Sugar Concrete

Why Sugar In Concrete Added In Concrete | Sugar Concrete | Concrete Sugar11 min read

Introduction To Sugar In Concrete

Concrete is an extremely used construction material that is a mixture of water, cement, sand, aggregates and sometimes admixtures are also required in suitable proportions as per construction requirements.

Durability, strength, and binding strength are some of the superior properties of cement or concrete which are dependent on the initial setting time of concrete that is again ultimately affected by weather conditions. This leads us to the conclusion that climatic or atmospheric conditions are very vital while considering the properties of concrete.

The role of Sugar In Concrete is to delay or increase the setting time of cement concrete at the construction site so as to obtain the required characteristics of concrete such as strength and durability. This method is cheap as sugar is a readily available component beneficial in delaying the setting of concrete.


Sugar in Concrete

Why Sugar In Concrete Added In Concrete | Sugar Concrete | Concrete Sugar
Sugar In Concrete

Sugar is basically a carbohydrate, which is composed of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen elements. For hot weather conditions where the subsequent decrease of setting time of cement is observed, in such conditions Retarders and Accelerators such as Retarder sugar and gypsum are used to increase the setting time of concrete.

Sugar is cheap, affordable, and easily available material that shows an increase in both initial and final setting time of cement paste with its increment of 0.1%. It has been experimentally proven that concrete with sugar has shown increments in concrete compressive strength by 22.4%, 19.6%, and 20.3% at the span of 7, 14, and 28 days respectively as compared to concrete with no sugar.


Difference between Cement and Concrete

  1. One of the many major differences between cement and concrete co relates their manufacturing method. Cement is manufactured using chemical combination of aluminum, iron, silicon, calcium, silicon, and other ingredients however Concrete is itself a mixture of cement with sand, aggregate, and water.
  2. Cement is a bonding agent in concrete, while concrete forms a strong material used in casting of structural components such as beams, columns, and slabs, etc.
  3. Cement when mixed with water produces heat of hydration which is useful in concrete for gaining strength while setting.
  4. The factors responsible for acquiring strength within cement are well dependent on the chemical composition of different ingredients used in manufacturing cement. On other hand concrete acquire its strength through appropriate water-cement ratio along with stable concrete mix ratio.
  5. Manufacturing of cement is complex process to be performed hence only possible in manufacturing factories with skilled workers however process to obtain concrete is much simpler with respect to all commodities.
  6. Tests to know properties of Cement– Soundness Test, Fineness Test, Specific Gravity Test, Initial and final cement time and Consistency Test. Tests to know properties of Concrete– Rebound hammer, Compressive Test, Compaction Factor Test, Strength Test, and Slump Test.

Effect of Sugar on Setting Time of Concrete

When Sugar is used in concrete it delays the setting time of concrete acting as a retarder. Sugar of quantity 0.1% could delay the initial setting time by 116 minutes of the concrete. Hence to delay the setting time by the required amount one could adjust the value of sugar accordingly.

Sugars in concrete are categorized under “cement destroyers” which when added to concrete show an increment in concrete compressive strength by 22.4%, 19.6%, and 20.3% after the span of 7, 14, and 28 days respectively comparatively with concrete with no sugar. This is the result of the subsequent increase in the setting time of concrete.

Sugar is found to be not having an adverse effect on concrete but can delay initial and final setting time by 80 minutes and 110 minutes respectively for the value of 0.06% by weight of cement.

However, sugar is of different forms and each form acts differently in concrete. Like Trehalose does not affect concrete setting time and Lactose is only a moderate concrete retardant. Among all other sugar molecules, Sucrose is known to be the most effective retardant.


Use of Sugar as a Concrete Surface Retarder

Why Sugar In Concrete Added In Concrete | Sugar Concrete | Concrete Sugar
Concrete Surface Retarder

The use of sugar as a concrete surface retarder takes into account the initial setting time of the concrete, which delays or increases it as per necessity. For the surrounding conditions to be too hot may accelerate the setting time of concrete because of surface heating.

Sugar as a Concrete Surface Retarder delays the setting time of concrete in order to obtain certain characteristics during its curing period. It is seemingly utilized in inadequate atmospheric conditions to capitalize on the rapid coagulation due to higher temperatures.


Sugar Concrete Ratio

Why Sugar In Concrete Added In Concrete | Sugar Concrete | Concrete Sugar
Sugar Concrete Ratio

The quantity increment of sugar up to 0.05% by weight of concrete increases the setting time of concrete sharply, but further addition of sugar results in a decrease in the rate of setting time of concrete.

Experimental results have proved that the dosage of sugar in the range of 0.05–0.1% does not have any adverse effects and is capable of not causing any further damage to structure considering both types of cement. This specifies the Sugar Concrete Ratio of 0.05:1 as the most suitable one.


Change in Properties After Adding Sugar in Concrete

We can see the change in the properties of concrete once Sugar is added to it. Not only the initial and final setting time of concrete is changed but also the characteristics properties of concrete are affected in good cause.

The primary change that occurred by adding Sugar in Concrete is an increased flowability and compactness of the cement. The movement of adding Sugar in Concrete initiates retarding action on concrete.

There is a sufficient increase of later strength in concrete, reduction in heat of hydration is observed and formation of temperature cracks is observed. These are some of the functional changes that occurred in concrete.


Recommendations of Sugar in Concrete

Sugar in Concrete acts as a retarder if mixed in proper proportion, in the urge to obtain maximum characteristics. However, if applied in excess quantity it might result in reversing its characteristics.

