The Effect of Various Polynaphthalene Sulfonate Based Superplasticizers on the Workability of Reactive Powder Concrete

Anthony Torres (Texas State University)
Federico Aguayo (Texas State University, San Marcos)
Srinivas Allena (Cleveland State University, Cleveland)
Michael Ellis (Texas State University, San Marcos)


A superplasticizer is a type of chemical admixture used to alter the workability (viscosity) of fresh concrete. The workability of fresh concrete is often of particular importance when the water-to-cement (w/c) ratio is low and a particular workability is desired. Reactive Powder Concrete (RPC) is a high-strength concrete formulated to provide compressive strengths exceeding 130MPa and made of primarily powders. RPC materials typically have a very low w/c, which requires the use of a chemical admixture in order to make the material workable for placing, handling and consolidating. Superplasticizer are commonly used for this purpose. Superplasticizers are developed from different formulations, the most common being Polynaphthalene Sulfonate (PNS), Polymelamine Sulfonate (PMS) and Polycarboxylate Ether (PCE). This study investigates the impact of various PNS based superplasticizers on the compressive strength and rheological performance of a RPC mixture. Six different types of PNS based superplasticizers were used; three of various compositional strengths (high, medium, low range) from a local provider, and three of the same compositional strengths (high, medium, low) from a leading manufacturer. Specific properties assessed were the superplasticizers viscosity, concrete workability through the mortar-spread test, concrete rheology, and 7, 14, and 28 day RPC compressive strengths. Two mixtures were produced with two w/cm (0.20 and 0.15), which would subsequently increase the amount of superplasticizer needed, from 34.7L/m3 to 44.5L/m3. The results show that the name brand high range composition produced the overall highest spread, lowest viscosity, and a highest compressive strength at all ages tested. However, the local provider outperformed the name brand in the mid and low range compositions. Additionally, the rheology test also demonstrated that the name brand high range, and RPC produced with the name brand high range, had a lower viscosity at all angular speeds than the others tested.


Reactive Powder Concrete; Ultra High Strength Concrete; Workability; Superplasticizer;

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