A.E.A.’s, water reducers, and super plasticizers are inter-related chemistries. Although sharing many beneficial characteristics, none of these materials directly enhances chemical performance of the cement itself. Enhance technology combines the chemical and physical performance of all three in a balanced approach to assisted cement hydration.
Critical to the quality and integrity of any good concrete mix design is the complete hydration of cement in the formation of binding paste. Poorly hydrated cement will always result in an overall lack of structural integrity.
Hydration occurs in five specific stages. Enhance technology concentrates primarily on the first three stages where cement paste formation and related chemical reactions are critical to hydration and ultimately the quality of the hardened concrete. Proper understanding of hydration is equally important to all who will come in contact with the concrete in its’ mixing, placement, and finishing.
In order for an admixture to effectively enhance hydration the natural chemical and ionic transformations of Stage l (dissolution) must be extended for a period of time. Further, resulting incomplete particle hydration must be minimized.
- Hydrate n (1802) 1. A compound or complex ion formed by the union of water with some other substance 2. HYDROXIDE (calcium~).
Broken down into identifiable stages below are those which fall into the initial mixing and workability period of ready mixed concrete:
- Stage I: C3S comes in contact with water and releases calcium and hydroxyl ions into the solution. Dissolution begins and a rapid evolution of heat occurs for a period of 15-20 minutes.
- Stage II: Dissolution continues but much more slowly and pH reaches 12 or more. Known as the dormant or induction period second stage reaction periods are very slow and the cement remains plastic, workable for a period of a few hours.
- Stage III: Active reaction restarts and accelerates with time. Initial set occurs as the reactions become vigorous. Final set occurs before the end of the third stage.
When a critical value of calcium and hydroxyl ions is reached there is a rapid crystallization of CH and CSH followed by a rapid reaction (hardening). The cementing action occurs through the interlocking crystalline structure of hydrated compounds. Cohesion results from the formation and subsequent desiccation of the gel (paste).
Unlike organic admixtures Enhance technology is based on inorganic water soluble modified catalyzed calcium-silicates, sodium-silicates, potassium-silicates, and lithium-silicates in an aqueous alkaline solution.
- Alkaline adj. (1677) having a pH of more than 7.
Specialized surfactants extend the morphology period dispersing cement particles and for a short period hinder the development of a hydrate shell. Proprietary catalysts during this time ionically combine with cement components promoting the formation of a healthy final CSH gel structure.
- Silicate n (1811) a salt or ester derived from silicic acid; especially: any of numerous insoluble often complex metal salts that contain silicon and oxygen in the anion, constitute the largest class of minerals, and are used in building materials (cement, bricks, and glass).
ENHANCE TECHNOLOGY: Natural Cement Chemistry
Concrete Admixtures Handbook, Properties, Science, and Technology, V.S. Ramachandran, 1984, ISBN 0-8155-0981-2
Concrete, Sidney Mindness and J. Frances Young, 1981, ISBN 0-13-167106-5
Concrete Construction Handbook, 3rd Edition, Joseph J. Waddell and Joseph A. Dobrowolski, 1993, ISBN 0-07-067666-6
For further information on Enhance technology and products call your local representative.
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