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abil-strength® - information  bulletin  2

Ability’s Multi-Functional, Superpolymer Powder Admixture for Concrete. (Test before Use - trials are Essential). Free, no charge samples are provided.

abil-strength® is a non set-retarding strength increasing cement hardener, improver, flexibiliser, supplementary polymer modifier, binder and reinforcer, for all kinds, types and classes of Portland cement-bound concrete. It is also a polymer ‘glue’ based, adhesion promoter and water reducer or flow inducing agent at a given consistency for all cast-in-place (in-situ) concrete,mortar, grout and terrazzo, as well as for concrete products, including terrazzo tiles and other thin section tiles, pavers, polymer asphalt etc.

It is also an excellent flexibilising and bond-increasing admixture for easy-to-use one step - ‘just add water’ factory compounded cement and hydrated lime-based dry mixed products.

Unique, cost-effective abil-strength® re-dispersible superpolymer admixture powder may be used at an optimum dose rate in each particular case (to be established by prior testing) for such items as thin section, high performance more ductile concrete, thinner pavers, tiles, other concrete products and as durability insurance.

The product may be added at various dose rates and well mixed into all properly designed and prepared wet plastic Portland cement-based mixes having about 20% less water than normal for achieving the following benefits:

• Increased mechanical strengths resulting in increased durability and higher impact and abrasion resistance which means less ‘wear and tear’. These benefits result from the use of less water without compromising ideal consistency and workability and tough, strong flexible 100% acrylic polymer reinforcement when abil-strength® powder is added into a prepared plastic concrete mix at an optimum dose which will not usually cause a substantial increase in concrete/mortar setting time at a given mix temperature.

• Increased flexibility, tensibility, ductility and bond strength of all types grades and classes of concrete - especially thin section and/or high strength high performance more flexible concrete with higher flexural strength.

• The manufacture of cost-effective thinner and therefore lighter concrete products, thinner section flexible concrete floors and screeds or self levelling toppings as well as more flexible thinner, lower weight tilt-up, or factory made architectural precast panels; pavements; beams; columns and other concrete building components.

• Greater weight reduction may be achieved with the use of abil-strength® in the mix in conjunction with Ability’s E-Spheres® lightweight aggregate. E-Spheres® are strong, opaque white, hollow ceramic microspheres which maintain the mechanical strengths of concrete (or mortar) whilst reducing its overall density but not the density of the hydrated binder.

• For potentially obtaining superpolymer modified concrete, mortars, cement patching compounds, cement-based (cementitious) paints etc. having high hardness, crack resistance, shrinkage resistance, water penetration resistance, adhesion failure resistance and longevity.

• Substantially improved adhesion to the substrate and/or of the internal hydrated cement paste bond to the aggregate(s) - especially in ‘no fines’ pre-mixed concrete, in-situ terrazzo floors and pavements, polymer/cement slurry asphalt, dry-mix floor levelling compounds, as well as both exterior and interior cement renders and ‘plasters’.

• Normal setting time and higher earlier strength for all cast-in-place concrete to allow faster removal (‘stripping’) of formwork / moulds / shuttering and earlier use and trafficking of concrete pavements, concrete toppings, decorative cement-based pavements coatings, repair compounds etc.

• Absolutely watertight concrete, concrete products, special purpose masonry mortars, grouts and water based polymer asphalt.

• For cement concrete and bitumen / polymer / cement bituminous concrete / asphalt pavements, with considerably higher resistance to sulphates, other chemical corrosion, erosion, freeze-thaw conditions, impact and wear.

abil-strength® super-polymer powder is completely compatible with most other chemical admixtures for concrete - all of which are to be added separately to prepared wet plastic concrete/mortars with about 20% less water than normal. Compatible admixtures include aabilox® **** oxide cement colours, Super Plasticising / Super Water Reducers*, normal Water Reducers, Silica fume (now called amorphous silica),Ground Slag**, setting time Retarders and non-chloride Accelerators*** etc.
However, abil-strength® powder is not normally recommended for use with air entrained concrete where air entraining admixtures (AEA’S) have been incorporated unless the mechanical strength of the concrete is maintained on prior test by the addition of more cement and/or cementitious material. abil-strength® assists in making concrete more ductile to withstand deformation under load without fracture.

