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3/6/2018 Concrete Curing Time and Duration -Right Time of Curing Concrete


Concrete Curing Time and Duration -Right Time to Cure Concrete

Concrete Curing Time – The Right Time to Cure Concrete

Curing of concrete is defined as the process of maintaining the moisture and temperature conditions of concrete
for hydration reaction to normally so that concrete develops hardened properties over time. The main components
which needs to be taken care are moisture, heat and time during curing process.

Why curing of concrete is required?

Curing of concrete is required for the following reasons:

To prevent the concrete to dry out prematurely due to solar radiation and wind. This prevents plastic
shrinkage of concrete.

It helps to maintain the concrete temperature by allowing the hydration process. Hydration process
requires water to carry on and releases heat.

Curing helps the concrete to harden and bond with internal materials and reinforcement. This helps to
prevent damage to bond between concrete and reinforcement due to vibration and impact.

This helps development of impermeable, crack free and durable concrete.

Fig: Curing of Concrete Roof Slab by Ponding

What is the right time for curing of concrete?

The time to start curing of concrete depends on the evaporation rate of moisture from the concrete. The
evaporation rate is influenced by wind, radiant energy from sunshine, concrete temperature, climatic conditions,
relative humidity. 1/4
3/6/2018 Concrete Curing Time and Duration -Right Time of Curing Concrete

The evaporation of moisture is driven by the difference in vapor pressure on concrete surface and the in
surrounding air. When the difference is high, evaporation rate is high.

ACI 308 – Guide to Curing Concrete suggests three phases of concrete curing. These phases are shown in
figure 1.6 of ACI 308.

The right time of curing of concrete depends on:

Initial Curing – Bleeding of Concrete:

When the concrete is placed and compacted, bleeding of water occurs and rises through the surface of concrete
due to settlement of concrete. The rate and duration of bleeding depends on many factors including concrete mix
properties, depth or thickness of concrete, method of compaction of concrete etc.

These bleed water starts to evaporate from the surface. When all the bleeding water has disappeared from the
surface, the drying of concrete starts, then initial curing of concrete is required to minimize the moisture loss and
prevent plastic shrinkage cracks to concrete before and during finishing operations.

The initial curing of concrete can be done by techniques such as fogging or using the evaporation reducers, or by
providing the sunshades and windscreens.

Intermediate curing: 2/4
3/6/2018 Concrete Curing Time and Duration -Right Time of Curing Concrete

Intermediate curing is done when the concrete surface finishing operations has been carried out before the final
setting of concrete. This happens when the required surface texture of concrete member is achieved rapidly or
when the setting of concrete is delayed.

Final Curing:

When the concrete is finished after the final setting of concrete, the final curing of concrete should be done. This
helps to prevent surface drying of concrete because the loss of moisture from the concrete surface occurs

What is the duration of concrete curing?

Curing of concrete for longer duration increases the strength and durability of concrete structural member. The
following figure explains how the compressive strength of concrete increases with time when it is cured for longer

Fig: Effect of duration of water curing on strength of concrete

The curing duration of concrete depends on:

The reason for curing i.e. to prevent plastic shrinkage, temperature control, strength and durability of

The size of concrete structural member

The type of concrete grade and rate of hardening of concrete

The temperature and moisture conditions of surroundings

The exposure conditions of the concrete surface during and after curing

The requirement of curing duration as per specification of concrete

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee 301 recommends a minimum curing period corresponding
to concrete attaining 70 per cent of the specified compressive strength. The often specified 7 day curing commonly
corresponds to approximately 70 per cent of the specified compressive strengths. 3/4
3/6/2018 Concrete Curing Time and Duration -Right Time of Curing Concrete

The Indian Standard IS 456 – 2000 recommends that curing duration of concrete must be at least 7 days in
case of ordinary Portland Cement, at least 10 days for concrete with mineral admixtures or blended cements are
used. It also recommends that the curing duration should not be less than 10 days for concrete exposed to dry
and hot weather conditions and 14 days for concrete with mineral admixtures or blended cement in hot and dry


ACI 308, American Concrete Institute – Guide to Curing Concrete

BS 8110 – British Standard for the Design and Construction of Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete

IS 456 – 2000 : Indian Standard Code of Practice for Plain and Reinforced Concrete

Read More:

Concrete Curing Methods for Different Types of Construction / Structures


Methods of Curing Concrete Structures and their Comparisons


Curing of High Performance Concrete -Methods and Duration of Curing


Accelerated Curing Method for Concrete Compressive Strength Test


Concrete Curing Methods for Different Types of Construction / Structures


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