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Concrete Air Entrainment

Concrete Air Entrainment

Achieve optimal concrete performance with one of our concrete air entrainment meter, ensuring precise air content and superior durability for your fresh concrete. Our fresh concrete air meters are your ultimate solution for accurate measurement of entrained air content in hardened concrete and freshly mixed concrete.

With everything from a top-of-the-line air entrainment meter to a precise calibration vessel for calibration adjustments, you can confidently assess the entrained air content of your concrete mixtures, ensuring optimal performance and durability.

Whether you’re working with lightweight coarse aggregates, sand content, or dense concrete, our air meters deliver reliable results set to ASTM C231 standards. With reliable results, you get the control you need over the air content and air voids in your hardened concrete. 

Our most popular option, the fresh Concrete Air Meter with Stainless Steel Gauge, which features a sturdy industrial rack and pinion mechanism, accurate to ±1% of full scale.

Explore our range of advanced air meters and elevate your construction projects.

Featured Air Entrainment Meters for Concrete Testing: Why You Should Use Them

A air entrainment concrete meter, sometimes called a concrete pressure meter, is a device used in concrete testing to determine the air content and air voids of fresh concrete. Introducing tiny microscopic air bubbles to the ordinary concrete mix can improve its durability and workability; you can do this by adding the air entraining agent during the mixing process, but you must carefully measure of air entrained.

An air entrainment meter consists of a pressure gauge, stainless steel pressure chamber, calibrated glass vessel, and a measuring cylinder. The process of testing involves filling the glass with a known volume of fresh concrete, subjecting it to a vacuum, then pressurizing it to release the entrapped air. The volume of air released in then measured using the calibration cylinder, and the air content is calculated as a percentage of the total volume of the concrete.

Our concrete air meters, or concrete pressure meter, are specifically designed for assessing and measuring the air content and entrainment in fresh concrete. With advanced features like a state-of-the-art pressure gauge, pressure chamber and air void spacing evaluation, these air entrainment meters ensure precise and dependable results. Plus, they’re designed to use fewer strokes during testing, making the process more efficient. And we offer all replacement parts, including all parts associated with the air meter cover assembly, and quality service that those in the air meter testing industry need.

All of our air meters comply with ASTM C231 standards and offer calibration adjustments for optimal accuracy. Constructed with high-quality materials like stainless steel and cast aluminum, they guarantee durability and longevity. 

The newest additions are the Concrete Pressure Air Meter Kit, complete with a rugged Gorilla Pressure Gauge, tamping rod, and plastic carrying case for ease of use, and the Super Air Meter, which has a digital gauge. For a quicker and less expensive approach to testing air entrainment in a fresh concrete sample, our Chace Air Indicator Kit is the perfect choice.

Our starter kits also come with a plastic carrying case for easy transport and protection. Whether you’re working wit lightweight coarse aggregate or other types of concrete, our concrete air testing meters provide all the necessary tools for accurate assessment.

Why Use a Type B Air Meter for Concrete Testing?

A Type B air entrainment meter for concrete tests is an indispensable tool for accurately measuring the entraining air content of fresh concrete. It measures the air content of freshly-mixed content based on the pressure-to-volume relationship of Boyle's Law. With its specialized design and functionality, it enables precise assessment of air entrainment or air content in various concrete mixes, including those containing materials that require meticulous air content control.

Type B air meters play a vital role in freeze-thaw durability testing, allowing for the determination of air content in concrete samples subjected to freezing and thawing cycles. This is necessary if making a structure that could come in contact with freezing water content.

It may seem counterintuitive to boost the concrete air content, but the microscopic air voids are helpful for durability. Crucially, there is a difference between air content in concrete and entrapped air, which is why air meters are necessary to gauge the durability of fresh concrete.

By using a type B concrete air meter, you can ensure the quality and concrete performance. Through reliable results, it’s easy to evaluate the durability of the air-entrained concrete and adjust as necessary. 

Benefits of Entrained Air Tests for Concrete

Air meters that test entrained air in concrete offer a range of benefits for assessing the air content in concrete. By accurately measuring the air entrainment or air content, these air meters ensure the desired entrainment is achieved, resulting in enhanced durability during freeze-thaw conditions.

These tests also provide valuable insights into the overall quality of the concrete, ensuring it meets the required specifications and standards. Concrete air meters enable precise monitoring of the flow of all air bubble and void spacing, contributing to improved workability, finishing, and construction quality.

Non-air-entrained concrete naturally contains some moisture levels; when temperatures drop to freezing, the moisture content expands. Without adequate room, the surface can rupture and crack, resulting in scaling. The billions of air bubble created with entrainment act as reservoirs to maintain the expanding moisture. As a result, having a concrete air meter on hand to check the air content of fresh concrete can be the difference between a stunning building and a crumbling structure.

