Chemical Admixtures for Ready Mix Concrete

Chemical admixtures are used in ready mix concrete to enhance its properties and performance. Here are some common types of chemical admixtures and their uses:

1. Water-Reducing Admixtures:

  • Purpose: Reduce the amount of water needed for a given workability, increasing strength and reducing permeability.
  • Common Chemicals: Lignosulfonates, polycarboxylate ethers.

2. Retarding Admixtures:

  • Purpose: Delay the setting time of concrete, useful in hot weather conditions or for large pours to prevent cold joints.
  • Common Chemicals: Calcium sulfate, sugars.

3. Accelerating Admixtures:

  • Purpose: Speed up the setting time and early strength development, beneficial in cold weather or for fast-track construction.
  • Common Chemicals: Calcium chloride, triethanolamine.

4. Superplasticizers (High-Range Water Reducers):

  • Purpose: Provide significant increase in workability without adding extra water, ideal for high-strength concrete and complex formwork.
  • Common Chemicals: Polycarboxylate ethers, sulfonated naphthalene formaldehyde.

5. Air-Entraining Admixtures:

  • Purpose: Introduce and stabilize microscopic air bubbles in concrete, improving its resistance to freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Common Chemicals: Vinsol resin, fatty acids.

6. Corrosion Inhibitors:

  • Purpose: Protect reinforcing steel from corrosion, enhancing the durability of concrete structures exposed to chlorides.
  • Common Chemicals: Calcium nitrite, sodium nitrite.

7. Shrinkage-Reducing Admixtures:

  • Purpose: Minimize shrinkage and reduce the risk of cracking in concrete.
  • Common Chemicals: Polyoxyalkylene alkyl ether.

8. Alkali-Silica Reactivity (ASR) Inhibitors:

  • Purpose: Prevent the reaction between alkalis in cement and reactive silica in aggregates, which can cause expansion and cracking.
  • Common Chemicals: Lithium nitrate.

9. Waterproofing Admixtures:

  • Purpose: Reduce the permeability of concrete, making it more resistant to water penetration.
  • Common Chemicals: Silicones, stearates.

10. Bonding Admixtures:

  • Purpose: Improve the bond between old and new concrete surfaces.
  • Common Chemicals: Synthetic latexes (like styrene-butadiene).

Benefits of Using Chemical Admixtures:

  • Enhanced Workability: Improves the ease of placing and finishing concrete.
  • Increased Durability: Enhances resistance to environmental factors.
  • Optimized Setting Time: Adjusts setting time for different construction needs.
  • Cost Efficiency: Reduces the overall cost by improving performance and reducing the need for additional materials.


  • Compatibility: Ensure admixtures are compatible with other materials used in the concrete mix.
  • Dosage: Proper dosage is crucial to achieve the desired effect without compromising the concrete quality.
  • Environmental Conditions: Select admixtures based on the specific environmental conditions and project requirements.

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