The Ins and Outs of Concrete Cure Time

concrete pouring down the chute

Waiting for the curing of concrete can easily test patience, especially when you’re ready to move on to the next step of a project. However, it’s important to remember that quality is the end goal, not quickness. Rushing ahead and not allowing enough time for concrete to properly cure before allowing foot traffic or heavy machinery to travel across your newly placed cement can seriously compromise the integrity of a concrete slab.

Concrete experts use the “70 in 7” rule to know when concrete has hardened enough. After 7 days, concrete has reached 70% specified compressive strength and can handle most loads.

 

The Best Dang Concrete Recipe

You can’t properly cure concrete if you don’t understand what it is. Concrete is made up of three parts: cement mix, water and aggregate. All three work together to form durable, reliable concrete.

Cement

Cement.org reveals the details about what makes up cement:

“Cement is manufactured through a closely controlled chemical combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and other ingredients. Common materials used to manufacture cement include limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore.”

Depending on the brand or pouring situation, some concrete manufacturers will include additives in the cement mix to help concrete cure faster or cure under unfavorable pouring conditions, such as cold weather or high humidity environments. Typically, most mixes consist of 10-15% cement.

Water

Concrete Curing Time Chart

Concrete curing is most dependent on how much water is added to the mix. Too much water, and the concrete will be very porous, leading to cracking and chipping. Not enough water, and the cement and aggregate won’t combine together. High water-to-cement ratios are used when concrete needs to be fresh and malleable while curing. Low water-to-cement ratios are used for increased durability and tend to cure faster. Depending on the aggregate used, most cement mixes use 15-20% water.

Unless you’re pouring concrete in cold weather, the type and temperature of water doesn’t matter. When temperature is a factor, use hot water in your concrete mix to help prevent it from freezing within the concrete.

Aggregate

Sand is the most common form of aggregate, though nearly any rock-like material can be used so long as it is crushed. Even broken chunks of concrete are excellent as aggregate. When added to the mix, cement and water form a paste that binds the aggregate together in a process known as hydration. After all three are sufficiently mixed together, the newly-formed concrete can be poured and begin curing.

Cement Curing Factors

Several factors influence the curing time of concrete, including:

  • Mixture proportions- Increasing cement to water ratio will decrease setting time but may compromise long-term strength.
  • Type of mix used- Fast curing concrete mixes and add-ins are available for accelerated curing
  • Specified strength
  • Size and shape of slab
  • Ambient weather/temperature- Higher temperatures decrease initial concrete setting time, but may decrease long-term strength.

How Long Does Concrete Take to Set?

Concrete never stops curing, with its strength only growing through time. It becomes safe to walk on 2-3 days after pouring, but shouldn’t be considered “set” until it has set for at least a week.

After initial placement, concrete increases in strength very quickly for 3-7 days, then gradually for the next 3 weeks. Curing time of concrete is typically 24-48 hours, at which point it’s safe for normal foot traffic. After one week, concrete is typically cured enough to handle continued construction including heavy machinery. Concrete is recognized to have reached full strength 28 days after placement.

concrete cure time chart

The “70 in 7” Rule

When determining how long concrete takes to dry, remember the “70 in 7” rule: Most concrete mixes will have reached 70% of specified compressive strength after 7 days. At this point, it’s ready for exposure to normal traffic.

concrete curing blanket on ground

Concrete Curing Blankets

Unfortunately, cold weather during winter months can seriously slow down concrete cure time and significantly hold up construction projects. The best temperature to cure concrete is above 50° F, which can be difficult to replicate if the air is below freezing.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Luckily, solutions, such as concrete blankets that maintain optimum temperatures during cure time, are available. Concrete curing blankets are an effective option that cure concrete 2.8 times faster than a typical insulated blanket and properly maintain moisture throughout the hydrating process. Concrete blankets are easily transported and installed and maintain ACI compliance for cold-weather concreting. If you’re looking for a solution to maintaining optimum concrete cure time during cold winter, using a concrete blanket is the best method for drying and curing concrete.

Learn More About Concrete Curing Blankets

What is Powerblanket?

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Welcome To Powerblanket

The Powerblanket family began our journey back in 2005.  Since then, our patented, American-made temperature control products have solidified our expertise the industrial heating and cooling community. We excel at helping the industrial and manufacturing community get back to work. 