Importance of Entrainment Measurements

The importance of using concrete air meters to measure entrainment cannot be overstated. They play a crucial role in assessing air voids within fresh concrete, ensuring enhanced durability.

When working with fresh concrete air entrainment meter, it’s vital to use an air entrainment meter or testing equipment to ensure you’re correctly treating the air entraining admixture. If not done correctly, problems can arise that compromise the strength of the concrete. When it comes to proper concrete air entrainment meter, the spacing and size of the bubbles are essential. The air bubbles must be spaced no more than .01 inches apart throughout the air entraining admixture.

Without proper spacing, the durability of the concrete mixture is compromised, which could mean you have to start from scratch. Air entrainment testing equipment gives you the most accurate overview of the air content, and top-quality products are the best way to get precise results. 

Our air meters offer convenience and ease of use, with reliable test pressure gauge for accurate measurements. Whether you need a starter kit  that is supplied complete with the air entrainment meter all the items needed for the air entrainment tests, or replacement parts, we have it all.

Products like our American Cube Mold ACM-6 Concrete Air Entrainment Kit with Rubber Mallet come complete with everything you need to measure your air entraining admixture, including an tamping rod. We also carry products like the American Cube Mold ACM-6A Concreate Air Entrainment Meter (Type B), which offers a less expensive option for efficient testing. We also sell the new air entrainment meter digital pressure gauge called the Super Air Meter. The unique super air meter is a new innovation for testing concrete mixes, and is supplied complete with the air meter, a calibration vessel, and air pump. Each is perfect for testing air bubbles in freshly mixed concrete.

Also, we offer a full range of freeze thaw equipment for concrete mixes. Browse the full collection of that helps the technician to meet the requirements of ASTM C231, or contact us for more information.

Accessories to Concrete Entrained Air Test:

Tamping Rods for Slump Cone Test have hemispherical tips and are for use when consolidating concrete specimens in required tests that include slump, air content, and strength test of same slump

Concrete Strike-Off Bar is used to remove excess material

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Comprehensive Product Description for Air Entrained Concrete Using the Air Meter for Concrete Tests

The use of concrete meters in the air entrainment test is fundamental in assessing the long-term durability and performance of concrete structures, especially in harsh climates, instead of mild climates, exposed to freeze-thaw time cycles (instead of considering non air entrained concrete). This product description elaborates on the critical nature of how much voids the air entrained concrete contains, facilitated by air entraining admixture, and how the concrete air meter is essential in ensuring the proper integration and effectiveness of entrained air and air content within the concrete mix.

Introduction to Air Entrained Concrete

Air entrained concrete or the air content involves the intentional creation and distribution of microscopic air bubbles throughout a concrete mix using an air entraining agent. These stable air bubbles form a system of tiny expansion chambers within the fresh and hardened concrete, which help to alleviate internal pressure caused by excess water expansion during freeze-thaw, thereby increasing the concrete's resistance of freeze-thaw damage and deicing salts. The primary benefit of air entrained concrete contains durability and resilience in freezing temperatures, making it a standard practice for concrete used in roads, bridges, and buildings in cold climates to determine the damage caused.

Role of the Concrete Meter for Entrained Air

The air meter is a specialized apparatus used to conduct the air content test that quantifies the volume of entrained air in concrete. This test is crucial for ensuring that the concrete mix achieves the intended level of air entrained concrete as specified for the project's environmental conditions and concrete properties. The meter typically measures the air content by the pressure method, which involves applying pressure to a confined concrete sample and observing the change in pressure to calculate the volume and amount of air within the mix.

Testing Process for Air Entrained Concrete

Preparation: A concrete sample is first taken from a fresh and hardened batch and placed into the meter's bowl, where it is consolidated into three equal layers using tamping rods. This ensures uniform distribution of the concrete and entrained air bubbles.

Applying Air Pressure: After sealing the bowl, air pressure is applied using an external pump. The air entrains into the concrete displacing some of the water and compressing the air voids and tiny air bubbles.

Reading Air Content: The pressure difference before and after stabilization provides a direct measurement of the total percent air content in the concrete. The aggregate correction factor is used to adjust the reading based on the properties of the aggregates used in the mix.

Importance of Aggregate Correction Factor

The aggregate correction factor is a critical component when measuring air content, as it compensates for the influence of aggregate particles on the air content measurement. Different types of aggregates—coarse or fine, high or low density—affect the measurement differently. Accurately adjusting for these variations ensures the precision of the air content test, which is essential for determining the adequacy of air entrainment in meeting durability requirements for entrapped air.

