We know that it is usually wrong to add water to concrete for workability but on a recent job with concrete that contained steel fibers we weren't able to handle the material properly at all until we added more water. Is there an admixture that solves this problem?
An admixture probably would not improve the workability to the extent that you require. The main problem with workability of steel fiber reinforced concrete is in getting proper distribution of the fibers so that they don't ball up. This difficulty is usually overcome by slow, continuous and uniform feeding of the fibers into the wet or dry mix by means of vibratory feeders. Sometimes the fibers are passed through screens as they are introduced. Proper feeding can virtually eliminate the problem. On the other hand, addition of water to improve workability can reduce the flexural strength by 300 to 800 psi, a critical matter when one considers that one of the main reasons for using steel fibers is to improve the flexural strength.