What is concrete composed of? Cement, sand, water and all kinds of additives are used in this construction material. In addition, the reinforced concrete contains suitable reinforcements. It should not be surprising that the properties of water used during concrete production are of utmost importance as regards the features of the finished product.
What is the characteristic of water used for concrete production?
Good water quality allows for the proper consistency of concrete or mortar, and it also allows for the binding process. Of course, it can not contain any physical or chemical impurities.
Such conditions are met e.g. by supply water, which makes it quite suitable for use in construction. There are adequate standards for each source of make-up water (e.g. surface water or reclaimed from concrete production processes). Any deviation from the provisions of the Polish Standard PN-EN 1008: 2004 (except points 3.4 to 3.6), which relates to make-up water, may cause negative changes related to the bonding process, the reduction of the bonded mixture strength and, consequently, harmful external conditions.
Keep in mind that even a small amount of water pollution from chemicals can result in salt precipitation and mechanical damage to the solidified composite. These defects are caused by the local growth of salt crystals, which significantly increase their volume, thereby causing the pore and capillaries to break in the concrete.
Interestingly, in some cases even seawater can be used for the production of concrete – for example, when there is no reinforcement in the composite. Nevertheless, the less chemical compounds and foreign substances in the make-up water, the better. Therefore, in general, it should not show yellow color, produce no odors – particularly decay. The presence of suspensions, sugars, salts or acids is also undesirable, as is the presence of washing agents, detergents, municipal waste or microorganisms.
It is believed that in most cases supply water is the optimum choice for concrete production.