s resistance to water, especially in water-logged areas. This latex-based additive can also increase the concrete’s pliability, durability and make it easier to mould. Additionally, these agents also reduce the chances of cracking and shrinkage in creeds and during any future work.
Plasticizers – are also known as ‘water reducers.' These are chemical additives that help in reducing the amount of water required to make concrete. Generally, these are used during huge constructions, where steel reinforcement requires more malleable concrete.
Accelerating Additives - these hasten the process of hardening. Weather Proofing Additives – used to improve concrete for frost-prone areas, or for water resistance.
Besides the above-listed additives, there are others such as colouring agents for cement, anti-corrosion and more. There is a vast range of additives available at BuildWorld, including all the above for each unique need your construction requires.