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HotWeatherConcretingPennaCement

Durabilityofconcretestructuresarebeingwidelydiscussedanddeliberatedacrosstheglobeamongstcivilengineeringfraternityinthelastfew
decades.Thecoststowardsrepairandrehabilitationofconcretestructureshavebeenfoundtobeinsuchhighmagnitudethattheneedstoconstruct
durablestructureshavebecomeimperative.
Concrete/cementitiousproductshaveasimilaritytoHumanbeingsinthesensethathowanewbornbabyisbeingtakencaresomuchbymeansof
timelyvaccinationsandotherprotectionmeasuresduringthefirstfewyearsafterbirth,thesameappliestotakingcareofthestructuresbuiltof
concrete/cementmortarduringtheinitialhours/daysaftertheyarecastinthestructure.
Inmyexperienceincement/readymixconcreteindustryinSouthIndialast19yearsIhavebeenseeingPlasticShrinkagecracksinconcretebeing
reportedfromlotsofprojectsespeciallyduringthelastdecadeorso.HencetheneedtounderstandHOTWEATHERCONCRETINGespeciallywith
respecttotropicalanddryregionsofourcountry.
Hotweathermaybedefinedasanyperiodofhightemperatureinwhichspecialprecautionsneedtobetakentoensureproperhandling,placing,
finishingandcuringofconcrete.Hotweatherproblemsaremostlyencounteredinthesummerbuttheassociatedclimaticfactorsofhighwinds,
relativehumidityandsolarradiationcanoccuratanytime,especiallyinaridortropicalclimates.Hotweatherconditionscanproducearapidrateof
evaporationofmoisturefromthesurfaceoftheconcreteandacceleratesettingtimeetc.Generally,highhumiditytendstoreducetheeffectsofhot
weatherinconcreting.

Butthen,whatishotweatherconcreting?Thedefinitionmayvaryfromcountrytocountry.AsperBUREAUOFINDIANSTANDARDSIS:7861(PartI),
Anyoperationofconcretingdoneatatmospherictemperaturesabove40degreeCelsiusoranyoperationofconcreting(otherthansteamcuring)
wherethetemperatureofconcreteattimeofitsplacementisexpectedtobebeyond40degreeCelsiusistermedasHOTWEATHERCONCRETING.
Weneedtounderstand,foremost,theeffectofhotweatheronconcrete,intheabsenceofspecialprecautions,thanconcretingdoneatnormal
temperatures.
Theprincipalgeneraleffectsofhotweatherconcretingareasfollows:
Acceleratedsetting:CementHydrationresultsinsettingandhardeningofconcrete.Hightemperatureincreasesthehydrationofcementresultingin
fastersettingwhichmeansthetimeavailableforworkability(concreteinplasticstate)ofconcreteisreduced.
Hydrationofcementalsoreleasesheat.Hence,fasterthecementhydrationfastertheheatgenerationandthisincreasesconcretetemperature,
furtherspeedingupthecementhydrationorsetting.Whileinitialstrengthmaynotsuffer,thelongtermstrength(>28daysstrength)isaffected.This
isthereasonwhyhotweatherconcretingneedsspecialcareespeciallyonfinishingandcuringofconcrete.
Reductioninstrength:Hightemperaturesnecessitatesadditionofwateratprojectsitetoenhancetheworkabilityofconcreteandthereby
reductioninconcretestrength.Itmayalsoresultsinformationofcoldjointsinthestructurecast.
Increasedtendencytocracks:Hightemperatures,Highwindvelocityandlowrelativehumiditycanaffectfreshconcreteintwoimportantways:first,
thehighrateofevaporationmayinduceearlyplasticshrinkagecracksorcracksmaybedevelopedinthehardenedconcreteeitherbyincreased
dryingshrinkageresultingfromgreatermixingwaterusedorbycoolingoftheconcretefromitselevatedinitialtemperatureandsecondly,the
evaporationratecanremovesurfacewaternecessaryforhydrationandunlessnecessarycuringpracticesdoneitmayaffectthecementhydration
processintheinitialstagesresultinginlowerconcretestrengths.
Thermalcrackingalsomayresultfromrapiddropsinthetemperatureoftheconcrete,fromhotweatherduringconcretingandthenightcooler
temperature.
HowtoconcreteinHOTWEATHER?
TheKeytosuccessfulhotweatherconcretingis:
Recognitionandunderstandingthefactorsthataffecttheconcrete.

