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Admixtures generally are used to provide an economical means of improving one or more properties of fresh or hardened concrete. Among the effects sought are: reduction in bleeding, increased workability, acceleration or retardation of hydration or setting, increased strength, reduction in heat of hydration, added resistance to freezing and thawing, increased impermeability, improved resistance to aggressive waters and soils, and reduction of expansion caused by reactive aggregate and alkalies in cement. It should be noted that many of these improvements may be obtained without the use of admixtures if proper steps are taken in the design of concrete for the desired uses. However, admixtures designed for specific uses may effect the desired improvements in properties at a lower cost. Economy is, therefore, one of the matters of prime consideration.
Concrete engineering consultant, Sacramento, Calif.