Master Builders rheology conditioner eases Type IL concrete mix work

Sources: Master Builders Solutions, Beechwood, Ohio; CP staff

World of Concrete 2024 marked the formal North American market debut of Master Builders Solutions’ MasterEase, a next generation rheology-modifying, water-reducing admixture. Recently developed polymers enable the new ASTM C494 Type A agent to lower concrete viscosity compared to prior water reducing admixtures. The polymers reduce yield stress, the main indicator of concrete flow properties, making MasterEase especially suited to mixes designed with a) ASTM C595 Type IL portland limestone cements or supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs); and, b) coarse, manufactured sands or marginal virgin or recycled aggregates that exhibit angular shapes or other properties that quality control professionals tend to avoid using.


L-box flowability test results show the improved placement characteristics of a MasterEase (left, six-second flow) mix versus one dosed with a polycarboxylate ether superplasticizer (right, 22-second flow). Both specimens bear the same mix designs and target slumps.

As cement producers migrate from ASTM C150 Type I/II to C595 Type IL, Master Builders Solutions officials note that concrete producers and their customers experience mixes with lower early-age strength development and sticky, harsh characteristics. The latter result in pumping, placing and finishing difficulties, leading to greater equipment wear and tear, plus lower crew productivity. Master Builders Solutions is promoting the new admixture for a wide range of low- to high-slump conditions. MasterEase excels in extruded mixes for curb & gutter applications and prestressed hollow core plank. The new, patent protected polymer technology was developed by Master Builders Solutions’ scientists with higher sustainability applications in mind, such as enabling the use of high clinker replacements and artificial aggregates.

The MasterEase rollout follows widespread market uptake of Master X-Seed, a strength-enhancing admixture family that Master Builders Solutions brought to the North American market in 2018. That timing anticipated broader Type IL and SCM use in North America, especially in major construction markets —