Last edited 24 Apr 2018

Admixture, additive or agent

The use of the different terms ‘admixture’, ‘additive’ and ‘agent’ in relation to concrete production can lead to confusion. The practical difference between the terms 'admixture' and 'additive' can be said to be the time at which the ingredient is added during the mixing process.

An admixture is a prepared substance, usually a chemical, which can be added to concrete for the purposes of achieving or modifying certain properties or characteristics. Admixtures are added to the concrete, in addition to cement, water and aggregate, typically immediately before or during the mixing process.

The same substance can be referred to as an additive when it is added to cement during the manufacturing process.

The term ‘agent’ can be used to describe a substance that may be used as an additive to cement or an admixture in concrete, e.g. a binding agent.

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