Concrete Supplement Materials, What are concrete supplemental materials

Concrete supplement materials speaks to what are concrete supplement materials and why concrete supplements.

These are various mineral products known as supplementary cementitious materials that are materials that may be added to concrete instead of Portland cement. Portland cement is a high energy type product to produce. There are two types of these materials, pozzolans and hydraulic cements.


These are materials that react with the calcium hydroxide in wet concrete to form cement adhesive compounds.

Natural pozzolans

These are derived from shale or clay and are used to reduce the internal temperature of curing concrete, reducing the reactivity of concrete with aggregates containing sulfates or to improve the workability of concrete.

High Reactivity Metakaolin

This a unique white coloured natural pozzolan that enhances the brilliance of white or coloured concrete while also improving the material workability, strength and density. These properties make it very well suited as an ingredient in exposed architectural concrete applications where appearance and finish quality are critical.

Fly Ash

This is a fine powder that is a waste product from coal fired power plants which increases concrete strength, decreases permeability, increases sulfate resistance, reduces temperature rise during curing, reduces mixing water and eases pumping and increases the workability of concrete. Fly ash reduces concrete drying shrinkage.

Silica Fume

This is also known as microsilica which is a fine powder that is approximately 100 times finer than Portland cement consisting mostly of silicon dioxide. It is a byproduct of electronic chip manufacturing and when added to a concrete mix it produces very high strength concrete that has a very low permeability.

Hydraulic Cements

Blast Furnace Slag

Slag cement also known as blast furnace slag is a byproduct of iron manufacture. It is a hydraulic cement that like Portland cement reacts directly with water to form a cementitious compound. It may be added to concrete mixes to improve workability, increase strength, reduce permeability, reduce temperature risre during curing and improve sulfate resistant.

Blended Cement

Supplementary cement materials may be added to Portland cement during the cement manufacturing process at the plant or blended on site at the batch plant. This also enhances the sustainability of concrete by reducing reliance on the more energy intensive Portland cement and in many cases by making productive use of waste products from other industrial manufacturing processes. 50% of the concrete produced in North America includes some supplementary cement materials in its mix.

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