Shrinkage-reducing agents have been developed to mitigate shrinkage and to control cracks in concrete. This study aims to evaluate the impact of a newly developed shrinkage-reducing agent (N-SRA) on concrete properties and to compare its properties with a conventional shrinkage-reducing agent (C-SRA). The hydration rate, compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, shrinkage, occurrence of cracking, and freezing and thawing were investigated. N-SRA showed higher surface tension than C-SRA and reduced shrinkage to the same degree as C-SRA with half the dosage of C-SRA. The addition of N-SRA or C-SRA did not influence the early compressive strength but slightly reduced splitting tensile strength at seven days. Concrete with N-SRA showed higher compressive strength at 28 days than those of concrete with C-SRA or without SRA. Furthermore, concrete with N-SRA extended the period for the occurrence of shrinkage cracking under restrained conditions. It was found that N-SRA provided excellent freezing and thawing resistance because of the formation of good air voids, while C-SRA demonstrated inefficient behaviour in such an environment.
Keywords: compressive strength; freezing and thawing; shrinkage-reducing agent; spacing factor; splitting tensile strength.