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Improving Crack Resistance of Concrete 

Mechanism
From a durability point of view, cracking of concrete is a major concern. Cracking may be due to: 

  • plastic shrinkage and plastic settlement of concrete in the unhardened state
  • drying shrinkage or other factors in the hardened concrete.

Prevention
BASF has the most advanced liquid admixture to control cracking caused by drying shrinkage.

  • MasterLIFE® SRA20 shrinkage-reducing admixture can be used to reduce drying shrinkage and the potential for subsequent cracking in concrete by reducing capillary tension of pore water, thereby reducing the internal stresses that cause concrete to shrink. Drying shrinkage may be reduced by as much as 80% at 28 days and up to 50% at one year, depending on the concrete mixture and the dosage of MasterLIFE SRA20 admixture. Secondary benefits of MasterLIFE SRA20 admixture include a reduction in compressive creep, reduced curling and carbonation.

Cracking due to plastic shrinkage and plastic settlement can be minimized by adding synthetic fibers.  Because the fibers are uniformly distributed throughout the concrete mixture, they control bleeding, keep the heavier constituents of the mixture in place, and inhibit cracks as they form. Depending on the application rate, fibers can inhibit up to 80-100% of plastic shrinkage cracking.

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