Benefits of Air Entrained Concrete

Increased Freeze-Thaw Resistance: Air entrained concrete provides tiny chambers that allow for the expansion of frozen water, significantly reducing internal distress and cracking.
Improved Workability and Cohesion: Air entrained concrete enhances the workability of the concrete mix, making it easier to handle, place, and finish. It also reduces segregation and bleeding, leading to a more uniform and stable concrete.
Durability Against Salt Scaling and Thaw Cycles: Concrete exposed to deicing salts and severe freeze-thaw conditions benefits from air entrainment, which protects against surface scaling and deep structural damage.

Concrete Properties Influenced by Air Entrainment

The introduction of air into concrete impacts several key properties:
Compressive Strength: While a moderate reduction in strength is observed with increased air content, the loss is compensated by the significant durability benefits.
Density and Permeability: Entrained air reduces the density of concrete and increases its high porosity, which can influence the thermal and acoustic properties.
Resistance to Damage: The ability of air-entrained concrete to withstand environmental stresses, especially in freeze-thaw conditions, is markedly improved.

Standard Practice and Compliance

Following ASTM standards, specifically ASTM C231, the testing of air content in concrete using a concrete air meter is a regulated practice. This ensures consistency and reliability in testing, providing a uniform basis for evaluating the durability and quality of concrete mixes and air entraining admixture.


The concrete air meter kit is indispensable in producing durable, high-quality concrete capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions. By accurately measuring and thus controlling the air content in concrete, the construction industry can ensure the longevity and structural integrity of concrete installations worldwide. This tool not only advances the quality of construction projects but also supports the development of concrete science by providing precise, repeatable, and reliable data for researchers and engineers.


Understanding the Role of Air Voids, Air Pockets, and Entrained Air in Concrete Mixtures 

In the complex world of concrete technology, the concepts of air voids, air pockets, and entrained air play pivotal roles in defining the durability and workability of concrete. Incorporating controlled amounts of air into concrete through the use of an air entraining agent that transforms the material properties significantly, enhancing its resilience particularly in environments exposed to freeze-thaw. This overview explores how these microscopic air bubbles, integrated purposefully into the concrete mix, contribute to its overall performance and longevity.

Air Entrainment in Concrete

Air entrainment in concrete refers to the intentional introduction of tiny air bubbles into the concrete mix using air entraining agents or admixtures. These air entraining agents reduce the surface tension of the mixing water, allowing more air to be encapsulated within the concrete in the form of microscopic bubbles. This process is not only about adding air; it’s about creating a stabilized system of evenly distributed air voids that can withstand the mechanical stresses of concrete handling and the environmental pressures of moisture and temperature changes.

The Science Behind Air Entrainment

Some of the common questions about the air entrainment is the science behind the test. The primary purpose of entraining air is to improve the concrete’s resistance to damage caused by freeze-thaw. During these cycles, any water or entrapped air in the concrete expands upon freezing, exerting internal pressures that can lead to cracking and other forms of structural damage. The air voids within air entrained concrete provide small expansion chambers that give the freezing water space to expand into, thus alleviating internal pressures and preventing the concrete from cracking.

A standard measure in most concrete designed for freeze-thaw environments is to maintain air content at about 5 to 8 percent per single cubic foot of concrete. This specific proportion helps to ensure the concrete's durability without significantly affecting its compressive strength.

Benefits of Air Entrainment

Increased Freeze-Thaw Resistance: Air entrained concrete shows significantly increased resistance to freeze-thaw cycles, which is a critical factor for concrete used in colder climates and environments where deicing chemicals are prevalent.

Improved Workability: The presence of air bubbles enhances the workability of the concrete mix, making it easier to mix, place, and finish. This is particularly beneficial in complex formworks or when pumping concrete to heights.

Reduced Segregation and Bleeding: By stabilizing the distribution of aggregate and cement particles throughout the mix, entrained air reduces the tendency for the heavier aggregates to settle, thus decreasing bleeding and segregation.

Enhanced Durability: Beyond resisting freeze-thaw damage, air entrained concrete is less susceptible to other durability issues like alkali-silica reactions and sulfate attack, thanks to the cushioning effect of air voids which mitigates stress concentrations within the concrete.

Implementing Air Entrainment

The process of air entrainment must be carefully controlled to achieve the desired outcomes. The small amount of air entraining agent added to the mix typically depends on factors such as the cement content, aggregate size, and environmental conditions. Proper mixing techniques are crucial to disperse the agent uniformly throughout the batch to form air bubbles of the desired size and distribution.

Considerations and Challenges

While air entrainment offers numerous benefits, it also presents several challenges that need to be managed:
Reduction in Compressive Strength: Introducing air into concrete can reduce its overall density and consequently its compressive strength. This effect needs to be compensated for by adjusting the concrete’s mix design, particularly in structural applications.
Consistency in Air Content: Achieving the right air content requires precise control over the batching and mixing processes, as fluctuations in material proportions or mixing times can lead to inconsistent air content, affecting the concrete’s performance.


