Shotcrete Additive - Carbon Additive

There are shotcrete admixtures and cement additives, the difference being admixtures are ingredients used when making fresh concrete or shotcrete, and additives are added during cement production to improve the cement manufacturing process.

Chemicals which improve the performance of shotcrete are often referred to synonymously as a shotcrete additive or shotcrete admixture. However, it is incorrect to interchange the two terms as each has a specific application.

EdenCrete®, a shotcrete admixture fortified with carbon nanotubes, delivers numerous advantages over traditional shotcrete admixtures. Among them:

1. Improved paste rheology minimizes segregation and sand packing in the hose. This allows the mix to be pumped using a lower pressure than what is required for conventional shotcrete (~2400 psi vs. ~3800 psi). As a result, operators burn less fuel and put less strain on their pumps.

2. The finished product is less permeable and more crack-resistant to help long-term durability. This means fewer dollars spent on maintenance, repairs and replacements over years of heavy use.

Next-gen carbon nanotube admixtures like EdenCrete® are regularly used by contractors as a partial or total replacement for traditional macrofibers, microfibers, and/or structural fibers, which makes placing, carving, and finishing the shotcrete easier.

D.O.T. Shotcrete Admixture Projects

Each year, more highway projects in the U.S. are greenlighting shotcrete admixtures with carbon nanotubes. Projects such as Colorado’s Central-70 have benefitted from a more sustainable mix, significantly reducing cement and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the carbon footprint. This use of EdenCrete® was not only a good choice from an environmental perspective, but it also helped the shotcrete crews by making it easier to apply without a fight.

Construction Projects with ShotCrete using Admixtures

Carbon nanotube-enriched shotcrete admixtures are being rapidly adopted by public and private builders. These admixtures, which can replace or be used alongside other admixtures and fibers, fill in spaces at the nanoscopic level. This results in improvements in abrasion resistance, permeability, and ease of use from the pump to the nozzle. In their new headquarters, a wind engineering firm in Windsor, CO used EdenCrete® instead of an epoxy floor coating because of cost, performance, and a reduced maintenance burden that was important to the company’s operations.

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Shotcrete contractors rely on admixtures (sometimes incorrectly called shotcrete additives) like EdenCrete® to make shotcrete easier to apply (speeding up time to completion) and to ensure a tightly closed surface with long-lasting value. EdenCrete® accomplishes this by increasing resistance to cracking and moisture, extending durability, and helping to create a higher quality of finish for the customer. Concrete admixtures with carbon nanotubes have been and continue to be adopted across the U.S. as more contractors discover the ease of use while providing homeowners longer-lasting pools. Carbon nanotube admixtures made their start in the form of large-scale commercial, industrial, and infrastructure projects, and have found a home in the residential/commercial pool and hardscape market through the contractors’ hands.

Residential Construction with Shotcrete using Admixtures

During the plastic (fresh) phase, the cement encapsulates, or hydrates, onto the carbon nanotubes and other nanoparticles to form a more robust hardened matrix. Contractors use EdenCrete® in residential and commercial shotcrete projects to make it easier to carve or stamp a natural finish with deep joints. Conventional shotcrete without EdenCrete® is more susceptible to cracking via exposure to moisture, which then freezes (even more of a concern in regions with cold winters). Millions of flexible, strong carbon bonds throughout the structure greatly improve durability against the elements and resistance to failure from crack propagation over time.

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