Plasticizers and superplasticizers  are chemical admixtures that can be added to concrete mixtures to improve workability. Unless the mix is "starved" of water, the strength of concrete is inversely proportional to the amount of water added or water-cement ratio. In order to produce stronger concrete, less water is added, which makes the concrete mixture less workable and difficult to mix, necessitating the use of plasticizers, water reducers, superplasticizers or dispersants.

      Plasticizers are also often used when pozzolanic ash is added to concrete to improve strength. This method of mix proportioning is especially popular when producing high-strength concrete and fiber-reinforced concrete