The recommended quantity as per standards for applying sugar is 0.05% of the total weight of concrete. This quantity is capable of ensuring the maximum properties gain by concrete. In subsidiary of applying the required quantity in the production plant, the sugar of necessary proportion is measured precisely.

To improve the compressive strength of concrete by 3-4% after the span of 28 days, sugar of 0.06 quantities in terms of percentage with respect to the total weight of concrete is required. The same amount is required to delay the initial setting time by 80 minutes.

Delaying the sugar added by the period of 3 to 7 days ensures the safeguard of cold joints. Similar purposes of sugar are served by OPC and some salts.


Working of Sugar in Concrete

For understanding the working of sugar in concrete, there are many theories established which put forward the principle of change of properties in concrete, which are as discussed below,

1. Theory of Sugar Coat Formation

Water in the concrete reacts with the cement during the process of setting concrete. However, if sugar is present in the concrete it forms a canopy surrounding the sugar particle which delays or reduces the cement water reaction.

This in turn is responsible for delaying the setting time of concrete. This process of sugar forming a canopy around cement particles also changes the characteristics properties of concrete.

2. Theory of Insoluble Complexes Formation

Molecules of sugar are reactive with the Al & Ca elements of concrete. During the procedure of setting concrete, sugar molecules form complexes with Al & Ca, which further does not prohibits the reaction between Al, Ca, and water molecules.

3. Theory of Glucose Catalytic Principle

Sugar Surface possesses robust polarity which encourages solid-liquid adsorption in concrete during the setting or curing process of concrete. Hence it becomes unfavorable conditions for tri-calcium silicate hydrate reaction and crystal contact.


Use of Gypsum to Adjust the Setting Time of Cement

Gypsum, Sodium Oxide, Salt, and Calcium Sulphate are used to adjust the setting time of concrete. Among which Gypsum is used in various forms such as its chemical form or its mineral form. Gypsum is hydrated salt when it is in its chemical composition.

Gypsum serves as the key component in the process of solidification of concrete. Gypsum acts as a setting time regulator in the cement, delaying the initial and final setting time of concrete.

Without gypsum cement will set quickly after mixing solidifying in quick sensation leaving barely enough time for concrete. So, for regulating the setting time of cement concrete use of gypsum is mandatory. 

Gypsum not only controls the setting time of concrete but also regulates the hydration of alite C3S which considerably reduced shrinkage and increase the early strength of concrete. This states that gypsum has multiple roles in concrete.


Initial & Final Setting Time for Sugar in Concrete

The initial and final setting time of concrete increases with an increase in sugar quantity up to 0.08% in a steady manner. However, beyond the percentage increase of 0.08 in sugar results in drastic increases of setting time.

Initial and final setting time of concrete shows increases by 105 minutes and 120 minutes respectively, along with a satisfactory increase of compressive strength after adding sugar of 0.05%-0.08% weight of concrete.

This delay for the sugar content of 0.08% of the total weight of cement in the Initial and final setting time of concrete is helpful in regulating the formation of cold joints. The same is the reason for delaying setting in hot conditions.


Reason for Adding Gypsum in Cement for Sugar in Concrete

Among the available four minerals responsible for coagulation Tri-calcium aluminate (C3A) is the most reactive one in cement.

Why Sugar In Concrete Added In Concrete | Sugar Concrete | Concrete Sugar
Gypsum Concrete

There is an increase in heat radiation noticed which is proportional to an increase in C3A in the setting and coagulation process. This is the result of the reaction of C3A with water occurring rapidly further manipulated by subsequent adding of gypsum.

Gypsum also recognized as crystallized CaSO4 (Sulphate content is used to express Gypsum Content) forms a surrounding around the cement particle hindering the process of reaction of cement particles with water.

In the process of hydration, Gypsum is highly reactive with C3A forming a precipitate as calcium sulphoaluminate hydrate which in turn forms a layer of cement particles stopping the process of C3 hydration.


FAQs

What happens after adding Sugar to Concrete?

We can see the change in the properties of concrete once Sugar is added to it. Not only the initial and final setting time of concrete is changed but also the characteristics properties of concrete are affected in a good cause.

Effect of Sugar on Setting Time of Concrete

When Sugar is used in concrete it delays the setting time of concrete acting as a retarder. Sugar of quantity 0.1% could delay the initial setting time by 116 minutes of the concrete. Hence to delay the setting time by the required amount one could adjust the value of sugar accordingly.

Sugar in Concrete

The role of sugar in concrete is to delay or increase the setting time of cement concrete at the construction site so as to obtain the required characteristics of concrete such as strength and durability. This method is cheap as sugar is a readily available component beneficial in delaying the setting of concrete.

Sugar to Concrete Ratio

Experimental results have proved that the dosage of sugar in the range of 0.05–0.1% does not have any adverse effects and is capable of not causing any further damage to structure considering both types of cement. This specifies the Sugar Concrete Ratio of 0.05:1 as the most suitable one

Sugar as a Concrete Surface Retarder

The use of sugar as a concrete surface retarder affects the initial setting time of the concrete, which delays or increases it as per necessity. For the surrounding conditions to be too hot may accelerate the setting time of concrete because of surface heating.

Which Product Is Added in Cement to Adjust the Setting Time During Manufacturing?

Gypsum serves as the key component in the process of solidification of concrete. Gypsum acts as a setting time regulator in the cement, delaying the initial and final setting time of concrete. Hence it is added in Cement during manufacturing to adjust the Setting Time During Manufacturing.

Can adding Sugar in Concrete prevent it from setting quickly?

Yes, The initial and final setting time of concrete increases with an increase in sugar quantity up to 0.08% in a steady manner. However, beyond the percentage increase of 0.08 in sugar results in drastic increases of setting time.

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