Materials and Structures

, Volume 48, Issue 1–2, pp 357–368 | Cite as

Void structure of concrete with superabsorbent polymers and its relation to frost resistance of concrete

  • Sara Laustsen
  • Marianne Tange Hasholt
  • Ole Mejlhede Jensen
Original Article


Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) can be used to control air void formation in concrete. However, due to surfactant left on suspension polymerized SAP particles during production, they may not only create SAP voids but also entrain extra air. In the present investigation, a method is tested to remove surfactant prior to concrete mixing. The method comprises rinsing of the SAP with ethanol. This effectively removes the surfactant. Freeze–thaw testing of concrete with rinsed and non-rinsed SAP shows that for equal dosages of SAP, the extra air entrained due to surfactant is considerable and can make the difference between poor and satisfactory frost-resistance. Furthermore, the results indicate that voids created directly by SAP protect concrete against frost deterioration just like other air voids; if the concrete contains enough SAP voids, these alone can provide sufficient frost resistance.


SAP Air-entrainment Surfactant Freeze–thaw durability Frost-resistance 


  1. 1.
    Litvan GG, Sereda PJ (1978) Particulate admixture for enhanced freeze–thaw resistance of concrete. Cem Concr Res 8:53–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jensen OM, Hansen PF (2001) Water-entrained cement-based materials: I. Principles and theoretical background. Cem Concr Res 31:647–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mönnig S, Lura P (2007) Superabsorbent polymers – An additive to increase freeze-thaw resistance of high strength concrete. Adv Constr Mater Part V:351-358Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Reinhardt H-W, Assmann A, Mönnig S (2008) Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs)—an admixture to increase the durability of concrete. In: Sun W, Breugel Kv, Miao C, Ye G, Chen H (eds) Microstructure related durability of cementitious composites, RILEM Proceedings PRO 61, pp 313–322Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Laustsen S, Hasholt MT, Jensen OM (2008) A new technology for air-entrainment of concrete. In: Sun W, Breugel Kv, Miao C, Ye G, Chen H (eds) Microstructure related durability of cementitious composites, RILEM Proceedings PRO 61, pp 1223–1230Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Laustsen S, Møller AM (2007) Kontrolleret luftindblanding i beton (in Danish). Technical University of Denmark, Master thesisGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dudziak L, Mechtcherine V (2010) Enhancing early-age resistance to cracking in high-strength cement-based materials by means of internal curing using super absorbent polymers. In: Brameshuber W (ed) Additions improving properties of concrete, RILEM Proceedings PRO 77, pp 129–139Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Laustsen S (2011) Engineered air-entrainment of concrete—Use of superabsorbent polymers. Ph.D. thesis, Technical University of DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dodson VH (1990) Concrete admixtures. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pigeon M, Pleau R (1995) Durability of concrete in cold climates. E & FN Spon, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Du L, Folliard KJ (2005) Mechanisms of air entrainment in concrete. Cem Concr Res 35:1463–1471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pigeon M, Marchand J, Pleau R (1996) Frost resistant concrete. Constr Build Mater 10:339–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Buchholz FL, Graham AT (1998) Modern superabsorbent polymer technology. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jensen OM, Hansen PF (2001) Water-entrained cement-based materials: II. Experimental observations. Cem Concr Res 32:973–978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jensen OM (2011) Water absorption of superabsorbent polymers in a cementitious environment. In: Leung C, Wan KT (eds) Advances in Construction Materials through Science and Engineering, RILEM Proceedings PRO 79, pp. 22–35Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    DS/EN 12350-2 (2002) Testing fresh concrete: Part 2: Slump test. Danish StandardGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    DS/EN 12350-7 (2002) Testing fresh concrete: Part 7: Air content–pressure methods. Danish StandardGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lura P, Friedemann K, Stallmach F, Mönning S, Wyrzykowski M, Esteves LP (2012) Kinetics of water migration in cement-based systems containing superabsorbent polymers. Chapter 4 in Mechtcherine V, Reinhard H-W (eds) Application of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) in concrete construction. State of the Art Report prepared by RILEM Technical Committee 225-SAP. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Laustsen S, Bentz DP, Hasholt MT, Jensen OM (2010) CT measurements of SAP voids in concrete. In Jensen OM, Hasholt MT, Laustsen S (eds) Use of superabsorbent polymers and other new additives in concrete, RILEM Proceedings PRO 74, pp 153–162Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    DS/EN 480-11 (2005) Admixtures for concrete, mortar and grout—Test methods—Part 11: Determination of air void characteristics in hardened concrete. Danish StandardGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    DS/EN 12390-3 (2006) Testing hardend concrete—Part 3: Compressive strength of test specimens. Danish StandardGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hasholt MT, Jensen OM, Kovler K, Zhutovsky S (2012) Can superabsorbent polymers mitigate autogenous shrinkage of internally cured concrete without compromising the strength? Constr Build Mater 31:226–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    DS/CEN/TS 12390-9 (2006) Testing hardened concrete—Part 9: Freeze–thaw resistance—Scaling, Danish StandardGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    DS 2426 (2011) Concrete—Materials—Rules for application of EN 206-1 in Denmark. Danish StandardGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© RILEM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Laustsen
    • 1
  • Marianne Tange Hasholt
    • 1
  • Ole Mejlhede Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

Personalised recommendations