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Polymer-Modified Mortars And Concrete Mix Design

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By
Kaushal Kishore
Materials Engineer, Roorkee

Polymer-modified Concrete (PMC) has also been called polymer-Portland cement-concrete (PPCC) and latex-modified concrete (LMC). It is defined as Portland cement and aggregate combined at the time of mixing with organic polymers that are dispersed or redispersed in water. This dispersion is called latex; the organic polymer is a substance composed of thousands of simple molecules combined into large molecules. The simple molecules are known as monomers, and the reaction that combine them is called polymerization. The polymer may be a homopolymer if it is made by the polymerization of one monomer, or a copolymer when two or more monomers are polymerized.

Of various polymer-modified mortar and concrete, latex-modified mortar and concrete have superior properties, such as high tensile and flexural strength, excellent adhesion, high waterproofness, high abrasion resistance and good chemical resistance, to ordinary cement mortar and concrete. Accordingly they are widely used in many specialized applications in which ordinary cement mortar and concrete have been employed to a lesser extent till now. In these applications, the latex-modified mortars are widely used rather than the latex-modified concrete from the viewpoint of a balance between their performance and cost.

Latex-modified concrete has been widely used in the field of patching, resurfacing or overlaying works for damaged bridge decks for the last 30 years, because of its ease of execution, excellent adhesion to the base concrete, high freeze-thaw durability and resistance to chloride penetration. Particularly in the U.S.A , hundreds of bridge decks have been restored with the latex-modified concrete since 1957.

Generally the modified mortar can be recommended for thickness of 30 mm or less, and the modified concrete for the thickness exceeding 30 mm. Floor/screeds/toppings upto 100 mm thick have been successfully used.

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Latex-modified mortar and concrete should never to placed at temperature lower than 50C and higher than 300C. In application to larger areas, it is advisable to provide joints with a width of about 15 mm at intervals of 3 to 4m. Generally polymer latex used as cement modifiers are not toxic, and are safe materials to handle. Consequently they require not special precautions.
Materials:

The materials used in latex-modified mortars and concrete are the same as those employed in ordinary Portland cement mortar and concrete.
Cements:

Ordinary Portland cement is widely used for latex-modified mortar and concrete. According to their applications, other Portland cement such as high-early-strength Portland cement, ultra high-early strength Portland cement, sulphate resisting Portland cement, moderate heat Portland cement and white Portland cement, blend cement and super high-early-strength cement are employed. Air-entraining cement should not be used because of air-entrainment due to latex addition.

Polymer Latexces:
In particular, the commercial latexces widely used in the world are styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR). It is estimated that over 9000 bridge decks alone in USA are protected with SBR Latex system, polychloroprene rubber (CR), polyacrylic ester (PAE), Poly (ethylene-vinyl accetate) (EVA) and poly (vinylidene chloride-vinyl chloride) (PVDC) copolymers. Most commercial polymer latexes for cement modifiers contain proper antifoaming agents, and can be generally used without addition of the antifoaming agents during mixing.

Powdered Emulsions:
At present commercially available powdered emulsions are VA/VeoVa, poly vinyl accetate-vinyl versatate and EVA, Poly-ethylene-vinl accetate. Generally the powdered emulsions are dry blended with cement and aggregates mixtures, followed by wet mixing with water. During the wet mixing, the powdered emulsions are re-emulsified, if necessary, an antifoaming agent is added to the wet mix. The curing of the modified system is similar to that of the latex-modified systems.

Aggregate:
Fine and coarse aggregates such as river sand and gravel, crushed sand and stone, silica sands and artificial lightweight aggregate recommended for ordinary cement mortar and concrete, are used for latex-modified mortar and concrete. For the purpose of corrosion resistance silica sand and siliceous crushed stones may also be used. The use of aggregates with excessive water content should be avoided because the required polymer-cement ratio will not be achieved.

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Mix Proportioning:
The mix proportions of most latex-modified mortars are in the range of the cement; fine aggregate ratio = 1:2 to 1:3 (by weight), the polymer-cement ratio 5 to 20% and the water-cement ratio of 30 to 60%, depending on their required workability.

The mix proportions of most latex-modified concretes can not be easily determined in the same manner as those of latex-modified mortars, because of many factors are to be considered in the mix design. Normally the polymer-cement ratio of the latex-modified concrete ranges from 5 to 15%, and the water-cement ratio from 30 to 50%. A rational mix design system for the latex-modified concrete is described below:

This mix design is valid for the following conditions:
Types of materials used:

Types of cement : OP cement 53 Grade as per I.S : 12269-1987.
Types of aggregates : River sand of Zone II & III as per IS: 383-1970. It should not contain particles coarser than 2.5 mm.
River gravel : 5-20 mm and 5-10 mm i.e 20 and 10 mm graded uncrushed aggregate as per IS: 383-1970.

