Curing is the process in which the concrete is protected from loss of moisture and kept within a reasonable temperature range, resulting in concrete with increased strength and decreased permeability. Curing is also a key player in mitigating cracks, which can severely affect durability.
Through the years, CC has covered this topic from everything related to methods and materials to new approaches and techniques. Here are a few of our favorite features.
June 1958: Curing Methods and Materials
Studies have shown that the amount of water needed for cement hydration is always less than that needed for workability. Therefore, effective curing boils down to a matter of providing a moisture barrier to prevent evaporation of the mix water.
February 1965: Be Sure of Your Cure
Of all the procedures involved in the preparation and testing of concrete specimens for strength evaluation that of proper curing is perhaps the most abused.
July 1971: Concrete Curing: a New Approach
Contriving specifications for concrete curing has been a difficult problem over the last 50 years. Improvements in curing materials have not solved this problem, indeed they have complicated it.
November 1988: Use Curing Blankets to Offset Cold Weather Effects on Concrete
Many concrete contractors must cope with cold weather effects on freshly placed concrete. Insulated curing blankets, used along with other cold weather procedures, can permit concrete work at temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
June 1997: Curing During the Pour
An early start on concrete curing can provide many benefits, especially for hot-weather placements. It can help to prevent stickiness, sponginess and surface crusting conditions that can cause finishing problems. It can also eliminate plastic shrinkage cracking and reduce drying shrinkage cracking. In hot weather, many contractors cure concrete between bull floating and power floating. For large concrete pours, curing may also be needed between screeding and bull floating and between floating and troweling passes.
August 2005: Wet Curing Concrete Floors
There is no quick and easy way to wet-cure concrete—at least HH that's what I used to believe. After 18 years as a structural engineer, I have worked on numerous slab-on-grade projects and used traditional wet-cure methods. Most of these techniques, particularly synthetic curing blankets, were time-intensive, expensive, and they sometimes left discolored areas on the slab. Because of recent industry trends, our firm has consulted on numerous integrally colored concrete slabs, where discoloration from traditional wet-curing is a major issue. Recently however, I had an opportunity to test an innovative, wood-pulp fiber fabric that readily absorbs and more evenly distributes water on both integrally colored and gray slabs.
February 2014: Setting a New Standard
Professional engineers and contractors want to install concrete that can stand the test of time. So when it comes to using material that is proven to increase hydration, reduce shrinkage and cracking, improve durability, and ensure better quality, while ultimately reducing costs, a new standard sets the stage for projects using concrete and internal curing.