Testing superabsorbent polymer (SAP) sorption properties prior to implementation in concrete: results of a RILEM Round-Robin Test

Viktor Mechtcherine, Didier Schnoeck, Christof Schröfl, Nele de Belie, Agnieszka J. Klemm, Kazuo Ichimiya, Juhyuk Moon, Mateusz Wyrzykowski, Pietro Lura, Nikolajs Toropovs, Alexander Assmann, Shin-ichi Igarashi, Igor De La Varga, Fernando C.R. Almeida, Kendra Erk, António Bettencourt Ribeiro, João Custódio, Hans Wolf Reinhardt, Vyatcheslav Falikman

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This article presents the results of a round-robin test performed by 13 international research groups in the framework of the activities of the RILEM Technical Committee 260 RSC “Recommendations for use of superabsorbent polymers in concrete construction”. Two commercially available superabsorbent polymers (SAP) with different chemical compositions and gradings were tested in terms of their kinetics of absorption in different media; demineralized water, cement filtrate solution with a particular cement distributed to every participant and a local cement chosen by the participant. Two absorption test methods were considered; the tea-bag method and the filtration method. The absorption capacity was evaluated as a function of time. The results showed correspondence in behaviour of the SAPs among all participants, but also between the two test methods, even though high scatter was observed at early minutes of testing after immersion. The tea-bag method proved to be more practical in terms of time dependent study, whereby the filtration method showed less variation in the absorption capacity after 24 h. However, absorption followed by intrinsic, ion-mediated desorption of a specific SAP sample in the course of time was not detected by the filtration method. This SAP-specific characteristic was only displayed by the tea-bag method. This demonstrates the practical applicability of both test methods, each one having their own strengths and weaknesses at distinct testing times.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials and Structures
Issue number28
Early online date30 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018



  • superabsorbent polymers
  • concrete

Cite this

Mechtcherine, V., Schnoeck, D., Schröfl, C., de Belie, N., Klemm, A. J., Ichimiya, K., Moon, J., Wyrzykowski, M., Lura, P., Toropovs, N., Assmann, A., Igarashi, S., Varga, I. D. L., Almeida, F. C. R., Erk, K., Ribeiro, A. B., Custódio, J., Reinhardt, H. W., & Falikman, V. (2018). Testing superabsorbent polymer (SAP) sorption properties prior to implementation in concrete: results of a RILEM Round-Robin Test. Materials and Structures, 51(28). https://doi.org/10.1617/s11527-018-1149-4