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micro silica powder is an extremely fine amorphous (non-crystalline) silicon dioxide byproduct of producing elemental and ferro-silicon alloys in electric arc furnaces. This grey coloured powder is pozzolanic in nature and, when added to concrete, it enhances performance levels of Portland cement-based and specialist concrete and mortar formulations by improving the hydration process, increasing strength development and decreasing water loss and segregation in fresh concrete.
As the lateral surface area of the powder is very high, the amount of free water in the concrete mix that is available for bleeding decreases significantly. This also helps to prevent segregation as the powder fills the pores of the concrete mix.
Our ELKEM MICROSILICA(tm) 940 product is a dry silica fume powder that improves the properties and characteristics of high-performance concrete and specialist mortar formulations, by acting physically as a filler to optimize particle packing and chemically as a highly reactive pozzolan. It can be used in low-, ultra- and no-cement castables as well as in fiber cement applications. It is available in undensified (U) and densified (D) forms.
It is important to remember that although micro silica powder greatly improves the performance of concrete, it cannot replace cement as it does not react with calcium hydroxide. Fly ash or ground blast furnace slag can be used in place of cement, however, and still achieve the same results as well as other positive features such as reduced water consumption, increased workability and increased durability.