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Unlocking Concrete Potential: Benefits of Admixtures in Construction

fibre admixture, ready mix concrete, concrete supplier
Fri, 17/May/2024

The Role of Admixtures in Concrete: Enhancing Performance and Efficiency

Concrete is a fundamental building material that shapes our world. It is incredibly versatile and plays a critical role in countless construction projects. In many construction projects, ready mix concrete is preferred for their superior quality and ease of use. However, plain concrete may not always meet the specific needs of a project. This is where concrete admixtures come in.

Admixtures are ingredients added to concrete in small amounts to modify its properties. They can be introduced at the time of mixing or during the batching process. These additives enhance the performance and efficiency of concrete in various ways. You may buy superior quality fibre admixture from a reputed ready mix concrete supplier.

Let's explore some of the key benefits fibre admixtures provide in your construction process:

Improved Workability and Pumpability

Workability refers to the ease with which concrete can be placed and compacted. Admixtures, like plasticizers and superplasticizers, improve workability by reducing the water content needed for a workable mix. This allows for easier pouring and finishing, reducing the risk of voids and segregation. Improved workability is especially beneficial in complex structures with tight spaces or intricate reinforcement.

Pumpability is the ability of concrete to be pumped through pipes. Superplasticizers also enhance pumpability by making the concrete mix more fluid without compromising its strength. This is crucial for projects where concrete needs to be transported over long distances or placed in high-up locations.

Controlled Setting Time

The setting time of concrete refers to the time it takes for concrete to harden. Normal setting time can range from a few hours to a day, depending on various factors. However, construction projects may require faster or slower setting times.

Accelerators are admixtures that speed up the setting process. This is useful in cold weather conditions where concrete needs to harden quickly to prevent freezing or in situations where early formwork removal is necessary.

Conversely, retarders slow down the setting time. This is advantageous in hot weather, where concrete can dry out too quickly and crack. Retarders allow for extended workability, ensuring proper placement and finishing, especially in large pours.

Enhanced Durability and Strength

Durability refers to concrete's ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, wear and tear, and chemical attack. Several admixtures can significantly improve the durability of concrete.

Air-entraining admixtures introduce microscopic air bubbles into the concrete. These air bubbles act as pressure relief valves during freeze-thaw cycles, preventing concrete from cracking and spalling. This is essential in climates where freezing temperatures are common.

Corrosion inhibitors are admixtures that reduce the rate of steel reinforcement corrosion within concrete. Steel reinforcement can rust over time, leading to cracking and weakening of concrete structures. Corrosion inhibitors help to extend the lifespan of reinforced concrete structures.

Finally, strength can be enhanced through the use of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) like fly ash or silica fume. SCMs react with the hydration products of cement to form a denser and stronger concrete matrix.

Water Reduction and Cost Efficiency

The water-cement ratio is a critical factor in concrete strength. A lower water-cement ratio leads to stronger and more durable concrete. However, using too little water can make the concrete difficult to work with.

Superplasticizers and high-range water reducers (HRWRs) allow for a significant reduction in water content while maintaining workability. This enables the production of high-strength concrete without sacrificing workability. Reduced water content also translates to less water needing to be evaporated during curing, leading to faster construction schedules.

Specialised Concrete Properties

Fibre admixtures can be added to concrete to improve its tensile strength, impact resistance, and ductility. These tiny fibres act like microscopic reinforcement, distributing stress cracks and preventing them from propagating into larger cracks. Fibre-reinforced concrete is particularly useful in applications like pavements, industrial floors, and shotcrete (sprayed concrete).

Another specialised admixture is a self-compacting concrete admixture. Self-compacting concrete has the ability to flow into place and fill even the most complex forms under its own weight, eliminating the need for mechanical vibration. This is advantageous in congested reinforcement situations or when vibration is undesirable due to noise restrictions or the presence of sensitive equipment nearby.


Concrete admixtures play a vital role in the construction industry. By modifying the properties of concrete, admixtures can enhance workability, pumpability, setting time, durability, and strength. They also contribute to water reduction and cost-efficiency, while enabling the creation of concrete with specialised properties. When choosing a concrete supplier for your project, be sure to inquire about the admixtures they offer to ensure you are getting concrete that meets the specific needs of your project.

Save Time Concrete is a leading supplier of ready mix concrete in London. We offer a wide range of high-quality concrete mixes and admixtures, including fibre admixtures and self-compacting concrete. Our experienced team can help you select the right concrete and admixtures for your project, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency at an affordable rate.

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