Planningandnecessaryprecautionstominimizetheireffects.
Wewillnowseesomeusefulmeasuresthatneedtobetakenduringhotweatherconcretingwithoutcompromisingimportantparameterssuchas
workability,strength,crackfreesurfaceetcforbetterperformanceinthelongruni.e.highdurableconcretestructures.
Thefirstimmediatesolutionforconcretinginaridandhotweather/lowhumidregionsistopourconcreteduringearlymorningorlateevening.This
maymitigatethebadeffectstoalargeextent.
Incase,iftheconcretingpourhastobedoneduringtheday,otherprecautionarymeasuresasbelowcouldbeundertakenforbetterresults.
Theforemostamongstthepossiblemeasuresaretolowerthetemperatureoftheconcreteingredientsbeforetheyareusedforconcretemixing.
Primarily,incaseofcement,Highearlystrengthcementstobeavoidedunlessinitialhighstrengthofconcreteisrequiredatsite.Inthatcase,itis
advisabletousecementitiousmaterialslikeflyash/slagtoreducetheheatofhydration.ButitishighlyrecommendedtouseBLENDEDCEMENTSlike
PortlandPozzolanaCement(PPC)/PortlandSlagCement(PSC)insuchcasesnotonlyfromhotweatherconcretepointofviewbutalsofromoverall
DURABILITYOFCONCRETESTRUCTURES.
Aggregatesmaybeprotectedfromdirectraysofthesunduringconcreteproductionbyprovidingshadesoverthestockpiles.Sprinklingthestockpiles
ofcoarseaggregateswithwaterandkeepingthemmoistisanotheroptiontobeconsidered.Onlyprecautiontobetakencareisnottofloodthemso
astoaffectthemoisturecontentconsideredduringconcretemixdesign.
Themixingwaterhasthegreatesteffectontemperatureofconcrete,sinceithasaspecificheatofabout4to4.5timesthatofcementoraggregate.
Hencechilledwateroriceispreferredduringconcretingathightemperatures.Ifatalliceisaddedtothemixingplantdirectly,itisaddedinthe
crushedstateonlyandcompletemeltingistobeensuredbeforemixingofconcreteingredientsiscomplete.
InHotweatherconditionthemixsetsquickerandloosesworkabilityofslumpfasterduetorapidhydrationandevaporationofwaterfromthemix.This
makesplacing,compactionandfinishingofconcretequitedifficultleadingtodeteriorationinthequalityofconcrete.Additionofwatertomaintain
workability/slumpleadstodropinconcretestrength.Useofchemicaladmixtureslikewaterreducers/retardershelpsindelayingthesettingof
concrete.TheseareusedinlotsofprojectsthesedaysinIndiaandworldwide(Aridandtropicalclimates).However,useofthesechemicaladmixtures
needtobecarefullydoneaspermanufacturersspecificationsandexpertengineersadvice.
Weneedtoplanadequatemanpowerandmachineriestocompletetheconcretepourattheshortesttimepossibleduringhotweather.

Theeffectofmixermachinesurfaceaswellastransportingtrucksexposedtothehotsunshouldbeminimizedbypaintingwhiteorlightercolourand
coveredwithwetburlapstominimizetheradiationeffects.Also,itisadvisabletominimizethetimebetweenwateraddedduringconcretemixand
concretepourtotheminimumpossibletonegatetheworkabilitylossetc.
ThenextimportantprecautionstobetakenareinPLACEMENT,FINISHINGANDCURINGofconcreteduringhotweather.Forms,Reinforcementand
SubgradeshallbesprinkledwithcoolwaterJUSTpriortoplacementofconcrete.Speedofplacementandfinishinghelpstominimizeproblemsinhot
waterconcreting.
Sincehotweatherleadstorapiddryingofconcrete,protectionandcuringhastobestartedimmediatelyaftersurfaceishardenedenough.Thiscan
beintheformofcoveringtheconcretesurfacewithwetburlap,curingcompoundsorsprinklingofwaterinitially.Curingcompounds,ifused,hastobe
strictlyundertakenwithexpertadviceaspermanufacturersspecificationsonly.Moistcuringshallcommenceoncetheconcretesurfacehasattained
somedegreeofhardeningsufficienttowithstandsurfacedamage.CONTINUOUSCURINGISIMPORTANT,BECAUSEVOLUMECHANGESDUETO
ALTERNATEWETTINGANDDRYINGPROMOTETHEDEVELOPMENTOFSURFACECRACKS.
RMCsinSouthIndiahavefoundbroomingofconcreteandsprinklingofwaterimmediatelytobesuitablepracticalsolutionincaseplasticshrinkage
crackshavebeenobservedwithincoupleofhoursafterconcretepour.
Finally,onceconcretecubesarecastedfortestingoftheconcreteforcompressivestrengths,adequateprotectiontobemadeforcubespecimens
frombeingexposedtodirectsunlightorelseevaporationofwaterinthecubewillleadtolowercompressivestrengthreportedwhentestedfor7days
and28days.
Tosummarize,adequatemeasuresateverystepinvolvedinconcretingfrommaterialstorage,concretemixing,transportation,placing,finishing,
curingandconcretecubecastingasmentionedabovetobeundertakenifdoneduringHOTWEATHERforbetteranddurableconcrete.
PennaCementisoneoftheLargestCementManufacturerspracticingtheconcretemixingandcementmanufacturingprocessestoproducethebest
cementgradesforconstructiondistributingandprovidingacrosscementdealersinNewDelhi,Pune,Mumbai,Hyderabad,Chennai,Bangalore,
Maharastra,AndhraPradesh,KeralawithagreatcementmanufacturingfootprintinSouth,North,EastandWestregionsofIndia.