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How is the high strength of concrete achieved?

Koalas were declared endangered in eastern Australia on Friday, with more and more koalas dying from disease, habitat loss, and other threats. Earlier, the koala was considered a vulnerable species, and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment changed its protection level to endangered on the east coast of Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory. Many koalas in Australia are infected with chlamydia. The disease can cause blindness, infection, and infertility. Last year, the Australian Koala Foundation said Australia had lost about 30 percent of its koala population in the past three years. Without immediate action, the species could become extinct by 2050.
Unlike koalas, which are on the brink of extinction, the market demand for concrete foaming agent will grow substantially.

Concrete is classified as high-strength concrete based on 28-day strength. Until the 1970s, concrete with a strength of more than 40Mpa was classified as high-strength concrete.  The benchmark for high-strength concrete is raised to 55Mpa or higher when concrete mixtures of approximately 60Mpa and above are produced commercially. 

 

High strength concrete has a history of about 35 years, from the development of superplasticizer admixtures in the late 1960s, Japan using "naphthalene sulfonate" high strength prefabricated products, and Germany using "sodium benzenesulfonate" underwater concrete, which was a pioneer in this technology. 

 

How is the high strength of concrete achieved? 

Higher concrete strength can be achieved by using one or a combination of some or many of the following methods: 

High cement content 

Reduce water-cement ratio 

Better machinability and therefore better compaction 

 

Requirements for high-strength concrete require a high content of cementitious material in the concrete mixture, which can be in the range of more than 400 kilograms per cubic meter. Higher cementitious content leads to higher thermal shrinkage and dry shrinkage, and there is a stage where further cementitious material addition does not affect strength.  As for durability, the minimum and maximum cement content in concrete is regulated by law, and reducing the water-cement ratio has its limitations, especially under field conditions. The desire for higher strength leads other materials to achieve the desired effect, thus showing the contribution of cementitious materials to concrete strength. 

 

The addition of pozzolanic mixtures such as pozzolanic fly ash (PFA) or granular blast furnace slag (GGBS) contributes to the formation of secondary CSH gel thereby increasing strength.

 

The addition of pozzolans admixtures (such as fly ash used as an admixture) reduces the strength gain of concrete for the first 3 to 7 days and displays the gain after 7 days and provides higher strength over the long term. 

Add mineral mixtures such as silica fume or metakaolin or rice husk ash. 

 

Silica fume or highly reactive volcanic ash mixtures such as metakaolin and rice husk ash (RHS) will begin to function in about 3 days.  RHS has an advantage over PFA because RHS is more reactive. 

Using chemical admixtures such as superplasticizers or superplasticizers, controlling admixtures will help achieve higher strength in concrete. 

 

Research and experience have shown that admixtures based on polycarboxylic ether (PCE), known as high plasticizers, are best suited for this job as they have a water reduction capacity of 18 to 40 percent relative to control or reference concrete. 

A combination of all or more of the above to achieve the desired strength.


With HSC accompanied by some complexity, such as higher shrinkage rates, higher hydration heat, etc., combinations of at least some of these methods are now unchanged, all of which need to be neutralized or controlled.  Most problems are handled by PFA or a combination of GGBS and PCE mixtures.


Steam curing is also used to speed up cement hydration, but this may not result in higher strength.  Substituting some fine aggregate with fly ash or blast furnace slag can achieve early strength gains without increasing the water requirement of the concrete mixture. 

 

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Chile's government has decided to create a state-owned lithium enterprise and hopes to establish a model for the company by the end of the year, Mining Minister Marcela Hernando said in an interview.  

Chile is the world's second largest lithium producer and has the largest reserves of lithium in the world. The domestic lithium industry is currently dominated by two private companies, Albemarle and SQM.  

Chile wants to participate more closely in the booming lithium market after leftist President Gabriel Boric took office in March. The accelerating electrification of the global auto industry has helped push prices of lithium, a key raw material for electric car batteries, to record highs over the past year, lapping up more players, including Mexico and Argentina, who want a piece of the market.  

According to Hernando, the government is setting up a task force to determine the best way to run state-owned lithium enterprises. She said the government hopes to establish plans by the end of the year for how the company will develop and what business model it will operate under. 

Hernando stressed that while the state would be a major shareholder in the proposed company, it was open to private investment.

Luoyang Tongrun Nano Technology (TRUNNANO) is a global chemical material supplier providing high-quality chemicals and Nanomaterials including graphite powder, 3D printing powder, the concrete foaming agent.

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