Concrete admixtures make a significant contribution to improving the performance of fresh and hardened concrete. By using a superplasticizer, it is possible to establish a concrete mix design with an optimal amount of total binder, an optimized water/cement ratio, and keeping the same flow at fresh state. Evaluated according to LCA (life cycle analysis), the energy requirement (Cumulative Energy Demand [MJ]) and the CO2 balance (Global Warming Potential [kg CO2-eq.]) of concrete can be improved by over 20%. The water balance (input water [m3]) can also be optimized. To show these positive effects, Sika has developed a comprehensive calculation program (Sika MixDesign Calculation), in which the ecological benefits are immediately shown for every recipe comparison.
SIKA HAS LAUNCHED THE FIRST BIO-BASED SUPERPLASTICIZER ON THE MARKET
Nowadays, superplasticizers are mainly made from petroleum-based raw materials. Sika is the first company to produce a superplasticizer from bio-based monomers and to launch it on the market. As a result, over 85% of the previously petroleum-based raw materials are replaced by raw materials that are obtained from renewable vegetable substances. In addition to its ecological advantages, Sika’s bio-based superplasticizer also has excellent concrete technology properties such as a strong water reduction and robust fresh concrete behavior.
An example of such a bio-based superplasticizer for concrete is Sika ViscoCrete®-850 Végétal. Made from agricultural by-products, the new Sika ViscoCrete® 850-Végétal superplasticizer offers excellent workability, maintenance and resistance performance for standard and technical concrete.
An active approach for the environment
Sustainable development is closely linked to Sika’s innovation strategy. For both buildings and industrial applications, the company intends to increase sustainability and improve energy and material efficiency. Sika continues its efforts to reduce the consumption of resources, both in the manufacture of its products and for its users. Today essential in the manufacture of concrete, additives are already helping to reduce the environmental impact of concrete, by reducing energy or water consumption, or by being compatible with the use of aggregates recycled or low clinker cements. This is the case, for example, with Sika® ViscoCrete® Krono range, high water reducer superplasticizers designed for precast plants. Those products allow to reach the required resistances to be achieved while optimizing the drying cycles. Today, Sika goes even further, offering the first bio-based superplasticizer.
Even if concrete admixtures only have a small mass fraction of few kg / m3, the new Sika polymer, added in optimized concrete mix design and combined with other low CO2 and sustainable compounds, contributes to a new way of thinking future constructions. It’s the ambition of Sika to be able to offer customers a complete range of bio-based superplasticizers and to further increase the proportion of bio-based raw materials.