Laboratory Investigation of Air-void Systems Produced by Air-entraining Admixtures in Fresh and Hardened Mortar

Report No: 06-R27

Published in 2006

About the report:

The air-void systems produced by two commercially available air-entraining admixtures (AEA), one a vinsol resin formulation and the other a tall oil formulation, were studied in mortars. Mortars were composed of four different portland cements and two Class F fly ashes (20 percent by mass) with concrete sand. The mortar proportions were based on Virginia Department of Transportation Class A4 concrete with a water-cementitious material ratio of 0.45. Foam index tests were conducted on all cementitious combinations, and the results were used to determine the dosage of AEA in the mortars. The air content of the mortars was determined gravimetrically, and specimens were cast for subsequent linear traverse analysis of the air-void system. With both AEAs, mortar air contents in the target range produced spacing factors much lower than necessary to provide resistance to freezing and thawing, suggesting that the ranges for air content currently used in VDOT specifications could be reduced to lessen the potential for acceptance problems associated with excessive air content. Further study is recommended to verify that the relationships observed in this study are also observed in concrete and to define improved air content specifications.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • D. Stephen Lane

Last updated: November 26, 2023

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