• For improved particulate dry oxide cement colour powder**** holding / binding properties in concrete to result in stronger colour and long term colour retention as well as colour stability and permanence of integrally coloured brick, block, other masonry and their jointing mortars.

• Improved colour development of cement pigments to give more cost-effective, brighter stronger integral colouration at a given dose rate by weight of the cement weight for integrally through-coloured concrete, concrete products, engineering cement bound grouts masonry jointing mortars for pavers, applied finishes and dust-on (colour ‘hardener’) dry-mix surface shakes for the surface colouration of cast-in-place concrete pavements.

• Uniform coloured as well as more uniform unpigmented natural grey, off-white or white concrete which with uniform finishing is more consistent and even in colour and appearance.

* Ability offers its Cosmotron® DPU-AC superplasticiser high range water reducing admixture powder.

** Ability offers its high quality Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag Powder (a pozzolanic ‘silica flour’) available in nominal 40Kg bags / sacks or by prior arrangement in 1 tonne bulker bags.

*** Ability offers its non-chloride CEM-SWIFT MT set accelerating admixture powder for concrete.

**** Ability offers its abilox® range of UV resistant ultrafine particulate mineral oxide powder pigments for the integral permanent colouration of concrete, mortars and grouts - to obtain virtually any permanent colour.

Sixty (60) standard colours are available ex stock for immediate shipment / delivery. Virtually any other colour can be made by arrangement on firm, advance order.

• Improved surface finishes for off-form, fair and well faced, off-form in-situ cast-in-place concrete with or without aesthetic off-the-form profiles using plastic (or other types of) form liners.

• For ‘softer’ quiet ride, open graded, flexible polymer modified Portland cement bound concrete road and highway pavements and durable, abrasion-resistant, flexible screeded thin section polymer modified concrete topping repair formulations for same.

• As an extrusion and pumping aid for improved concrete pumping and as an initial and ultimate strength gain adhesion promoter (less re-bound) for sprayed ‘Gunite’ and ‘Shotcrete’ concrete mixes.

• Also for easier site handling and finishing, better wet plastic mix rheology, consistency and workability as well as improved extrudability and sprayability of plastic unset concrete and mortar mixes. Additionally, for the densest, most durable non-porous exposed washed aggragate finishes, sand and /grit blasted and other decorative textured concrete after finishes.

• For easy dosing and dispensing of abil-strength® admixture in its free-flowing 100% active solids powder form (no non-active fillers/extenders and we try not to sell water!) which is packed on firm, advance order in convenient bio-degradable Concrete-Friendly® paper sacks for easier, cleaner handling and simpler addition to prepared pre-mixed plastic concrete.

• As a Bonding Agent slurry mix - for use (1/4 volume part abil-strength® ) with fresh cement (11/2 volume parts) concrete sand (11/2 volume parts) and water (approximately 1 part) as a high performance, liberally broom-applied, water resistant Bonding Agent / fluid slurry adhesive ‘grout’ mix.

This polymer modified cement slurry adhesive ‘grout’ slurry mix is applied to effectively and permanently stick new cast-in-place concrete to old (existing) concrete slabs/pavements/floors, as well as for new cement renders to existing masonry, high strength dense concrete walls, other wall / substrate types etc.

That is, for the establishment of a permanent waterproof bond that does not re-emulsify when later saturated with water! Example: for high performance cement rendering of below-ground swimming pools, caverns, tunnels, cellars etc. as well as for decorative or normal cement wall renders.

With abil-strength® powder and provided that the water content of the mix is kept low in relationship to the cement content only a 1/4 of the amount of “PVA” polyvinyl acetate (more correctly - PVA’s) cement sticking adhesive products such as ‘Bondcrete’,‘Lockcrete’, ‘Cemstick’, etc. is required - so the cost to you is less!

• For fast, easy-to-make superpolymer modified mortars for on-site repairs to concrete as well as, factory prepared dry-mix patching mortars, cement-based topping, filling, and with the use of Ability’s E-Spheres® self levelling floor mixes etc. which cost far less and usually perform better than epoxy resin mix systems especially in external situations.

• As a flexibilising and adhesion promoting reinforcing / binding additive (formulation component) added in manufacture or just prior to on-site use into site prepared lime-wash and for site mixed cementitious (cement-based) mineral wall coatings such as stucco and bagging mixes.

