Nowadays, additive chemical substances are used in the production of high-performance concrete composites. These additives increase the fresh workability of concrete by decreasing the water/cement (W/C) ratio. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of water-soluble polymers on concrete performance. For this purpose concretes with and without additives were produced with W/C values of 0.52, 0.56, and 0.60. Chemical admixtures such as naphthalene formaldehyde sulfonate (N), melamine formaldehyde sulfonate (S), and a hyperplasticizers admixture (a special type of melamine sulfonated polymer) (H) were used in concrete. The amounts of these admixtures were at a ratio of 0.3, 0.5, and 1.0 wt % of the cement's weight. Experiments assessing slump, VeBe, percentage of air, and unit weight were done for comparison with the test results of the characteristics of fresh concrete with and without admixtures. The compressive strength of concretes was determined at 7, 28, and 56 days. The effects of chemical admixtures were studied by comparing the properties of fresh and hardened concrete samples with and without admixtures. When the W/C ratios were 0.56, 0.60, and H was 1 wt %, the biggest slump was obtained and found to be 22 cm. Concrete with a W/C ratio of 0.52 and H of 1% has the highest compressive strength. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.