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Sunday, 22 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications

Optimising polycarboxylate cement dispersants to achieve fast-flowing mortar

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Concretes and mortars possessing a low water-to-cement (w/c) ratio (<0.40) liquefied with comb-shaped polycarboxylate (PCE) copolymers commonly exhibit a sticky, honey-like consistency, and slow flow behaviour.

Different PCE comb polymers based on methacrylate ester, allyl, vinyl, and isoprenyl ether macromonomers were studied. Source: Bernd Sterzl/Pixelio

Different PCE comb polymers based on methacrylate ester, allyl, vinyl, and isoprenyl ether macromonomers were studied. Source: Bernd Sterzl/Pixelio

The stickiness is owed to high plastic viscosity of the suspension. In a study, German researchers from Technische Universität München synthesised and analysed different PCE comb polymers based on methacrylate ester, allyl, vinyl, and isoprenyl ether macromonomers.

HLB value determines plastic viscosity

It was found that their hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) value, i.e., the balance between the hydrophilic and lipophilic parts in these PCE molecules determines their effect on the plastic viscosity of a concrete. PCE copolymers mainly composed of hydrophilic parts, i.e., such possessing high HLB values, impart low plastic viscosity. Allyl ether-maleic acid based PCEs exhibit especially high HLB values and thus impart low plastic viscosity. Higher viscosities were recorded for isoprenylether PCEs, while methacrylate-ester and vinyl ether PCEs possess particularly low HLB values and hence produce a pronounced sticky concrete.

The study is published in: Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Volume 132, Issue 37, October 5, 2015

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