Concrete Admixture Sustainable Technology Cement Admixture Concrete

Concrete is in many ways an ideal building material – locally available, cheap, perfect composite material when combined with steel and highly durable and easy-to-work-with when used with Sika products. However, it is not so perfect ecologically - it is the second most used substance on earth after water consuming many resources, its most important ingredient is responsible for 7% of global CO₂ emissions, whereby production is an energy intensive process.

Why Does It Matter

Future regulations such as the European Green Deal, the US Green New Deal or China's Green Strategy will have a strong positive impact on the carbon footprint and recycling rate of the construction industry.  However, there are significant challenges to meet the new standards.

Three major challenges facing the concrete construction industry today include:
  1. Carbon Reduction: Addressing the high carbon footprint of concrete due to cement, which accounts for 7% of global carbon emissions
  2. Resource Efficiency: Reducing the high raw material consumption of concrete, which is the second most consumed substance on earth after water
  3. Productivity Increase: Optimizing the ways of processing concrete, because the construction industry has the greatest potential of all industries to increase production efficiency
Worker men pouring fresh concrete into rebar for Limmat building in Zurich, Switzerland

Three Main Challenges Addressed by Sika

65 million
tons of CO₂ emissions can be saved annually thanks to Sika’s admixtures which reduce cement consumption and clinker content!
Every year,
6 billion
liters of water can be saved thanks to optimized concrete mix designs including Sika concrete admixtures!
With impacts throughout the concrete value chain achieved thanks to Sika products, production and application
efficiency
can be significantly improved!

Carbon Reduction

Taking the Lead to Reduce CO2 Emissions

The production of cement, the main component in concrete, is responsible for around 7% of global carbon emissions.

Key factors for the future of the cement industry include: optimizing quality cement production, trying to reduce the energy required per ton of cement produced, and using alternative raw materials in the concrete mix.

The cement industry is now facing two primary objectives: reduction of clinker and alternative material use. The reduction of clinker in cement production started many years ago. The search for new alternative components as part of the binder is already in progress and will surely continue for decades. These two goals will continue to be a big challenge in the coming decades, which require knowhow from all involved parties to reduce CO2 emissions.

Sika, as the global leading company in concrete admixtures and cement additives, is your partner in developing products supporting that challenge.

 

Black vector icon CO2 emissions cloud down arrow

Three Ways to Cut CO2 Emissions

Grinding mill using SikaGrind additives inside a cement plant
SikaGrind® helps optimize energy use in cement production​

By using SikaGrind® during the cement production process, the attraction of fine particles is reduced during grinding. This effect helps avoid the coating of the mill interior and lower agglomeration, which results in an increase of productivity (t/h) at constant power (W).​

In this way, the mill efficiency during cement production is improved, making considerable energy and CO2 emissions savings.

-10%
of KWh per ton of cement produced
+15%
increase in cement production
See how SikaGrind® helped these cement plants
Sika engineer with rebar concrete cement in front of 3D blueprint building construction
Sika's additives to enable CC and LC³ technology

By using SikaGrind® CC (calcined clay) additives in the production of CC cement or LC3 (limestone calcined clay cement), it can possibly reduce the amount of clinker used per ton of cement and increase use of calcined clays (which require a lower burning temperature than traditional clinker).   

In this way, a significant CO2 footprint reduction can be achieved, especially by the wide use of calcined clay in cement and concrete.

Up to
50%
clinker reduction by adding SCM (supplementary cementitious material) to cement
Calcined clay technology can reduce
30-40%
of CO₂ emissions compared to ordinary cement.¹

¹Source: Global Cement Review

Illustration of Sika funnel and admixtures added to concrete recycling reCO2ver process to sequester carbon dioxide
Sika reCO2ver​ allows concrete to be completely recycled

By using the Sika reCO2ver process for concrete recycling, construction material components can be completely separated. With the reCO2ver process, carbon dioxide is sequestered. This can further reduce the environmental footprint of building structures. Valuable sand, gravel, and powder, which can be used as additives, are reclaimed.

In this way, concrete can be separated into its main components, clean aggregates and partly reactive powders without limitation for further use in concrete.

50 kg
of CO₂ is bound up in one ton of old concrete treated in the reCO₂ver process
All
components of old concrete can be recycled in the Sika reCO₂ver process

Resource Efficiency

Securing and Protecting Resources

Concrete is the most important construction material in the world. Each cubic meter of concrete needs approximately 900 kg of sand, 1,100 kg of coarse aggregates, 300 kg of cement and 180 liters of water.

A few possibilities to secure and protect resources in concrete construction include:

  • optimize cement and water content in concrete
  • open new sources of raw materials to be used for concrete
  • reduce quantity of used concrete

 

Sika takes the lead to support customers all over the world in optimizing concrete recipes and achieving specifiers' requirements. It is key to achieve a project's concrete requirement with the best possible performance-sustainable-cost ratio.

