MasterSuna SBS enables sands containing swelling clay to be used in the production of concrete

  • The world’s first additive for difficult sands
  • MasterSuna enables concrete producers to significantly reduce their costs and to improve their ecological footprint
  • Successful story from the quarries in the Marseille area

Based on an innovative molecule structure, the new MasterSuna Master Builders Solutions® enables sands containing swelling clay to be used in the production of high-quality concrete.

This in turn enables concrete producers to significantly reduce their costs. Given their availability, sands contaminated with swelling clay from local sources can be used, thereby reducing, or omitting the need to secure additional suitable sands from remote sources.

Owners of sand quarries can also benefit from the use of MasterSuna SBS. Historically, sands contaminated with swelling clay could only be utilized in less-demanding applications, if at all. However, MasterSuna SBS now makes it possible to use existing deposits to a much greater extent. Furthermore, the washing and pre-treatment of local sands can also be reduced, thus increasing the economic value of the sand quarry. At the same time, the number of new sand quarries to be developed can be reduced as well.

MasterSuna SBS: successful on the streets of Marseille

The French concrete producer Bronzo Perasso operates three quarries in the Marseille area. However, up till now he faced one major issue: Some sand found in the region was not suited for producing concrete, as it contained too much clay.  

Thanks to relationships to various concrete producers, BASF employees became aware of the problem. The experts at Construction Chemicals (EB) were convinced that there must be a solution for the problem. Until then, they only specialized in additives for concrete and cement – sand additives were unchartered waters. For the employees from Bronzo Perasso, however, this was familiar ground. So what could have been a better idea than getting together to develop a new additive for such difficult sands?

Taking up the requirements of the French concrete producer and adding the expertise of the additive experts at BASF, the researchers from BASF developed several molecular structures for a new sand additive designed to make clayey sands useful for the production of concrete. A project team with specialists from BASF and Bronzo Perasso then went about testing the additive in the sand quarries outside Marseille – they ultimately developed MasterSuna, the world’s first additive for difficult sands.

Stéphane Martin, who heads the Technology, Sand Quarry and Materials department at Bronzo Perasso, was very pleased by the advantages the new additive offers: “Thanks to MasterSuna, we can use the sand available on site and don’t have to transport it to Marseille from somewhere far away. This saves about 1,000 truck trips per year in and around Marseille,” he explained, adding: “We could not only reduce our transport costs by 35 percent, but also improve our ecological footprint.”

MasterSuna proofed its capabilities in several projects, for example during the construction of a highway section named “Rocade L2”, which connects downtown Marseille with the highway since December 2016.

More information on MasterSuna as well as on other innovative products of Master Builders Solutions can be found at:  


About the Construction Chemicals division

BASF’s Construction Chemicals division offers advanced chemical solutions under the global umbrella brand Master Builders Solutions for the construction, maintenance, repair and renovation of structures. The brand is built on more than 100 years of experience in the construction industry. Our comprehensive portfolio encompasses concrete admixtures, cement additives, chemical solutions for underground construction, waterproofing systems, sealants, concrete repair & protection systems, performance grouts, performance flooring systems, tile-fixing systems, expansion joints & control systems and wood protection solutions.

The Construction Chemicals division’s approximately 6,000 employees form a global community of building experts. To solve our customers’ specific construction challenges from conception through to completion of a project, we draw on our specialist know-how, regional expertise and the experience gained in countless constructions projects worldwide. We leverage global BASF technologies and our in-depth knowledge of local building needs to develop innovations that help make our customers more successful and drive sustainable construction.

The division operates production sites and sales offices in more than 60 countries and achieved sales of about €2.3 billion in 2016.


About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at