Air entraining admixtures (AEA) are generally used for increasing the workability and resistance to freezing and thawing in concrete. These admixtures generate air bubbles with diameters ranging from 10 gm to 1 mm, providing spaces for the expansion of ice, and therefore facilitate frost protection. In this study, performances of AEAs were investigated based on surface tension measurements, accounting for the effect of AEAs on surface tension. For this purpose, a new test method was developed which depends on surface tension measurements according to the Du Nouy ring method. All types of AEAs used in the scope of this research presented a substantial influence on the surface tension. It was observed that a significant relationship between the air void system and surface tension exists. The surface tension method was found as a useful tool to determine the AEA type and content to obtain the desired air void system in concrete. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.