How to Make Sticky Concrete

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Sticky concrete is a richer concrete mixture that contains less water than the conventional material. It can flow as easily as regular concrete while in liquid form but can bear greater loads once it has solidified. Sticky concrete also has more slump, an engineering property that describes its plasticity. To make sticky concrete, add a water-reducing admixture. One such admixture is sulfonated lignin, a polyelectrolyte polymer. Manufacturers produce the polymer by running byproducts from wood-pulp treatment through sulfite piping.

Things You'll Need

  • Cement
  • Sulfonated lignin
  • Determine or decide your concrete's proposed water-to-cement ratio. For example, suppose that you use a mixture with a 0.62 water-to-cement ratio.

  • Multiply this ratio by 0.9 to account for sticky concrete's reduced water content. With this example, multiply 0.62 by 0.9 to get 0.558.

  • Add 1 to this answer, to get 1.558.

  • Divide the ratio from step 2 by this answer. With this example, divide 0.558 by 1.558 to get 0.3582. This is the fraction of the concrete's water and cement portion that will consist of water.

  • Subtract the previous answer from 1. So, 1 minus 0.3582 is 0.6418, the fraction of the concrete's water and cement portion that will consist of cement.

  • Multiply the mass of concrete that you must produce by 0.025. For example, if you plan to mix 1,000 pounds of concrete, multiply 1,000 by 0.00025 to get 0.25 pound. This is the amount of lignin sulfonate that the concrete needs.

  • Subtract this mass from the concrete's total mass. With this example, subtract 0.25 from 1,000 to get 999.75 pounds.

  • Multiply this mass by the fraction from Step 4. So, 999.75 multiplied by 0.3582 is 358.11 pounds, the mass of water you must include in the concrete mixture.

  • Multiply the mass from Step 7 by the fraction from Step 5. So, 999.75 multiplied by 0.6418 is 641.64 pounds, the mass of cement you must include in the concrete mixture.

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