Albert G. Timms, 88, retired chief of the concrete branch of the Federal Highway Administration and an authority on the use of concrete, died of congestive heart failure July 23 at his home in Arlington.

Mr. Timms, a native of Chicago, graduated from what is now the Illinois Institute of Technology and worked 25 years in the research laboratory of the Portland Cement Association in Chicago. While there, he pioneered a process of mixing into concrete certain additives that form tiny closed bubbles and allow the concrete to expand and contract without cracking during changes in the weather.

Mr. Timms came to Washington in 1943 to work on a concrete barge defense program for the National Academy of Sciences. After the war he worked for the National Slag Association and then joined the old Public Roads Administration. He retired in 1969.

For 12 years, Mr. Timms wrote a monthly feature article in the trade magazine "Modern Concrete," and he also wrote the article on concrete for the 1964 edition of the Encyclopedia Americana.

For most of his life he was an enthusiastic amateur painter.

His wife of 62 years, Mary L. Timms, died in 1984. Survivors include a son, Robert J. Timms of Glen Head, N.Y.; a daughter, Molly Vick of Vienna; eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.