Kowshika V R, Executive Director, Amazecrete
ICRETE has been extensively tested to check its benefits for Ready-Mix Concrete. Initially both fresh and hardened properties were studied and found to be satisfactory by reputed third party labs. The next step was measuring the cost benefits and savings of the material cost for each m3. This exercise was basically aimed to quantify the savings both in laboratory and field conditions in the Ready-Mix Concrete industry.
ICRETE, a grayish color powder, was invented by scientist Dr Ram Kumar after several years of research in concrete. For the study 53 GRADE cement conforming to IS 269 was selected. GGBS was taken from JSW, and Flyash from Ennore thermal power plant in Chennai. The crushed aggregates and manufactured sands were used after checking all the properties. All the trials were conducted with a pre-selected PC-based Hyperplasticiser and all the trials and production were repeated with the same sources of ingredients.
Uses & Benefits of ICRETE
ICRETE offers many benefits apart from reducing cement content. It also works as a water proofing compound, conforming to the requirements of IS 2645-2003.
- ICRETE can give a cement reduction of about 20kg of OPC (Type 1 cement or any type ,CEM1 ) when used at about 0.7%
- It can give a cement reduction of about 30 to 35 kg of cement when used at 1 to 1.2%
- It can reduce about 50 kg/m3 of cement from the existing cement content when used at about 1.5% to 1.6%
- When used at 2% to 2.25% by weight of cement, it can work like microsilica as finely ground SCMs (microfine minerals) etc.
- ICRETE enhances impermeability and hence durability of concrete
- The product gives simple methods to make economical mixtures
- Savings for owner of readymix concrete company, which is very important (Rs 40 to 75) in medium strength mixes and more than Rs 100 to150 / M3 in higher grades like M40/ M50 etc. The higher grades savings are considered when ICRETE is used against some popular products like microsilica etc. (here use 2 to 2.5%).
- Gives Reduced Cement (CEM 1, Type 1 CEMENT, OPC/PPC/PSC) content which is important to owner, as this reduces dependability on cement supplies.
- It is a tool to increase use of Flyash /GGBS content in mixes.
- Readymix companies also have acknowledged the reduction of cracks in the concrete slabs, which are done with ICRETE that works as a Shrinkage Reducing Admixture.
The lab experiments and later real time Ready-mix Concrete production were done to examine the efficacy of ICRETE for concrete against the benchmark of Ready-mix concrete mixes. A series of trials were done in the laboratories of many Ready-mix Concrete companies in Bangalore, Mangalore, Cochin, and Mumbai.
OPC, OPC+GGBS, OPC+PFA (benchmark mixes) showed similar slumps to that of Cement Reduced ICRETE incorporated mixes. The ICRETE did not change the workability and the mixes were found to be fit for pumpable mixes. Even at a reduced Cement content of 75kg/m3, the ICRETE mixes showed almost similar strengths. Table 7-9 gives savings per m3 due to use of ICRETE.
- Based on trials and the rates considered, the savings are to the tune of 50 Rs to 130 Rs per cum, which is significant for a concrete producer.
- The Cement (Cementitious) Reduced ICRETE incorporated mixes have equally performed in terms of both slump and strength compared to reference Concrete.
- As any cement (Cementitious) reductions means lesser OPC usage, the concrete become more sustainable by using ICRETE.
- The 3rd party reports (which are not an added part of this article) also depicted that the said additive reduces permeability and all other durability properties are improved.
- The Ready-mix companies after using ICRETE reported reduced plastic shrinkage cracks, which is another benefit of using the product.
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