Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Concrete Basics

Flash set occur. Flash set is a rapid develop- slowly dehydrate. The moisture dif-
ment of rigidity in freshly mixed fuses to cooler regions near the silo
and false set portland-cement paste, mortar, or wall and prehydrates some of the
concrete. Further mixing can’t dispel C3A. This strongly retards the C3A

C ontractors occasionally speak of

getting a “hot load” of concrete,
meaning the concrete stiffens quickly
this rigidity, and a large amount of
heat is produced in the process.
Other cementing compounds form
reaction with calcium sulfate and
results in another type of rapid con-
crete stiffening—false set (see follow-
and is difficult to place, consolidate, within the porous calcium-aluminate- ing discussion). To prevent prehydra-
and finish. Though hot loads can be hydrate framework, producing a low- tion during storage, cement manufac-
caused by high concrete and air tem- strength material. turers sometimes add a mixture of
peratures, early stiffening also can Flash set at the jobsite is very rare gypsum and natural anhydrite (calci-
result from the use of washout water because setting-time tests at the ce- um sulfate without the two molecules
as part of the mixing water, or from ment mill would detect the flash-set of water attached), then operate finish
very dry, absorptive aggregates. behavior before the cement was mills at high enough temperatures to
In some cases, certain cement or shipped to the concrete producer. dehydrate almost all of the gypsum to
admixture properties can lead to early However, a condition similar to flash plaster (CaSO4·1⁄2H20).
stiffening. Dealing with stiffening set can occur if the cement is under- Natural anhydrite is less soluble
from these causes requires an under- sulfated or contains slowly reacting than gypsum, but if there’s enough
standing of the early reactions of sulfates and is used with certain plaster to control the initial C3A reac-
cement, admixtures, and water. water-reducing admixtures. tions, natural anhydrite can supply
Gypsum in cements stored at ele- the additional sulfate needed while
P o r tland-cement chemistry vated temperatures in some silos can reducing the risk of false set. The
Four primary compounds make downside is a potential for delayed
up portland cement. Two of these— flash set, sometimes erroneously
tricalcium silicate (C3S) and tricalci- F lash set is a referred to as “admixture set.” This
um aluminate (C3A)—are the first to may occur when the producer adds a
react with water and can play a major rapid develop- calcium-lignosulfonate (CLS) water-
role in concrete setting. reducing admixture to concrete con-
C3A reacts so rapidly with water ment of rigidity in taining a marginally undersulfated
that if calcium sulfate weren’t present, cement or a cement manufactured
formation of calcium aluminate hy- with natural anhydrite. The CLS is
drate would cause the concrete to
freshly mixed adsorbed on the natural anhydrite
stiffen and set almost immediately. surfaces, further reducing anhydrite
The calcium sulfate, generally in the
portland-cement solubility and retarding the rate at
form of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O), is which it goes into solution. With
added to cement clinker before the paste, mortar, or insufficient sulfate in solution, the
clinker is ground during production. C3A reaction proceeds rapidly and the
When water is added to the concrete, concrete. Further concrete quickly stiffens. You can
the gypsum and C3A react to produce avoid this situation by using a non-
insoluble calcium sulfoaluminate, de- mixing can’t dis- CLS water-reducing admixture or
laying the formation of calcium alu- delaying addition of the CLS admix-
minate hydrate and giving workers pel this rigidity, ture during the mixing cycle.
time to complete placing and finishing
operations. When gypsum delays the and a large False set
rapid set of C3A, C3S forms a calcium False set is the rapid development
silicate hydrate that’s largely responsi- amount of heat is of rigidity in freshly mixed portland-
ble for initial concrete setting and cement paste, mortar, or concrete
early strength gain. produced in the without the generation of much heat.
False set occurs because some of the
Flash set process. gypsum dehydrates as a result of con-
If inadequate amounts of gypsum tacting hot clinker or high tempera-
are added to the cement, flash set can tures in the grinding mill. This creates
plaster that rehydrates to form gyp- may encounter false set when the con- Publication #C00I046
sum and stiffen the concrete. crete plant is near the jobsite or when Copyright © 2000 Hanley-Wood, LLC
This stiffening can be dispelled by concrete is mixed at the jobsite in vol- All rights reserved
further mixing the concrete, without umetric mixers. You can avoid this
the addition of water, through the problem by using cement that meets
false-set period (usually the first 15 the optional false-set requirement in
ASTM C 150, “Specifications for
Portland Cement.”
F alse set is the False set also occurs in bagged
cement products used for repair work,
rapid develop- overlay cements, and tile cements.
Instructions usually require that the
ment of rigidity in materials be mixed and allowed to sit
freshly mixed for at least 5 minutes and then re-
mixed to eliminate false set.
portland-cement —By Joe Nasvik
paste, mortar, or 1. A.M. Neville, Properties of Concrete,
Fourth Edition, John Wiley & Sons,
concrete without New York, 1998.
2. F.W. Locher, W. Richartz, and S.
the generation of Sprung, “Setting of Cement Part II:
Effect of Adding Calcium Sulfate,”
much heat. Zement-Kalk Gips, 1980, pp. 271-277.
3. V. Dodson and T. Hayden, “Another
minutes after concrete is batched). Look at the Portland Cement/Chemical
Admixture Incompatibility Problem,”
Ready-mixed concrete is often en Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates,
route to a jobsite long enough to mix ASTM, West Conshohocken, Pa., 1989,
through the false-set cycle, but you pp. 52-56.