Curing is a process whereby concrete formed with hydraulic cement matures and hardens over time, as a result of continued hydration of the cement in the presence of sufficient amounts of water or heat.
The purpose of curing is to promote the hydration of the cement avoiding the loss of moisture and keeping the temperature in a suitable range for the concrete to develop the strength and durability properties for which it was designed.
In addition, great care must be taken to cure all exposed surfaces, not just the one on top of the concrete slab, immediately after finishing operations are complete.
If in a given case the environmental conditions are very adverse (temperature, low humidity, wind, sun, concrete temperature) then the constructor of the work should assess the application of the curing agent after leveling to prevent cracking due to loss of moisture.
Two types of curing can be named for concrete pavements:
The moisture – curing , either by water spraying or coating of the slab with a material that will damp consecutively, and methods moisture barrier, which do not add water but prevent the passage of moisture of the mixture to the outside through the use of plastic covers or membrane-forming chemical compounds.
When using membrane-forming chemical compounds, it is recommended that they be white, this helps to reduce heat absorption while providing a better visualization of the treated area.
The curing can also be done manually or automatically depending on the logistics of the work. If it is decided to cure with water, the contractor must be aware that the slab will have to be damp, if the concrete is allowed to dry and then rewet, then it is exposing the slab to possible thermal shocks that can create cracks.
Curing procedures are grouped into 3 categories …
Those that keep the mixing water present in the initial hardening periods.
Those that avoid or reduce the loss of water by interposing an impermeable medium that controls evaporation.
Those that accelerate the development of strength by artificial stearic acid Malaysia application of heat and additional moisture to concrete.
Do not use curing compounds on surfaces that will receive additional concrete, paint or mosaic, unless it is stated that the membrane can be removed or serves as a base for an upcoming application.
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