Controlling Plastic and Autogenous Shrinkage in High-Performance Concrete Structures by an Early Water Curing
P.-C. Aitcin, G. Haddad, and R. Morin
Appears on pages(s):
autogenous shrinkage; bleeding; cost of water curing; curing membrane; early cracking; fogging; high-performance concrete (HPC); plastic shrinkage; sustainable development
High-performance concrete is very vulnerable to early cracking because it does not bleed and it develops within the first 24 hours a significant autogenous shrinkage when it still has a very weak tensile strength. Plastic shrinkage cannot always be fought with curing membrane: fog spraying is much more appropriate. Among the different means already available to fight early autogenous shrinkage external water curing is a very efficient one. Water curing must be extended for 7 days. At the present state of the technology concretes having a water/cement ratio of 0.36 are the more robust against early cracking when an external water curing is used. The cost of water curing can represent from 0.1 to 1.5% of the total construction cost of concrete structures, a good investment in a sustainable development perspective.