(both the above aggregates saturated and surface dry)

Polymer Latexes : commercial polymer latexes, irrespective polymer types (containing antifoamers)

Range of proportions in practical use:

Unit cement content (C) : From 250 to 400 kg/m3 for 20 mm maximum size of aggregate
Polymer-cement ratio (P/C) : From 0.05 to 0.20 (5 to 20% by wt. of polymer with respect to cement)
Water-cement ratio (W/C) From 0.30 to 0.50 (30 to 50% by wt. of water with respect to cement)
Slump 50 mm to 200 mm
Compressive Strength (fck) From 200 to 600 kg/cm2
Air (by Volume) 2% in 20 mm maximum size aggregate

3% in 10 mm maximum size aggregate

The procedure for determining the mix proportions of latex-modified concrete is carried out according to the following steps:

Step 1 : The required workability of fresh latex-modified concrete and the performance of hardened latex-modified concrete are determined corresponding to its field applications.

Step 2: The polymer-cement ratio (P/C) to give the required properties is determined on the basis of the information shown in catalogs and technical data by the manufacturers of polymer latexes for cement modifiers. Simultaneously the binder-void ratio to satisfy the required fck and P/C is determined by using an equation for compressive strength prediction.

Step 3: Prediction of compressive strength : (2 days moist 3 days wet and 10 days dry cured) – Regardless of polymer type, the compressive strength latex-modified concrete can be predicted at polymer-cement ratio of 5, 10, 15 and 20% by using binder-void ratio (q) as follows:

Polymer-cement ratio % fck
5 657 q – 40
10 595 q – 88
15 474 q – 63
20 423 q – 88

Step 4: The water-cement ratio (W/C) and the unit cement content (C) are estimated by introducing the determined q from table 1 and 2.

Step 5 : From cement quantity and W/C estimate the water content per m3 of concrete for 20 mm maximum size of aggregate. For 10 mm maximum size of agagregate 10% water is to be increased.
The obtained water be adjusted after the first trial of slump, see Step. 12.

Step 6 : Work out the polymer quantity for the mix.

Step 7: Adjust the mixing water from the water in polymer.

Step 8: From the table 3 and 4 work out the density of latex-modified concrete.

Step 9: Work out the total aggregate content of the mix
Density – (Cement + Latex + Water)

Step 10: Work out sand content from table 5.

Step 11 : The coarse aggretate = total aggregates – sand

Step 12: Adjust the water content after actual slump trials for required workability. With the same W/C worked out the new cement content and then revised other mix proportions.

Example :
Calculate the quantity of the different materials required to design a mix for a latex-modified concrete for an anti-corrosive floor.
Cement : OPC 53 Grade
Aggregates: River sand of Zone II, specific gravity 2.65 and graded river gravel 5-20 mm specific gravity 2.65.
Cement modifier: SBR latex, total solids 47.2%, specific gravity of the total solids i.e polymer 1.01
Required slump : 100 mm
Required compressive strength (fck) = 400 kg/cm2
Polymer-cement ratio (P/C): Corrosponding to the required chemical resistance 15% (based on the chemical resistance data given in the catalog. The latex is SBR.
Minimum Cement of the Mix 320 kg/m3
Maximum Free W/C ratio = 0.45
Calculations:
Prediction of compressive strength : Substituting
fck = 400 kg/cm2 and P/C = 15%
474 q – 63 = 400 hence,
q = (400 + 63)/474
q = 0.98
Estimation of W/C and cement content from table 1 and 2
W/C ratio = 43%
Cement = 330 kg/m3
Estimation of water for the mix
330 x 0.43 = 142 kg/m3
Estimation of Polymer
15/100 x 330 = 49.5 kg/m3
As the specific gravities of the polymer and waer are 1.01 and 1.00 respectively.
Slump control factor = (49.5/101) + (142/1.00) = 191 kg/m3
Since the total solids of the SBR latex are 47.2%, the required amount of latex is 49.5/0.472 = 105 kg/m3
In which 55 kg is water,
Therefore net mixing of water = 142 – 55 = 87 kg/m3
Density from table 4 = 2335 kg/m3
aggregates = 2335 – 191 – 330 = 1814 kg/m3
sand from table 5 for trial say 42%
sand = 1814 x 0.42 = 762 kg/m3
aggregate = 1814 – 762 = 1052 kg/m3
Therefore the required quantities of materials per m3 of concrete on the basis of saturated and surface dry aggregates for the first trial in this example would be as given below:
Cement OPC 53 Grade = 330 kg/m3
SBR Latex = 105 kg/m3
Water = 87 kg/m3
River Sand = 762 kg/m3
River Gravel = 1052 kg/m3
Density = 2336 kg/m3

Table. 1
Binder-void ratio and W/C ratio with different P/C Ratio

Binder-void ratio q

(by volume)

W/C ratio %

P/C ratio %

5

10

15

20

0.7

45

0.8

40

47

0.9

35

42

47

50

1.0

30

37

42

45

1.1

32

37

40

1.2

32

35

1.3

30

Table. 2 Binder-void ratio and cement concrete with different P/C Ratio

Binder-void ratio ?