 

Black vector icon water tap dripping

Three Ways to Help Save Resources

Worker in boots pouring concrete over rebar
Sika® ViscoCrete® minimizes water and optimizes cement

By using Sika® ViscoCrete® during concrete production, the flowability of concrete is improved thanks to lower water content as a result of the absorption behavior. The reduction of water leads to a higher structural density and reduced porosity in the cement structure.

In this way, concrete structures achieve significantly improved durability and mechanical properties.

Reduced water demand with up to
35%
water reduction per cubic meter of concrete
Increased efficiency and durability with
+25%
higher final mechanical properties
Check out what Sika® ViscoCrete® did for these projects
Download the brochure to learn more
Precast colored concrete facade with Sika concrete admixtures at Limmat building in Zurich
SikaControl® helps maximize durability

By using SikaControl® as part of the concrete mix design concept, durability properties of concrete are maximized. This is made possible by reducing shrinkage properties, improving water tightness of construction or controlling the undesired interaction of aggregates with binders or aggressive water attack.

In this way, durability is greatly improved and long-lasting, sustainable concrete structures endure.

Up to
40%
shrinkage and crack reduction of structural concrete
Up to
50%
reduced water penetration in exposed concrete structures
Learn more about SikaControl® application
Download the brochure to learn more
Challenging aggregates illustration showing concrete safe with dial
Sika CODE enables the use of alternative aggregates​

With the Sika CODE concept, the controlled use of manufactured, recycled or crushed sands and aggregates is possible. The concept provides steps to identify possible solutions to numerous challenges related to aggregates.

In this way, the global lack of natural resources for high quality sands and aggregates can be addressed, helping to stabilize the quality of daily concrete production.

Achieve
100%
concrete quality with the use of recycled aggregates
Controlled and uniform concrete
quality
with manufactured aggregates and sand
Download the brochure to learn more

Productivity Increase

Effective and Efficient Concrete Application

2,500 kg per cubic meter of concrete must be processed, transported, placed and cured to get the universal building material.

Whether through improvement of construction processes (e.g. SCC - self-compacting concrete), efficient use of energy (e.g. steam curing) or alternative construction methods (e.g. modular building), these approaches all serve to increase productivity on the construction site.  

It is key for every partner in the value chain to make the most out of all concrete construction material in the most efficient way. Together with planners, concrete producers and contractors, Sika develops and realizes concrete concepts to improve productivity while ensuring safe construction at the same time.

 

Black vector icon chart gears efficiency

Three Ways to Boost Productivity

Prefabricated elements produced with Sika precast concrete admixtures
SikaRapid® minimizes concrete curing time

By using SikaRapid®, it maximizes the benefits of early strength concrete by significantly accelerating early strength development. With this improvement, the cycle time in concrete element production can be optimized, construction speed can be increased, and heating energy can be reduced (especially important in winter time).

In this way, the demand for external power supply is minimized, and curing time during the construction process is optimized.

Over
50%
time savings (curing time) to achieve demoulding properties
Up to
20%
energy reduction during curing process of early strength concrete
Check out projects where SikaRapid® was used
Download the brochure to learn more
Worker in boots pouring concrete out of truck pump pipe over rebar for concrete slab
SikaPump® makes the concrete flow in pipes​

By using SikaPump® admixtures during concrete production, the lubrication properties of the admixture improve the flow of concrete under pressure in dense stream applications. A constant delivery of concrete will occur even with processed aggregates - a significant benefit.

In this way, performance will be improved, energy demand will be reduced, and material use will be minimized.

+30%
reduction of discontinuous concrete delivery in pipes
Efficient
pumping of processed aggregates in concrete
Learn more about SikaPump® applications
Ready-mix concrete mixing truck driving through yellow field with trees and blue sky
Sika ViscoFlow® secures requested workability time

By using Sika ViscoFlow® admixtures, you can control concrete workability over several hours without additional retardation. This is especially important for urban construction sites with congested traffic or in remote areas, resulting in long transportation times.

In this way, concrete quality will not be influenced during the transportation time, and no further ingredients have to be added before application.

3 to 5 times
longer
workability of fresh concrete in concrete trucks
Unchanged
quality
of concrete durability after transportation
Check out Sika ViscoFlow® case studies
Learn more in the brochure

Download the Brochure to Learn More About Sustainable Concrete Solutions

How Can Sika Support Sustainability Beyond Products

Sika provides its customers with product and system solutions to enable them to learn about sustainability within the concrete and cement market to be able to face and handle the latest challenges.

Sika develops digital solutions for and with partners to enable all those along the value chain to optimize performance and sustainability within the concrete construction process.

Mobile screen showing Sika concrete Sand App welcome page with sand castle and hot air balloon

Sustainability and Sika

Green plants growing on highrise building with blue sky

As a global company, Sika is committed to sustainable development. The company honors its responsibilities by offering sustainable solutions for energy-efficient construction and environmentally friendly vehicles.​ Using Sika products enables Sika customers to successfully face the latest sustainability challenges.​

Sika’s Experts Provide Assistance to Benefit your Business

Local Contact

Contact a Sika expert near you for technical support and locally available products and systems.

Global Support

Contact Sika's global representative in case you need our support in an international project.