Why high water quantity is required for curing in spite of formation of concrete
To form concrete, water; cement and aggregates are blended according to their relative proportions. There are other components like admixtures, pigments, fibers, polymers and reinforcement which are utilized to retain special properties of concrete. Among them, water is a major element of concrete construction while developing concrete or doing curing.
In this civil engineering article, you will learn why the quantity of water is higher in curing as compared to formation of concrete.
The construction of a house, mainly depends on the concrete mix design and good workmanship at the time of pouring of concrete. The stability of the concrete is significantly affected by these two prime factors.
The purpose of Concrete mix design to maintain the exact ratio of concrete materials to obtain specific grade of concrete like weight of cement, sand, aggregates and also liters of water and admixtures.
Types of Cement and water significantly impact the concrete mix concerning workability and future strength of house. Therefore, water cement ratio (w/c content) should be according to the concrete mix design.
The high-water content will raise the slump and lead to the segregation or bleeding of concrete. The bleeding or segregation of concrete weakens the strength of concrete significantly or enhances the scopes of concrete repair i.e. repair caused by leakage or cracks in concrete.
The amount of water already added, should be retained as much as to produce workable paste of concrete.
As soon as water is included with the dry mix of concrete, the hydration process is instantly started owing to the reaction among cement and water. This reaction will discharge heat that is also called as heat of hydration. This heat of hydration is injurious for the concrete. Often shrinkage cracks may be produced because of the impact of heat of hydration. The heat in concrete can only be decreased with water curing process.
Water curing restores the moisture in concrete and prepares the cement to hydrate so that the concrete can attain strength. For the smooth progression of the hydration process, the relative humidity in the concrete should be arranged perfectly. It is normally sustained by spraying the water over a concrete surface.
There are other methods of curing to be applied as water curing. The higher amount of water is essential to continue the hydration process in spite of making a concrete.
Usually hydration process will continue up to 21 days (for small structure i.e. houses) or more (for mass concrete structure i.e. RCC dam). Hence, concrete requires water continuously up to 21 days, to get rid of dryness, and to retain humidity. It considerably enhances, the overall quality of concrete.
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