With our ever-expanding range of customizable heating during the winter, and cooling during the summer, Powerblanket helps businesses stay operational year-round. By finding new ways to remove temperature roadblocks, Powerblanket empowers companies to preserve workplace safety, prolong equipment life, prepare for emergencies, and get back to work.

Powerblanket infographic on the temperature control products offered

 

Industrial Heating from Powerblanket

We are the leading provider of standard and custom-designed industrial heating blankets. No matter what industry you’re in, Powerblanket can help you improve your business. We have created custom heating solutions for companies all over the world. Our blankets are extremely versatile and can be used across a wide variety of industries. 

Powerblanket infographic showing industries served by temperature control

If you can build it, haul it, or store it…we can heat it. Because pre-fabricated options are not always a good fit, our engineers are at the ready to create tailor made heating to spec. We specialize in engineering custom solutions for even the trickiest of heating problems. Powerblanket has the quickest lead time in the market for custom products. First, our world-class engineering team learns your specific heating needs. Next, we provide you with your custom quote within 1-3 days. Then, we deliver your custom heating products within 3 weeks. 

How Our Products Work

Our heating blankets save you time, energy, and money by putting the heat precisely where it is needed. After a simple installation, you are now harnessing the power of conduction and heating your materials with direct and even heat. Our advanced weather-proof insulation provides a protective barrier from the elements and reduces heat loss. We then combine insulation with efficient heating elements to direct heat downward right into the item that needs heating instead of losing it to the ambient air.

Powerblanket diagram showing even heating in our concrete curing blankets

Powerblanket Product Families

Barrel and Bucket Heaters

Protect your fluid storage during the winter with a wide range of drum, barrel, and bucket heaters.  Direct, evenly distributed heat eliminates hot and colds spots, solves viscosity issues, and prevent your fluids from freezing. We also provide a range of specially calibrated blankets for coconut oil, honey, and wax. These blankets are programmed to stay within the exact temperatures these specific fluids need.

Tote and DEF Tote Heaters

For larger volume industrial fluids, these specially designed tote heating blankets are perfectly sized and shaped for steel, poly, and DEF totes. Our tote heaters protect the chemical composition of your fluids while still giving you pump access during winter conditions.

Gas Cylinder Heaters

When gas tanks drop in temperature, the pressure of their contents drops as well. As a result, it very difficult to get any gas flow from a tank during the winter. Gas cylinder warmers evenly and safely heat the cylinder so that flow rate increases and operations can continue running.

Bulk Material Heaters

How do you heat multiple containers of all shapes and sizes, or bulky pallets of materials? Hot box bulk material warmers provide even heating to anything stored within.

Ground Thawing Blankets

Frozen ground can bring a number of industries to a full halt during the winter. During sub-freezing temperatures, our high powered ground thaw blankets direct heat deep into the frost line to prep ground for digging, utility work, concrete pouring, and more.

Concrete Curing Blankets

Winter concreting is notoriously difficult. Construction heating can have a huge impact on jobs, deadlines, and the overall bottomline. From roofing, to spray foam, painting, and concrete, so many aspects are affected by the weather. Curing problems can derail entire construction projects and cause costly delays. Our concrete curing blankets provide heat, insulation, and cure concrete 2.8x faster than conventional insulation blankets. Electric concrete blankets are hands down the most efficient solution for strong and fast winter concrete curing.

Snow Melting Safety Mats

Free your hands and your time during the winter by setting your snow shovel aside. Simply lay down our Summerstep snow and ice melting mats on your doorway, stairs, and walkways. In addition, Summerstep mats provide traction and reduce injuries from slips and falls all winter long.

Smart Controllers

For an added level of control and automation, our Beacon Smart Controllers put temperature control at your fingertips. With the user friendly app, you have access to continuous remote temperature monitoring. You can also set heating schedules and receive temperature alerts right from your phone or tablet.

Industrial Cooling from North Slope Chillers

Our North Slope Chillers line represents the flip-side of our total temperature control expertise. Our industrial chillers, Fluxwrap fluid channel blankets, Keg Coolers, and Ice Wraps provide the perfect cooling solutions for when the heat is high.

Total Temperature Control

When your business feels the sting of wasted revenue through equipment damage, product loss, or the financial crunch of the “off season” due to unworkable climate conditions, Powerblanket has the solution. With Powerblanket, there is no “off season.” Contact us to find the perfect temperature control solutions to keep your work flowing at 855.993.6294 or [email protected]

 

Learn More About Powerblanket