The Role of Superplasticizers in the Development of Environmentally-Friendly Concrete

Since their introduction in the early 60’s superplasticizers have become an essential component of concrete. By reducing the amount of water in concrete superplasticizers have contributed to a significant reduction in its porosity and to a concomitant increase in its compressive strength and durability. These chemical admixtures have also been at the forefront of the use of mineral admixtures such as silica fume fly ash and blast-furnace slags in high performance concrete. By making possible the use of these industrial by-products as a partial replacement of cement superplasticizers are also helping to reduce the emission of CO2 in the atmosphere a key issue in several industrialized countries.

This paper reviews some important aspects related to the use of superplasticizers in concrete. More precisely it concentrates on how these polymers contribute to sustainable development by favoring the use of mineral admixtures in concrete and by increasing the durability of concrete structures.

Technical Report Author: Monique Page, Nelu Spiratos