Cold weather concreting essential: Monitoring mix temperature


When placing in cold weather, extra precautions must be taken to ensure concrete sets properly and gains adequate strength. The Transtec Group, Texas-based concrete pavement practitioner, notes how the first few days after placement are the most important because that is when cement hydration reaction proceeds the fastest and concrete gains most of its compressive strength. However, cold conditions slow the hydration process, meaning that concrete placed in low temperatures gains less strength than the same mix in warmer temperatures during the same length of time. If the water in the concrete mix freezes, the hydration process stops completely. Even if it thaws, strength gain may not recover.

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