Technical Questions

ACI Committees, Membership, and Staff have answered common questions on a variety of concrete related topics.

The difference between setting and hardening

Q. What is the difference between setting and hardening?


A. Setting describes the stiffening of the fresh cement paste. Onset of rigidity occurs. Then hardening begins, which indicates that a useful and measurable strength is developing. Setting and hardening result from the continuing reaction between the cementitious material and water.


References: SP-1(02); ACI Physical Testing of Cement Training Video; The Contractor's Guide to Quality Concrete Construction; ASTM C403; ASTM C191

Topics in Concrete: Cementitious Material; Concrete Fundamentals; Materials

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