PB Materials Featured Article

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The weather is finally changing and the temperature is turning warmer as we head into spring. Although we are saying goodbye to cold weather, there are new problems that may arise during this transition. Luckily, PB Materials is here to help!

Protecting the Surface from Drying and Shrinkage

When taking on the challenges of spring weather you’re going to want to have PB Materials on your side. We are equipped with the knowledge to provide you with money-saving solutions!

Drying and shrinkage of your surface increases when dealing with low humidity and windy conditions. Using a particular drying rate concrete of a lower grade may increase your chance of cracking. Fortunately, PB Materials has premium products that will provide maximum durability for every job. But when windy conditions dominate the strength of the concrete at a given instant, cracking occurs changing the aspects of volume in concrete due to the loss of moisture.

One of the most detrimental properties of concrete is volume change which affects the strength and durability causing the inherent properties of concrete shrinkage.

There are different types of shrinkage that can occur from the change of volume in concrete:

  • Plastic Shrinkage: This occurs when the rate of evaporation of moisture from concrete is governed by air, concrete temperature, wind speed and humidity, causing cracks in your surface. The volume of the concrete is changed when this process happens. Plastic Shrinkage can even occur when using a poorly made high water/cement ratio. The access water bleeds to the surface and dries out, causing your concrete to collapse.
  • Drying Shrinkage: The loss of capillary water due to excessive drying will cause concrete to harden and become more susceptible to tensile stress, which will lead to cracking.
  • Autogenous Shrinkage: This happens at the early stage when using low water/cement ratios. Fine capillaries are created when all the water is drawn into the hydration process. The tension in the capillaries causes it to become weak which induces cracking of your surface.
  • Carbonation Shrinkage: This occurs when concrete is exposed to air containing carbon dioxide. Carbonation takes place in a dry environment with relative humidity of about 50 percent, warmer temperatures and saturated conditions. When the surface is exposed to this type of air, the weight increases causing the concrete to crack.

Fix It With PB Materials

There are multiple forms of shrinkage that can occur. PB Materials can help you prevent any particular shrinkage that may occur. When starting your next concrete job, it is crucial to remember that the most important step to creating durable concrete is the curing process. There are multiple options to prevent shrinkage.

  • Start curing immediately to prevent shrinkage. Spraying the surface with a liquid membrane curing compound and covering the area with wet burlap or water curing after placement will minimize shrinkage.
  • You could also spray the area with an evaporation retarder. This will provide a film over the concrete area that reduces the rate of evaporation of water which allows time for the water to bleed to the surface.
  • When wind speed increases, the shrinkage of concrete increases, depleting the hydration in your surface. Adding temporary wind breaks over concrete surface will reduce shrinkage.
  • Adding an accelerator will accelerate the setting time and will reduce the chances of cracking.
  • Also, adding polypropylene fibers to your concrete mix will help. These fibers will bind the surface together and provide strength that will lessen the chance of any cracks forming.

Let PB Materials guide you through all the complications you may experience when dealing with concrete shrinkage. We will provide you with the right materials and knowledge to perform your best on every concrete project. Call us today so we can ensure success!

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