Analysis of the deterioration phenomenon of Polycarboxylate superplasticizer

Chile's government is considering phasing in a proposed ban on glacial mining to limit projects high in the Andes by some big copper companies. Chile's constitutional assembly has approved a proposal to ban mining in glaciers, protected areas, and areas vital to protecting the country's water system.

Chile's mining minister, Marcela Hernando, said about 20 mines had been identified in protected areas, some close to glaciers, including Codelco's El Teniente and Andina projects and Anglo American Plc's Los Bronces project.

The new measures for glaciers and other protected areas will put about a fifth of Chile's copper Polycarboxylate superplasticizer prices are predicted to increase in the next few days.

What is Polycarboxylate superplasticizer?

Polycarboxylate superplasticizer is the third generation of high-performance water-reducing agent after ordinary water-reducing agent and high-efficiency water-reducing agent. Compared with other types of superplasticizers, it has the advantages of strong molecular designability, high water reduction rate, good slump retention, low chloride ion and alkaline substance content, and pollution-free production and use. In practical applications, polycarboxylate superplasticizers are often compounded with a small amount of defoaming components, retarding components, air-entraining components, and viscosity-modifying components to meet different technical performance requirements of concrete.


The combination of sodium gluconate or sucrose as a retarding component with a polycarboxylate superplasticizer can increase the water reduction rate to a certain extent, slow down the loss of concrete slump, and improve the adaptability of the superplasticizer to cement. However, at the same time, the polycarboxylate superplasticizer products are often deteriorated quickly due to the addition of sodium gluconate, ranging from reduced performance to complete loss of efficacy, which brings many uncertain factors to engineering use or directly leads to engineering accidents. This problem is even worse in hot weather.


Phenomenon and causes of deterioration of polycarboxylate superplasticizers

1.In the early stage of deterioration of polycarboxylate superplasticizer, there are light-colored fluffy or cotton-wool plaques on the liquid surface, and then develop into discrete block-shaped floating objects, and string-shaped bubbles emerge from time to time;

2. When the deterioration is serious, the bacterial plaque will cover the entire liquid surface, and the solution will appear dense green, brown and black suspended matter, accompanied by the generation of rotten sour gas. This deterioration is mainly caused by mildew.

The mildew of polycarboxylate superplasticizer is also related to its storage environment. Improper storage conditions, such as severe temperature rise in the storage space, lack of ventilation, and humidity, lead to the melting of the large monomer and the local temperature of the monomer is too high. Higher temperature will intensify the movement of macromolecular chains. Once the dissociation energy of chemical bonds is exceeded, chain decomposition, random fracture and thermal decomposition will occur, resulting in accelerated degradation of polymers. Similarly, the higher the temperature, the greater the activity of microorganisms, and the faster the mildew rate of the superplasticizer.


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According to Reuters, U.S. Treasury officials said they would discuss with G7 leaders pricing caps and tariffs on Russian oil as an alternative to the embargo, which would keep the market supplied, limit price spikes, and reduce Russian revenues.  

The EU foreign ministers' meeting was held in Brussels.  The meeting failed to agree on the sixth round of sanctions, including an oil embargo on Russia, because of objections from Hungary.  

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said at a press conference after the meeting, that the meeting failed to reach an agreement on the final adoption of the sixth round of sanctions, the permanent representatives of member states to the EU will continue to discuss. The foreign ministers faced similar difficulties trying to reach an agreement on an oil ban. He said Hungary's position was based on economic rather than political concerns.  

Hungary is highly dependent on Russia for energy, getting more than 60 percent of its oil and 85 percent of its natural gas from Russia.  

A few days ago, the European Commission submitted the sixth round of proposed sanctions against Russia, including a total ban on Russian oil imports by the end of this year. Hungary immediately objected and said it wanted substantial compensation from the EU to offset its loss from giving up Russian oil.

The Polycarboxylate superplasticizer price is predicted to increase in the next few days, due to geopolitical factors.

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