Concrete is quite a complex substance! Have you ever pondered why concrete needs to be ‘cured’? Curing is an essential stage of laying concrete which helps to make a tough, durable material, but why is it so essential?
As water is mixed with cement, a chemical process starts to occur known as hydration. As time progresses, the hydration process transforms the cement and water into a calcium silicate hydrate compound. This is a fancy name for the glue that makes the cement stick together. It becomes a binding agent, holds the aggregate together and forms a hard, solid substance which we depend for our roads, pavements and buildings. Other compounds are also formed during this hydration process, but they do not increase the strength like calcium silicate compounds do. For Ready Mix Concrete Derby, visit a site like https://www.bestmix.co.uk/
The curing process is necessary to continue the vital process of hydration. It helps to keep moisture levels up deep inside the concrete. You might be surprised that so much continues to occur even after the laying of concrete! In a nutshell, curing is a method of keeping the cast concrete moist, so that the hydration process can proceed.
Concrete continues to hydrate and become less porous as it gets stronger. The reason this is important is that the newly laid concrete is much more porous than the older concrete, which has had longer to hydrate. The new concrete’s high porosity means more moisture evaporates from the surface.