Effect of nonionic side chain length of polycarboxylate-ether-based high-range water-reducing admixture on properties of cementitious systems
Despite the large variations in the behaviors of water-reducing admixtures upon changes in their structures, most previous reports on the cement-admixture compatibility did not provide sufficient information on the structure of the admixture. Hence, the evaluation and generalization of the reports on the cement-admixture compatibility are challenging. In this study, three different polycarboxylate-ether-based water-reducing admixtures with the same free nonionic content, anionic/nonionic molar ratio, and main chain length and different side chain lengths were produced. The compatibility of these admixtures with a CEM I 42.5R-type cement was investigated. In addition, an analysis of variance was performed on the experiment results to evaluate the contributions of the admixture type, admixture/cement ratio, and elapsing time to the Marsh funnel flow time, mini-slump, slump flow, and compressive strength. The water-reducing admixtures having long or short side chains reduced the initial flow characteristics of the cementitious systems. However, the admixture having the shortest side chain was better with regard to flow retention. The side chain length of the admixture did not have significant effects on the compressive strength and water absorption capacity of the mortar mixtures and mini-slump performances of the cement paste mixtures. Regarding the behaviors of the admixtures in the cementitious systems, an optimal admixture side chain molecular weight is proposed.
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