New technology innovations in monitoring temperature to reveal concrete strength in real time are helping construction companies build faster—and ensuring quality and on-site safety.

Concrete is critical to most projects, and precise strength estimates can save time and money. With engineers developing mix designs that optimize strength gain, understanding the temperature profile allows contractors to prevent cracks, delamination, poor performance, and even structural collapses. And because this knowledge allows optimizing the mix, the quality improvements can be achieved while also reducing material costs.

Today, some concrete contractors rely on field-cured test specimens to measure concrete strength for workflow purposes. In an attempt to duplicate the structures’ strength profile as closely as possible, these samples are cast and cured on-site in cylinders, cubes, or beams. Unfortunately, the cylinders retain less heat and curing conditions seldom match those in the structure, so destructive testing methods often inaccurately predict early-age concrete strengths.

Furthermore, monitoring concrete temperature has never been easier. The construction industry has often relied on traditional methods like wired thermocouples to monitor temperature in mass concrete pours, but thermocouples can easily become disconnected or damaged in harsh construction environments. This loss of data is unacceptable and can be very costly.


New high-tech solutions to traditional monitoring methods are gaining acceptance throughout the construction industry, helping improve quality control, reduce completion time, and cut costs.

The maturity method is a nondestructive strength estimation technique that accounts for the effects of time and temperature on in-place concrete structures. By embedding temperature loggers into the in-place concrete and correlating the temperature with strength data from laboratory or field-cured cylinders, real-time strength data is available anytime during the curing process. And this data can now be transmitted wirelessly and the concrete itself can be used to protect the sensors.

“We’ve always been able to measure temperatures, but that was at the very least inconvenient and in the worst cases even dangerous. Today, you can just look at your phone or check your e-mail and know things are good,” says Jim O’Daniel of FLIR Construction Solutions.

Both the overall temperature and the differential temperature are critical when monitoring concrete pours. When the difference between the core temperature and the surface temperature becomes too great, the risk of thermal cracking increases.

Many of the newer maturity and temperature loggers track time and temperature data by the minute, up to a 180-day period, helping construction engineers regulate thermal protection by documenting temperature profiles. When adding thermal imaging to these loggers, you can monitor thermal blankets and formwork that detect heat loss.

This new technology comes with a host of cloud-based software options, helping construction managers monitor the entire maturity system from anywhere and at any time—allowing for faster and safer decision-making.


New technology that provides accurate temperature data is making it easier for construction companies to maintain critical rotation schedules by providing real-time strength information. Construction managers can increase capacity and production by knowing immediately when the concrete is ready for the next phase of construction. This allows for a reduction in energy consumption for heating in cold weather, prevents project delays, and cuts overall operational hours–increasing on-site safety and the lifetime durability of the concrete placement.

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