Viscosity Modifying Agents: Key Components of Advanced Cement-Based Materials with Adapted Rheology


Viscosity modifying agents (VMAs) are essential ingredients for the production of flowable cement-based materials. This paper presents an overview of commonly used VMAs and attempts to shed some light on the underlying physics at the origin of their mechanisms of action. The main molecular parameters of VMA controlling the rheological properties of the cement pore solution are highlighted. As the mechanisms of action of VMAs in cement-based materials are closely related to their affinity with the surface of cement particles, the adsorption of the main VMA types is discussed. The effect of VMAs on flow properties and stability of cement-based materials is presented for VMAs added without any superplasticizer, and then in systems incorporating both VMAs and superplasticizers. Finally, the effect of VMAs in enhancing concrete properties to secure adequate performance of different construction applications, and perspectives for future developments of novel cement-based materials made with VMAs are showcased.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cement; Compatibility; Rheology; Stability; Viscosity Modifying Agents; Working Mechanism

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2021 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2022