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It is a good idea to protect freshly placed concrete from freezing. During the first 24 hours, concrete should be protected from ice formation which can significantly reduce the strength of the concrete.
Concrete that has been exposed to freezing water within the first 24 hours of placement can lose up to 50% of its compressive strength. This loss of strength is due to the freeze-thaw cycle which damages the cement paste matrix.
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Entrainment of air in concrete can decrease the damage during freeze-thaw cycles and increase the durability of the concrete. However, entrained air also decreases the compressive strength of the concrete by up to 1% per 2% of entrained air.
Crystalline Admixtures to Self-Seal
Adding crystalline admixtures to concrete during batching can lower its permeability, making it more resistant to water and contaminates. These crystalline particles fill capillary pores and micro-cracks in the concrete, blocking these areas for water and contaminates to pass through.
Pigments can be used to change the color of concrete, for aesthetics or to enhance its performance in certain applications.