Improved superplasticisers for high performance concrete: the SUPERPLAST project

Phillip Frank Gower Banfill, Paul Bowen, Robert Flatt, Laurent Galmiche, Yves Houst, Annika Kauppi, Francoise Lafuma, Paul Livesey, Urs Maeder, Bernt Myrvold, F Perche, Berit Petersen, Kare Reknes, Irene Schober, David Stanley Swift

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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SUPERPLAST was an international consortium project (8 partners), funded by EU Framework Programme 5 to February 2004, to develop high performance superplasticisers for concrete. It developed a fundamental understanding of the way that superplasticisers function, which led to a conceptual model of their interaction with cements. This was used by the industrial partners to tailor admixtures of improved performance, which were then tested in an extensive programme of concrete mixes.

The work has shown that, in concrete, tailored polycarboxylate admixtures can reduce the water content by up to 30% and improved lignosulfonate admixtures can reduce the water content by up to 25%. In both cases these reductions are achieved with acceptable workability retention and without retardation of strength development. The same or higher strengths are achieved with blended cements and it is possible to increase the proportion of industrial by-products, such as fly ash and silica fume, in the binder from a total of 30% up to 40% by weight.

Such reductions in the water content have the potential to bring about considerable improvements in the durability of concrete because lower water contents mean lower absorption and permeability, which in turn mean that the aggressive agents (sulfates in solution and water for freezing/thawing and wetting/drying) cannot gain access to the cement matrix to cause damage.

The results confirm the validity of the tailoring approach to superplasticiser development and enable the industrial partners to offer improved products to the market.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Congress on the Chemistry of Cement
EditorsJJ Beaudoin, JM Makar, L Raki
Place of PublicationMontreal
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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