Ice, snow and cold temperatures – any of these makes construction in the winter time challenging, especially for ready mix concrete producers and users. Often, projects have to be delayed due to the adverse weather conditions. With concrete admixtures from Master Builders Solutions® concrete producers can be flexible and adjust to the needs of winter concreting; the jobsites can keep production going.
Hardening of concrete is a chemical reaction of cement with water. As any chemical reaction, hardening slows down with lower temperatures and nearly stops when the temperature is 5°C and below. As a consequence, construction activity is greatly reduced during winter months. Generally, to produce and place concrete in these temperatures the concrete must first be heated at the concrete plant, then precautions need to take place at the job site such as the addition of accelerators, heating blankets and freeze protection. However, those measures are expensive and inconvenient. Accelerators and freeze protection agents bring about diminished workability control of fresh concrete and are limited in their usage in some markets and applications.
Accelerated hardening thanks to crystal seeds
The accelerating admixture Master X-Seed enhances early age strength development of concrete by increasing the intrinsic reactivity of the cement. Master X-Seed is able to do this through its unique chemistry, which consists of very small crystal seeds. During the hydration of concrete these seeds provide the crystallization surface for the hardening cement past. This accelerates the hardening process, the heat development of the cement hydration kicks in earlier and ensures that the concrete core temperature and its hardening processes proceeds normally even at freezing temperatures outside.
Finally, the hardened concrete reaches the same mechanical properties as non-accelerated concrete under normal temperature conditions. This acceleration process takes place at all temperatures and provides ideal reactivity for cement, even at temperatures below freezing.
Master X-Seed has been used successfully to help concrete producers and contractors on key projects, for example for the winter construction of the Quality Hotel Friends and the Mall of Scandinavia in Stockholm, Sweden, and the rehabilitation of the “Fallender Bach” (Falling Creek) highway tunnel at Inn-Valley, Austria, which was under tremendous time pressure.
“A decisive advantage of using Master X-Seed is that – different to conventional accelerators – the rheology properties of the fresh concrete is not altered”, says Jan Kluegge, Head of European Marketing Ready Mix for BASF. “All required workability classes including SCC can safely be achieved, even under high dosages the concrete does not get harsh or heavy to trowel as with conventional accelerators.” Furthermore extended workability retention can be achieved leading to consistently high quality concrete installations.
Overall concrete works can be performed faster and with fewer efforts. The process of the construction project becomes largely independent of weather conditions and can safely and predictably be carried also under winter conditions.
Learn more about this and other innovative products of Master Builders Solutions under www.master-builders-solutions.basf.com.
Master Builders Solutions from BASF
Under the Master Builders Solutions® brand, BASF bundles its advanced chemical solutions for new construction, maintenance, repair and renovation of structures. Master Builders Solutions is built on the experience gained from more than 100 years in the construction industry. The comprehensive portfolio under the brand encompasses concrete admixtures, cement additives, chemical solutions for underground construction, waterproofing solutions, sealants, repair and protection solutions, performance grouts, and performance flooring solutions.
Master Builders Solutions is backed by a global community of BASF construction experts. To solve our customers’ specific construction challenges, we combine the suitable elements of our portfolio, our know-how across areas of expertise and regions, and draw on the experience gained in countless construction projects worldwide. We leverage global BASF technologies as well as our in-depth knowledge of local building needs, to develop innovations that help make our customers more successful and drive sustainable construction.
About the Construction Chemicals division
BASF’s Construction Chemicals division offers advanced chemicals solutions for new construction, maintenance, repair and renovation of structures: Our comprehensive portfolio encompasses concrete admixtures, cement additives, chemical solutions for underground construction, waterproofing systems, sealants, concrete repair & protection systems, performance grouts, performance flooring systems, tile fixing systems, expansion control systems and wood protection solutions.
The Construction Chemicals division’s 5,700 employees form a global community of construction experts. To solve our customers’ specific construction challenges from conception through to completion of a project, we combine our know-how across areas of expertise and regions and draw on the experience gained in countless construction projects worldwide. We leverage global BASF technologies, as well as our in-depth knowledge of local building needs, to develop innovations that help make our customers more successful and drive sustainable construction.
The division operates production sites and sales centers in more than 50 countries and achieved sales of about €2.1 billion in 2013.
At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.