Dose rates:

Dose rates for abil-strength® are variable - depending on the performance levels of modified mixes required. The average dose is 10% ‘abil-strength’ powder by weight of the cementitious powder weight of the mix.

Packing and recommended storage:

Ability’s abil-strength® superpolymer powder is packed in 15Kg net. multi-ply paper sacks. The product has a very long shelf life. It is a non-sticking free-flowing (highly flowable) powder which can be dispensed easily by hand or by suitable powder flow meters/dispensers. On firm, advance order the product can be supplied in degradable Concrete-Friendly® sacks. abil-strength® does not normally deteriorate in storage, provided that sacks containing it are kept cool and stacked under cover on pallets off the ground.

For further information, a free trial sample for your evaluation and copies of Ability’s comprehensive abil-strength® Product Data Sheet, which should be carefully read prior to initial testing and subsequent project use, please contact Mr. Peter Gray, Manager, or Mr Robert Barber, Technical Manager, Ability Building Chemicals Company for assistance and guidance.

Addition sequence:

Apart from its use in factory blended on-step cementitious dry mix (‘just mix well with water’) granular or powder products which should always be well mixed before use, abil-strength® is usually added last to prepared, well-mixed wet plastic concrete or mortar mixes having about 20% less water than normal for a given slump. The concrete or mortar mix is then mixed well again to ensure the product’s uniform distribution and dispersion whereupon the consistency and slump increases to what it would have been without the 20% cut in normal water content.

Compared with plain, unmodified Portland cement / water-based mixes, abil-strength® modified concretes, mortars and grouts last considerably longer, offer the advantage of far greater hardness and wear resistance as well as the ability to be cast/applied in thinner sections for the same load bearing characteristics - therefore resulting in lighter weight and some savings associated with the use of less material components.

abil-strength® provides cement-bound mixes with increased service life in their hardened state - particularly under adverse exposure conditions - as well as providing improved handling and processing characteristics in their plastic, pre-set state.

Please note:

A Similar, but lower cost Ability produced material to abil-strength® acrylic superpolymer powder is available as a thick liquid (fairly viscous ‘paste’) under the trade name ADMIX 2000® . Please enquire.

For optimum results neither product should be used at air temperatures below 12°C and above 35°C.

All pre-mixed concrete should be manufactured to Australian Standard AS 1379- 2008 and placed/site processed according to Australian Standard AS 3600-2008 ‘Concrete Structures’ including that intended for modification with abil-strength® or ADMIX 2000® admixtures for concrete.

Important - placing and site processing of all premixed, wet plastic concrete.

We draw the Customer’s attention to the necessity, according to Australian Standard AS 3600-2001 ‘Concrete Structures’ for the provision by the concreter or contractor or both of:

1. Correct and adequate compaction of all freshly placed plastic concrete to remove all air voids to densify it with adequate vibration techniques/practices - such as with poker vibrators, vibrating screed equipment or in the case of thin toppings / applied finishes, spiked rollers. This site processing procedure should, with continuous curing, (mix water retention) ensure that the f/c characteristic design strength grade and class of concrete as ordered for the particular job will be achieved when hardened in place.

Note: Hardened concrete in place containing macro air voids that make up only 10% of its volume will usually have lost about 50% of its ultimate mechanical strength and abrasion resistance.

2. Adequate continuous curing* (a processing procedure used to ensure the retention of the concrete’s mix water. This procedure is always commenced very soon after on the same day as the finishing process.

*Ability offers its Duro-Seel Clear liquid film-forming/membrane curing compound/ sealing material for the curing procedure. This is available in, as a translucent clear product, Duro-Seel Clear applied in a two coat application conforms to AS 3799 - 1986 ‘Liquid Membrane-Forming Curing Compounds For Concrete’.

For curing purposes Duro-Seel Clear is applied to the surface of freshly finished concrete by suitable airless spray equipment, soft broom, long nap roller or large paint brush immediately after the final set of the finished concrete has occurred on the same day just prior to the concrete setting and if possible, without damaging the concrete.

Typically, this time is only about three (3) hours after placement at a concrete temperature of 23°C.

If the concrete temperature is 10°C lower, ie 13°C, it will typically takes twice as long as this to set. Conversely, if the concrete temperature increases to say 35° C it will typically take less than half this time to set.