The incorporation of air into concrete through air entraining admixture is a sophisticated technology that plays a critical role in modern construction, especially in climates subjected to severe weather conditions in a significant portion. It requires precise engineering to balance the benefits of increased durability and workability with the potential reductions in strength. Effective use of air entrainment techniques can lead to concrete structures that are more durable, easier to work with, and capable of withstanding the challenges posed by their environment. Understanding and implementing air entrainment effectively is crucial for any construction project aiming for longevity and resilience in its concrete structures.


Overview of Entrained Air and Air Entraining Admixture in Concrete


Air entrainment is a critical concept in modern concrete technology, particularly in enhancing the durability and workability of air entrained concrete. Entrained air, air entraining admixture, and the resulting air bubbles in hardened concrete play vital roles in protecting concrete from environmental stress and improving its performance. This comprehensive overview will cover the principles of air entrainment, the use of air entraining admixture, the characteristics of hardened concrete with entrained air, and the methods used to test and quantify air content in air entrained concrete.

Air Entrained in Concrete

Entrained air, or entrapped air, refers to the tiny, uniformly distributed bubbles that are intentionally incorporated into the air entrained concrete mix during mixing. These air bubbles are typically less than 1 mm in diameter and are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye. The primary purpose of entraining air in concrete is to increase its resistance to freeze-thaw cycles, thereby enhancing its durability in cold climates where freezing and thawing are frequent.

Air-Entraining Admixtures

Air-entraining admixtures are chemicals added to the concrete mix to generate entrained air. These admixtures are surfactants that reduce the surface tension of the mix, facilitating the formation of stable air bubbles. Common types of air-entraining agents include natural wood resins, vinsol resin, fatty acids, and synthetic detergents. The dosage of air entraining agents and admixtures are critical and must be carefully controlled to achieve the desired air content, which typically ranges from 4% to 7% of the concrete volume, depending on the exposure conditions and concrete properties required.

Hardened Concrete with Entrained Air

In hardened concrete, the presence of entrained air bubbles provides several benefits:
Increased Durability: The air bubbles act as internal reservoirs to accommodate the expansion of water upon freezing, thus relieving internal pressure and preventing cracking.
Improved Workability: Entrained air improves the workability of fresh concrete, making it easier to mix, place, and finish.
Enhanced Resistance to Scaling and Deterioration: By providing voids for water expansion, the air bubbles help prevent scaling and deterioration due to deicing chemicals or freeze-thaw cycles.
Reduced Permeability:  Although the direct impact on permeability is complex, the overall effect of entrained air can lead to reduced water and chloride ion penetration in certain conditions.

Air Test Methods in Concrete

To ensure the quality and longevity of concrete, it's crucial to measure the amount of entrained air, and several methods have been developed for this purpose:
Pressure Meter Method: This is the most common method for field testing. It involves placing a sample of fresh concrete in a sealed container with a known volume of air. The container is then pressurized, and the change in pressure is used to calculate the air content. This method is favored for its speed and relative accuracy.
Volumetric Method: This method is used primarily when lightweight aggregate concretes or air contents below 3% are involved. Concrete is mixed with water in a calibrated vessel, and the volume of air is measured by observing the change in water level.
Gravimetric Method: Though less common, this method involves measuring the specific gravity of the concrete and using this value to calculate the air content.

Factors Affecting Entrained Air Content

Several factors can influence the effectiveness of air entrainment in concrete:
Water-Cement Ratio: Higher water-cement ratios can dilute the concentration of air-entraining admixture, reducing its effectiveness.
Temperature: Colder temperatures increase the viscosity of the mix, potentially reducing the air entraining admixture's ability to create stable bubbles.
Mixing Time and Intensity: Insufficient mixing can fail to distribute air bubbles uniformly, while excessive mixing can break them down.
Type of Cement: The chemical composition of cement can affect the stability of air bubbles. Cements with high alkali content may reduce the effectiveness of some air-entraining admixtures.

Challenges and Considerations

While air entrainment offers many benefits, controlling the exact amount of entrained air requires precise management of the concrete mix and conditions. Over-entrainment can lead to a decrease in strength and an increase in bleeding, while under-entrainment may not provide sufficient protection against freeze-thaw damage.


Entrained air and air-entraining admixtures are indispensable components of concrete, especially in environments subjected to freeze-thaw cycles. The correct application and testing of entrained air can significantly impact the durability, workability, and overall quality of concrete structures. As technology and materials evolve, so too will the methods and practices surrounding air entrainment in concrete, ensuring it continues to meet the challenges of modern construction demands.