Synthesis and Modification of Polycarboxylate Superplasticizers-A Review

Materials (Basel). 2024 Feb 27;17(5):1092. doi: 10.3390/ma17051092.


The molecular-scale structural changes in polycarboxylic superplasticizer (PCE) can influence dispersion and water retention. Polycarboxylate superplasticizer, synthesized using different methods, may alter dispersion and water-reducing effects. The synthesis of PCE involves creating a novel macromolecular monomer with a controllable molecular mass, adjustable lipophilic, and hydrophilic moieties, as outlined in this study. This article reviews processes for synthesizing polycarboxylates and identifies the optimal method through orthogonal experiments to produce a modified polycarboxylate superplasticizer (PCE-P). The study investigated the effects of different PCE types and concentrations on the surface tension, fluidity, and ζ potential of cement paste. PCE-P, synthesized at room temperature, showed comparable performances in initial hydration and conversion rate in cement to PCE synthesized at high temperatures. PCE-P exhibited an increased slump but had a wider molecular weight distribution and longer main and side chains, leading to a 24.04% decrease in surface tension, indicating a good dispersibility.

Keywords: cement paste; polycarboxylic superplasticizer; surface tension; synthesis.

Publication types

  • Review