The intensely competitive U.S. concrete admixtures market is riding the crest of a boom in the construction industry, particularly in the residential buildings segment. This surge in real estate development is mainly due to governmental programs such as Building America, that mandate new buildings, which augments demand for concrete and concrete admixtures.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), U.S. Concrete Admixtures Markets, reveals that the market earned revenues of $686.0 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $1073.2 million in 2013.
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Increased construction activities in the commercial and industrial divisions, climatic variations in the United States, and diverse concreting requirements in sewage and chemical industries, are escalating the demand for specialized admixtures. For instance, temperature monitoring is critical for construction that is underwater, at sub-zero temperatures, and those commissioned at deserts and sea shores. Such customized needs and standards compel the incorporation of concrete admixtures along with other traditional concrete constituents.
Market participants need to work closely with concrete manufacturers and construction companies to meet enhanced performance expectations. They can achieve this through technological and product innovations, which help make the admixtures suitable for diverse construction applications.
“Concrete admixtures offer better strength properties in fresh and hardened concrete,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Raghu Tantry. “It produces flowable and workable concrete, which prevents specific problems associated placement of concrete.”
Chemical concrete admixtures have several distinct advantages over mineral admixtures and can improve the characteristics and performance of wet and formed concrete in many significant ways. The novel chemistry of polycarboxylates, when compared to sulfonated melamines and naphthalenes, provide greater water reduction and slower slump loss.
New chemistries in admixtures are instrumental in increasing the confidence of the concrete industry in developing self consolidating concrete (SCC) and ready mix, pre-cast, high performance, and pre-stressed concrete mixes. These properties of admixtures help economize on construction materials and costs, thereby encouraging use of concrete admixture in numerous construction projects.
Apart from superior product quality and performance, admixture manufacturers should increase investment in R&D to introduce value-added products and offer strong technical support. They also need well-trained personnel since the creation of a potent admixture requires careful administration and concreting practices.
The concrete admixtures market is technically complex as well as quality- and cost-intensive. Manufacturers will be challenged to maintain competitive prices without compromising on quality, despite increases in manufacturing costs and competition from overseas manufacturers.
“Bigger manufacturers are trying to overcome these problems by consolidating,” explains Tantry. “Through acquisitions and partnerships, they can gain strong footholds in segments that they did not cover earlier and may witness accelerated growth in existing product lines and regions.”
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