What is Concrete Air Entrainment?
The concept of concrete air entrainment is quite simple, though, upon initial discovery, it may seem counterintuitive. Air entrainment in concrete refers to ordinary concrete manufactured specifically to contain controlled amounts of microscopic air bubbles. These tiny bubbles can range in size from a few thousandths to a few hundredths of an inch in diameter. In one single cubic of air-entrained concrete, billions of these microscopic bubbles of air can be present.
You usually want to reduce air in concrete – but there is a big difference between entrapped air and entrained air. Air that becomes entrapped in concrete during the mixing and placing process' can cause significant, irregular-sized air pockets that can be highly detrimental to concrete's performance and strength. When a concrete air entrainment additive is added to an admixture to create these small pockets of air and are adequately measured using air entrainment testing equipment, their presence drastically changes the nature of both the fresh and hardened concrete. Concrete air entrainment introduces new benefits to the structure of the concrete.
The Benefit of Concrete Air Entrainment
Concrete air entrainment provides concrete with great benefits that maximize its workability, resistance, and durability compared to non-air-entrained concrete. A critical benefit widely regarded as the primary reason to use concrete entrained air is the resistance to freeze-thaw damage it offers. Non-air-entrained concrete naturally contains some moisture levels; when temperatures drop to freezing levels, the moisture content expands. If there is no room for the moisture to expand, the surface of the concrete can easily rupture and crack in a process known as surface scaling. The billions of air bubbles created in the concrete air entrainment process act as reservoirs to the expanding moisture and relieve the expansion pressure so the concrete will not succumb to damage.
The Importance of Proper Measurement
When working with concrete air entrainment, it's vital that you use an air entrainment meter or air entrainment testing equipment to ensure you're correctly treating the admixture. If not done correctly, air-entrained concrete problems can arise and compromise the strength of the air-entrained concrete. When it comes to proper concrete air entrainment, the spacing and size of the air bubbles are essential to be considered effective. When all is said and done, the bubbles must be spaced no more than .01 inches apart throughout the admixture. Suppose the air bubbles in the air-entrained admixture are not properly spaced. In that case, it could compromise the durability and free-thawing capabilities of the concrete and force you to remove and replace all the work you have previously done.
Use air entrainment testing equipment from Certified MTP to get the most accurate results of your concrete air entrainment. These high-quality products are tested and calibrated before being shipped to you to ensure you're achieving the results you need. Products like our American Cube Mold ACM-6 Concrete Air Entrainment Meter Kit with Rubber Mallet come complete with everything you need to measure your admixture correctly. We also carry a selection of air entrainment meters, like the American Cube Mold ACM-6A Concrete Air Entrainment Meter (Type B), which offer a less expensive option for proper testing. If you've already got air entrainment testing equipment, we also offer an entire supply of rebuild kits and replacement parts to ensure your equipment is always working at full capabilities.
Shop Certified MTP for All Your Concrete Testing Equipment Needs
In addition to our concrete air entrainment indicators and our air entrainment testing equipment, we also carry concrete testing equipment for crack monitoring, corrosion testing, water measurement and more. At Certified MTP, we are dedicated to bringing quality products and quality service for all of our customers. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our air entrainment testing equipment, contact the experts at Certified MTP today.
Best Concrete Air Entrainment Meters:
- Gilson HM-30S Concrete Air Meter
- American Cube Mold ACM-6 Concrete Air Meter
- Gilson HM-30W Watts Press-Ur-Meter
- Gilson HM-345 Super Air Meter
- Gilson HM-30 Concrete Air Meter
- American Cube Mold ACM-6 57C Complete Concrete Air Meter
- Forney Concrete Air Meter
- Deslauriers Air Concrete Air Pressure Meter
- and More