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Shrinkage-Reducing Admixtures and Early-Age Desiccation in Cement Pastes and Mortars



M R. Geiker, K K. Hansen


Fundamental studies of the early-age desiccation of cement-based materials with and without a shrinkage-reducing admixture (SRA) have been performed. Studies have been conducted under both sealed and drying conditions. Physical measurements include mass loss, surface tension, x-ray absorption to map the drying profile, internal relative humidity, and autogenous deformation. Interestingly, although the SRA accelerates the drying of bulk solutions, in cement paste with a water-to-cement ratio of 0.35, it actually reduces the measured drying rate. Based on the accompanying x-ray absorption measurements and a simple three-dimensional microstructure model, an explanation for this observation is proposed. In sealed systems, at equivalent hydration times, the SRA maintains a greater internal RH and reduces the induced autogenous deformation. Thus, these admixtures should be beneficial to low w/c ratio concretes undergoing self-desiccation, in addition to their normal usage to reduce drying shrinkage.
Cement and Concrete Research
No. 7


building technology, cement paste, drying, humidity, shrinkage, surface tension


Geiker, M. and Hansen, K. (2001), Shrinkage-Reducing Admixtures and Early-Age Desiccation in Cement Pastes and Mortars, Cement and Concrete Research, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created July 1, 2001, Updated February 19, 2017