Curing of Concrete

Curing may be defined as the process of maintaining satisfactory moisture and temperature conditions for freshly placed concrete for some specified time for proper hardening of concrete. Curing in the early ages of concrete is more important. Curing for 14 days is very important. Better to continue it for 7 to 14 days more. If curing is not done properly, the strength of concrete reduces. Cracks develop due shrinkage.
The durability of concrete structure reduces.
The following curing methods are employed:
(a) Spraying of water
(b) Covering the surface with wet gunny bags, straw etc.
(c) Ponding
(d) Steam curing and
(e) Application of curing compounds.
(a) Spraying of water: Walls, columns, plastered surfaces are cured by sprinkling water.
(b) Wet covering the surface: Columns and other vertical surfaces may be cured by covering the surfaces with wet gunny bags or straw.
(c) Ponding: The horizontal surfaces like slab and floors are cured by stagnating the water to a height of 25 to 50 mm by providing temporary small hunds with mortar.
(d) Steam curing: In the manufacture of pre-fabricated concrete units steam is passed over the units kept in closed chambers. It accelerates curing process, resulting into the reduction of curing period.
(e) Application of curing compounds: Compounds like calcium chloride may be applied on the curing surface. The compound shows affinity to the moisture and retains it on the surface. It keeps the concrete surface wet for a long time.

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