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Last edited 15 Nov 2020
Concrete superplasticizers (or concrete superplasticisers) play a vital role in improving the quality and reducing the cost of construction. Superplasticizers are particularly suited to the manufacture high strength concrete for construction. Ready-mix concrete, precast concrete, shotcrete and high-performance concrete are the major applicants of superplasticizers.
They are chemical admixtures that have water-reduction capabilities that range from 5.0% to 40.0% in concrete mixes. They are usually classified according to the raw material used, such as naphthalene, melamine, lignosulfonates, and polycarboxylic acids.
The global concrete superplasticizers (CSP) market is expected to reach USD 4.77 Billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 8.2% between 2015 and 2020. This growth is fuelled by high demand from emerging economies and because of precieved ecological benefits.
The concrete superplasticizers market is segmented into five types:
- Sulfonated naphthalene formaldehydes (SNF).
- Sulfonated melamine formaldehydes (SMF).
- Modified lignosulfonates (MLS).
- Polycarboxylic acids (PC).
The use of these superplasticizers increases the efficiency of their applications. Individual superplasticizers have application-specific demands that are differentiated by placement, cost, and efficiency:
- Naphthalene superplasticizers are useful in ready-mix concrete applications for the construction of buildings and bridges.
- Polycarboxylic acids are the latest and expensive superplasticizer, used in high-end constructions such as airports and government infrastructure.
Polycarboxylates are third generation superplasticizers that have revolutionised the market with their ability to reduce the water to cement ratio by 40.0% even at low dosages. Compared to other superplasticizers, polycarboxylates at a dosage rate of 0.15% to 0.3% can achieve 30.0% to 40.0% water reduction. They are also suitable in hot weather conditions and can be transported to long distances. They can be used in all applications, in particular in high-strength and self-compacting concrete applications
Middle East & Africa is the second largest consumer of superplasticizers, globally. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest, with major developments in China and India. The Middle East & Africa and Asia-Pacific are expected to compete with each other to dominate the market by 2020, with advanced technological developments in superplasticizers for end-users. Asia-Pacific is expected to remain the major market till 2020, with high investment in construction due to growing population.
Major players such as Arkema SA (France), BASF SE (Germany), Kao Corporation (Japan), Sika AG (Switzerland), and W.R. Grace & Co. (U.S.) have adopted development strategies such as expansion, acquisitions, and product development to achieve growth in the market.
Quality control is very important. Pre-material testing takes place at manufacturing laboratories before its used. Choosing a suitable superplasticizers is the most important task for any application.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Admixtures in concrete.
- Alkali-activated binder.
- Alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR).
- Cellular concrete.
- Precast concrete.
- Prestressed concrete.
- Reinforced concrete.
- Self-compacting concrete.
- Shotcrete technology.
- Smart concrete.
- Topmix Permeable.
- Ultra high performance fibre concrete.
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