Shotcrete Admixture Companies

Admixtures play an important role in helping shotcrete pump, shoot, and carve more easily and efficiently, allowing it to be used in a wider range of applications. Here is an overview of some of the most common types of shotcrete admixtures, reasons for using them, and shotcrete admixture companies.

History of Shotcrete Admixtures

Shotcrete is an alternative to traditional concrete that is pumped and sprayed into locations where it is difficult to pour traditional concrete. This method was invented by Carl Ethan Akeley in 1907, and admixtures were quickly added to shotcrete to serve similar purposes to the benefits they give poured concrete. Admixtures have been added to basic concrete mixtures since the Roman Empire, and the specific types that are most frequently used have shifted over time as cities and typical concrete needs evolved. Early admixtures consisted of blood, milk, lard, rice paste, eggs, molasses, and other natural materials, while today’s options primarily consist of more complex chemical compounds. 

Shotcrete Admixtures for Strength

Increasing the strength of your shotcrete is a major reason for considering an admixture, especially when constructing support beams or for other uses that require an especially high level of strength to be safe and effective. Water reducing admixtures are generally considered to be the best option for increasing the strength of your shotcrete. This type of admixture allows shotcrete to achieve high strength resulting from a low water-to-cement ratio while still maintaining an acceptable level of workability.

Water reducing admixtures also provide a wide range of other related benefits, including increasing workability, improving bonding, and reducing the likelihood of cracking, which makes them one of the most common, most versatile, and best all-around admixture types for a wide variety of purposes. 

Accelerating admixtures can also help to improve the strength of your shotcrete early on by helping it cure faster. Although accelerating admixtures will not necessarily provide the same level of long-term strength as water reducing admixtures, they can be helpful in situations in which you may struggle to get your shotcrete to cure quickly enough to hold itself together without becoming damaged. 

Shotcrete Admixtures for Durability 

Strength and durability go hand in hand when it comes to ensuring that your shotcrete can withstand the elements and the pressure of normal use, but they are not exactly the same thing. Concrete that is particularly durable is the most likely to be able to withstand a significant load over time, while concrete that is strong but not as durable may be able to hold a heavy load up front but have a harder time continuing to do so over time. This is particularly true if you live in a particularly cold area, which can lead to significant expanding or contracting of your shotcrete. Air entraining admixtures are an excellent choice for increasing your shotcrete’s ability to hold up to the demands frequent freezing and thawing place on it. 

Shotcrete Admixtures for Workability 

Some uses make it particularly important for your shotcrete to be workable, or capable of withstanding a certain amount of movement and adjustment. This is particularly true when it comes to being able to adjust your shotcrete and get it into exactly the right position before it fully cures, and your shotcrete’s pumpability, flowability, rebound, and carvability are also important aspects of determining whether it is workable enough to meet your needs. 

Shotcrete Admixtures for Job Site Requirements 

Certain types of job sites may also include their requirements for admixtures that shotcrete needs to include, which are often related to the specific challenges that shotcrete may face while and after it cures. Some common job site requirements include shotcrete with a minimum pumping height or pumping distance, shotcrete that does not have a negative impact on indoor air quality, and shotcrete that is strong enough or durable enough to withstand a complex local climate. 

Shotcrete Admixture Applications 

Shotcrete admixtures can be used to supplement an average mixture for a wide range of reasons and specialized purposes. Some of the main types of construction that can most benefit from shotcrete admixtures include: 

  • Bridge structure
  • Building construction
  • Tunnels 
  • Retaining structures
  • Swimming pools 

Shotcrete Admixture Companies

There is a wide variety of companies based around the world that manufacture and market admixtures specially designed for use in shotcrete. Examples include Sika, Euclid Chemical, GCP Applied Technologies (part of Saint-Gobain), Mapei, Master Builders, and many others. These companies provide the full range of concrete and shotcrete admixtures including air entrainers, water reducers, corrosion inhibitors, shrinkage reducers, accelerators, and more. Concrete and shotcrete producers have many options to choose from based on their individual needs and circumstances.  

Admixtures  

Eden Innovations prioritizes taking shotcrete capabilities to the next level. As the developers and manufacturers of the EdenCrete® product line,, Eden Innovations creates modern concrete and shotcrete solutions that focus on both sustainability and high performance. EdenCrete® is a line of unique carbon nanotube-enriched admixtures that sustainably improves many properties of shotcrete and concrete for a wide range of commercial, industrial, and residential uses. It combines a wide range of benefits that typically require multiple admixture types to obtain, such as: 

  • An increase in strength and durability
  • A decrease in cracking, permeability, and scaling
  • Greater pumpability using lower hydraulic pump pressures
  • Stronger resistance against abrasions 
  • An improvement to the life of your shotcrete or concrete while reducing the need for maintenance and repairs 

EdenCrete® is compatible with all other standard concrete and shotcrete admixtures, making its addition to an existing mix design seamless. Regardless of which company’s admixture package is already in use, incorporating EdenCrete® will not result in incompatibility issues.

Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of choosing EdenCrete® and how it compares to other admixture types or to start planning your project!

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