Importance of Curing
Curing plays an important role in strength development and durability of concrete. Curing takes place immediately after concrete placing and finishing, and involves maintenance of desired moisture and temperature conditions, both at depth and near the surface, for extended periods of time. Curing is the process of controlling moisture loss from concrete that has already been placed. Curing ensures hydration of the cement, which in turn enhances it, s strength and durability. Curing takes place immediately after placing the concrete and deals with maintenance of the desired temperature and moisture for extended periods of time. Properly cured concrete has an adequate amount of moisture for continued hydration and development of strength, volume stability, resistance to freezing and thawing, and abrasion and scaling resistance.
The length of adequate curing time is dependent on the following factors:
- Mixture proportions
- Specified strength
- Size and shape of the concrete member
- Ambient weather conditions
Curing has a strong influence on all properties of concrete and therefore it should not be taken lightly. Properly cured concrete has a better surface hardness and can better withstand surface wear and abrasion. Curing also makes concrete more impermeable, which prevents moisture and water-borne chemicals from entering into the concrete, thereby increasing durability and service life. Proper curing helps to prevent grazing, dusting, surface disintegration and scaling. Adequate curing reduces shrinkage, gives better resistance to wear and improves long-term appearance. Without proper curing, the chemical process of hydration is not complete. You will never be able to get the designed strength of concrete and please note that this is a loss of strength for a lifetime and there is no easy alternative to strengthen such poorly cured weak concrete. So always be careful and cure with care.