Overview: Viscosity modifying agents in advanced cement-based materials

A new review article describes viscosity modifying agents as key components of advanced cement-based materials with adapted rheology.

A wheelbarrow in front of a concrete wall as a symbolic image.
Overall Image source: fotofrank - stock.adobe.com (symbol image).

Viscosity modifying agents (VMAs) are essential ingredients for the production of flowable cement-based materials. A new paper presents an overview of commonly used VMAs and attempts to shed some light on the underlying physics at the origin of their mechanisms of action. The main molecular parameters of VMA controlling the rheological properties of the cement pore solution are highlighted. As the mechanisms of action of VMAs in cement-based materials are closely related to their affinity with the surface of cement particles, the adsorption of the main VMA types is discussed.

Effect of VMAs in enhancing concrete properties

The effect of VMAs on flow properties and stability of cement-based materials is presented for VMAs added without any superplasticiser, and then in systems incorporating both VMAs and superplasticisers. Finally, the effect of VMAs in enhancing concrete properties to secure adequate performance of different construction applications, and perspectives for future developments of novel cement-based materials made with VMAs are showcased.

The study has been published in Cement and Concrete Research, Volume 152, February 2022.

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