MB rheology conditioner eases work with Type IL cement concrete mixes

Master Builders Solutions has formally rolled out 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; and, b) coarse, manufactured sands or marginal virgin or recycled aggregates exhibiting angular shapes or other properties that quality control professionals tend to avoid.

L-box flowability test results show the improved placement characteristics of a MasterEase.
Mix versus one dosed with a polycarboxylate ether superplasticizer. Excepting the MasterEase and HRWR dosing, both specimens have 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. Company scientists developed the patent protected polymer technology with higher sustainability applications in mind, among them enabling the use of high clinker replacements and artificial aggregates.

The MasterEase introduction follows widespread 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 this side of the Atlantic, especially in major U.S. construction markets. A stable suspension of synthetically produced crystalline calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) nanoparticles (Seeds), Master X-Seed imparts strength development qualities to counter Type IL cement and SCMs’ tendency to develop early-age strength slower than Type I/II portland cement. The Seeds facilitate C-S-H crystal growth on cement grains and improve the overall binder hydration. When paired with Type IL or SCM binders, the technology has the potential to reduce embodied carbon in concrete mixtures by 5 percent to 20 percent versus Type I/II portland cement mixtures. — Master Builders Solutions Admixtures US LLC, Beachwood, Ohio; www.master-builders-solutions.com

Finishing contractors have noted the ability of MasterEase to counter the harsh characteristics and limited bleed water tendencies of concrete mixtures designed with lower carbon metrics.
In a V-funnel flow test involving the same mix design and target slump, a MasterEase mix measured 11 seconds versus 29 seconds for a control mix with polycarboxylate ether superplasticizer.