(by volume)

Unit cement content kg/m3

P/C ratio %

5

10

15

20

0.60

250

0.65

275

0.70

310

0.75

340

250

0.80

375

290

0.85

400

325

250

0.90

350

275

0.95

380

315

1.00

400

345

250

1.05

385

275

1.10

400

315

1.15

360

1.20

400

Note: 1. The cement content is for 20 mm maximum size of reiver gravel. For 10 mm maximum size of river gravel increased the cement content to 15% in each case.

2. Trial mixes should be made to check workability, density and strength, if need be the mix should be modified as er the required specifications.

Table. 3 Estimated wet density of fully compacted latex concrete (kg/m3), maximum size of aggregate 10 mm

Slump control factor l/m3

specific gravity of combined aggregates on saturated and surface dry basis

2.4

2.5

2.6

2.7

2.8

130

2227

2297

2367

2437

2507

140

2211

2281

2351

2421

2491

150

2195

2265

2335

2405

2475

160

2179

2249

2319

2389

2459

170

2163

2233

2303

2373

2443

180

2147

2217

2287

2357

2427

190

2131

2201

2271

2341

2411

200

2115

2185

2255

2325

2395

210

2099

2169

2239

2309

2379

220

2083

2153

2223

2293

2363

230

2067

2137

2207

2277

2347

240

2051

2121

2191

2261

2331

250

2035

2105

2175

2245

2315

The table is worked out for latex-concrete having cement content of 330 kg/m3. For each 20 kg difference in cement content from 330 kg correct the weight per m3 3 kg in the same direction.

Table. 4 Estimated wet density of fully compacted latex concrete (kg/m3), maximum size of aggregate 20 mm

Slump control factor l/m3

specific gravity of combined aggregates on saturated and surface dry basis

2.4

2.5

2.6

2.7

2.8

120

2273

2343

2413

2483

2553

130

2257

2327

2397

2467

2537

140

2241

2311

2381

2451

2521

150

2225

2295

2365

2435

2505

160

2209

2279

2349

2419

2489

170

2193

2263

2333

2403

2473

180

2177

2247

2317

2387

2457

190

2161

2241

2301

2371

2441

200

2145

2215

2285

2355

2425

210

2129

2199

2269

2339

2409

220

2113

2183

2253

2323

2393

230

2097

2167

2237

2307

2377

The table is worked out for latex-concrete having cement content of 330 kg/m3. For each 20 kg difference in cement content from 330 kg correct the weight per m3 3 kg in the same direction.

Table. 5 Proportion of sand (percent) with 10 mm and 20 mm maximum size of aggregate, slump 50 mm – 200 mm

Zone of sand

Free W/C ratio

10 mm aggregate

20 mm aggregate

II

0.3

0.4

0.5

44-54

46-57

47-59

35-44

37-46

39-48

III

0.3

0.4

0.5

37-44

38-46

40-47

30-35

31-37

33-39

Table 6 ACI Guidelines for Mix Proportions of SBR-Modified Concrete Ovedrlays

Unit cement content, minimum

390 kg/m3

Unit SBR Latex content, minimum

121 kg/m3

Unit water content, maximum

94 kg/m3

Air content, maximum (ASTM C 2311)

6.5%

Slump range

7.5 – 20.5mm

Overlay thickness, minimum

2.5 cm

Coarse aggregate size, maximum

No.8

Fine aggregate- Aggregate ratio

55-70 wt %

Cement: Fine aggregate : Coarse aggregate (Aggregate assumed saturated, surface dry)

1.0 : 2.8 : 1.7 (weight ratio)

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References:
1. BIS : 12269-1987 “Specifications for 53 grade OPC #, Bureau of Indian Standard, New Delhi.
2. BIS : 383-1970, # Specifications for coarse and fine aggregates from Naltural sources for concrete (second revision), Bureau of Indian Standard, New Delhi.
3. OHAMA, Mix Design System for Polymer-modified mortars, proceeding of the second Australian Conference on Engineering Materials, Sydney, Australia, 163-172(1981).
4. OHMA.T, NISHIMURA, T.MIYAKE, T and KAN.S. Proposed Mix proportioning of polymer-modified concrete, proceeding of the third International Congress on polymer in concrete (Vol. 1), Koriyama, Japan, 320 (1982).
5. ACI Committee 546-State-of-the art Report on polymer modified concrete.
6. ACI Committee 548-Standard Specification for Latex modified concrete (LMC) overlays.
7. KISHORE KAUSHAL, “Concrete Mix Design for Road Bridges “Indian Higheays, Vol. 19, No. 11, November, 1991, pp 31-37.

We at engineeringcivil.com are thankful to Sir Kaushal Kishore for submitting this research paper and helping all civil engineers understand Polymer-Modified Mortars And Concrete Mix Design.

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Comments
  • ashok vasant choulkar September 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Excellent information. I am going to made cement morter with SBR latex for application of rcc beam placed on ground between two plots covered with heavy duty Interlocking CC paver blocks where traffic is robust and heavy. pl. advise.

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