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-   -   Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers (http://www.diychatroom.com/f105/concrete-retaining-wall-made-look-like-natural-stone-stonemakers-158182/)

shinyhalo 09-27-2012 04:59 PM

Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers
 
If you search y o u t u b e for "Stonemakers" or "Teamempowerment" you will see videos selling franchises for a way to build retaining walls and just about anything you can think of out of concrete without using forms.

The key seems to be the ability to make the concrete VERY workable like a soft clay that takes a LONG time to harden. Due to this smooth texture that readily accepts impression, they are able to press shapes into the surface to make it look like natural stone.

Facts:
1. They order the ready mix with a 2- 2.5 inch slump (dry)
2. The ready mix has no aggregate, just sand
3. They add 10 gallons of their trademark admix on-site for 10 cubic yards.
4. The admix makes it 3- 3.5 inch slump (clay-like creaminess)

Someone posted that it's no big secret and anyone who knows concrete knows what admixtures to put in. I'd like to know too!

Would anyone here tell me what exact products I can add to get the concrete to act like a slow hardening smooth clay?

Thanks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtnZi0ArjBA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP7BBMufJ0M

Canarywood1 09-27-2012 07:48 PM

Sure,it's a water reducing agent that we in the redi-mix industry have used for years,just google concrete plasticizers,or super plasticizers,and you should be in business.

shinyhalo 09-27-2012 09:04 PM

Thanks.
It looks like Melflux is a good super plasticizer, but where do you buy the stuff online?

concretemasonry 09-27-2012 10:00 PM

You probably could not afford to buy clay and chemicals/additives on line and have it shipped, so it probably not available for such a limited application.

The durability will probably be limited in most climates.

Dick

shinyhalo 09-28-2012 08:45 AM

I was really hoping for info more like "Buy X amount of WYZ Product at this online store for one truck of ready mix."

People are using these plasticizers for concrete counter tops. I don't understand why it's so hard to buy the stuff.

And BASF says their Melflux INCREASES the strength of the concrete.

Canarywood1 09-28-2012 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shinyhalo (Post 1019121)
I was really hoping for info more like "Buy X amount of WYZ Product at this online store for one truck of ready mix."

People are using these plasticizers for concrete counter tops. I don't understand why it's so hard to buy the stuff.

And BASF says their Melflux INCREASES the strength of the concrete.


All of the plasticizers we used were in powder form and were water soluable,and were added to a batch by timers,and yes all water reducing agents increase the strength of concrete by using less water.

If you intend to do a job using a water reducer,why not see if you can buy enough of it from your redi-mix producer who will be supplying the concrete??

Mort 09-29-2012 10:28 AM

We carry super-plasticizer on our trucks (liquid), but 10 gallons of that stuff would ruin a load.

Another cool way to do something like that is Shotcrete (Gunnite). Its not for the DIYer, though, since you need a pump, a gun, and a crew with a few screws loose. If Mike Rowe says that Shotcrete is the worst job he's ever tried, that should be a clue.

Canarywood1 09-29-2012 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mort (Post 1019921)
We carry super-plasticizer on our trucks (liquid), but 10 gallons of that stuff would ruin a load.

Another cool way to do something like that is Shotcrete (Gunnite). Its not for the DIYer, though, since you need a pump, a gun, and a crew with a few screws loose. If Mike Rowe says that Shotcrete is the worst job he's ever tried, that should be a clue.


Yes 10 gallons would be too much for a 10yd.load,71/2 gals. is the correct amount, and add 21/2 gals. water for 10 gal. total to attain the proper slump.

shinyhalo 09-29-2012 03:12 PM

I went to a ready-mix supplier and asked about this stuff.
They said they already added a set-retarder and a plasticizer to their concrete.

They seemed really perplexed when I told them the mix should have no aggregate, but if you look at the videos stonemaker's concrete looks like it has none.

I wish this was more standard so I could just tell them what I want to do and they'd know right away what concrete to sell me! I don't really give a dam whether it's $80 or $120 per cubic yard, I just want to be able to work it for 2-3 hours, stack it into a three foot wall shape, and press and carve rock-like shapes into it.

Canarywood1 09-29-2012 05:53 PM

They seemed really perplexed when I told them the mix should have no aggregate, but if you look at the videos stonemaker's concrete looks like it has none.


Well,i'd look the same way if you told me that, tell them it should have no COARSE aggregate,in other words just grout.

shinyhalo 09-29-2012 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canarywood1 (Post 1020131)
Well,i'd look the same way if you told me that, tell them it should have no COARSE aggregate,in other words just grout.

See, that's good info. Thanks. So there IS aggregate, it's just Fine, not Coarse.

Maybe I should just ask for a sample of their concrete with fine aggregate, the longest set time possible, and 3 inch slump.

Canarywood1 09-30-2012 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shinyhalo (Post 1020148)
See, that's good info. Thanks. So there IS aggregate, it's just Fine, not Coarse.

Maybe I should just ask for a sample of their concrete with fine aggregate, the longest set time possible, and 3 inch slump.


Slump needs to be 2 -2.5 inches,which is very dry,before adding plasticizer and water.

shinyhalo 09-30-2012 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canarywood1 (Post 1020474)
Slump needs to be 2 -2.5 inches,which is very dry,before adding plasticizer and water.

Yes, but the ready mix guy said they already add set-retarder and plasticizer to every batch by default. 8/

They sell it by the strength 3000 psi...4500 etc

Canarywood1 09-30-2012 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shinyhalo (Post 1020509)
Yes, but the ready mix guy said they already add set-retarder and plasticizer to every batch by default. 8/

They sell it by the strength 3000 psi...4500 etc

Well,i don't understand why they are adding a retarder to begin with,and since this will be a custom mix,it should be mixed according to your specs,not what they use on an everyday basis.

Years ago concrete was sold by the bag mix,but as you say it's now sold by strength mix's,which allows them to cut back on the amount of the cement actually used,and use additives such as plasticizers and fly ash as fillers,to attain the specified strengths,tell them you want 564 lbs.of cement per yd.and nothing else added to the mix,that's equal to a 6 bag mix or 4000 PSI.

shinyhalo 09-30-2012 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canarywood1 (Post 1020576)
Well,i don't understand why they are adding a retarder to begin with,and since this will be a custom mix,it should be mixed according to your specs,not what they use on an everyday basis.

Years ago concrete was sold by the bag mix,but as you say it's now sold by strength mix's,which allows them to cut back on the amount of the cement actually used,and use additives such as plasticizers and fly ash as fillers,to attain the specified strengths,tell them you want 564 lbs.of cement per yd.and nothing else added to the mix,that's equal to a 6 bag mix or 4000 PSI.

Ahh, I suspected something like that was happening. Using plasticizers to increase the final strength and then cutting back on the expensive cement used to maximize profit. Thanks for confirming it.

The stonemakers video actually mentions they use 9 bag mix.

Ok. Now I have more specifics that I can take to the local retailers of ready-mix.
Thanks.


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