- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 16 May 2018
A binding agent, or binder, is a material used to form materials into a cohesive whole, as a means of providing structural stability. Binding agents harden chemically or mechanically, and in the process bond fibres, filler powder and other substances together.
Binding agents have been commonly used in construction for a very long time; for example, the use of straw and natural fibres to strengthen clay in wattle-and-daub construction. A very common binding agent used in contemporary construction is cement, which is used to make concrete. Other common examples include bitumen binder which is used for asphalt pavements, and clay for binding bricks.
Hydraulic binding agents are often used in underground and underwater engineering projects. On mixing with water they continue to preserve and increase their strength. Examples include; Portland cement, pozzolanic cement, blast-furnace cement, alumina and expanding cement, hydraulic lime, and so on.
Acid-resistant binding agents can maintain their strength after mixing in air while also in contact with acids, and form various kinds of acid-resistant cement, such as silicon fluoride cement, quartz cement, and so on.
Binding agents can also be 'organic', where they are of organic origin, such as asphalt, bitumen, pitch, polyvinylacetate, resins, and so on. Under the influence of physical or chemical processes they transition from a plastic state to a hard state.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Admixture, additive or agent.
- Admixtures in concrete.
- Applications, performance characteristics and environmental benefits of alkali-activated binder concretes.
- Lime mortar.
- Portland cement.
- Structural adhesives.
- Types of concrete.
- Types of mortar.
- Volatile organic compounds.
Featured articles and news
How it can benefit construction.
Free guide to commissioning for site managers published by NHBC and BSRIA.
Resolving quickly to minimise delay and costs.
Tackling domestic abuse.
Disallowed costs vs. defined costs. Which is which?
Coping with the loss of local authority conservation services.
Remedial works could save the NHS £95 million a year.
One of Europe’s largest waterfront transformations.
How BIM was used to produce an information model of a home.
Skyscrapers of the future will be built of wood.
How to increase your chances of winning.