In industries where concrete is used, it is important for workers to understand the extreme importance of properly cooling concrete. If proper cooling methods are not used, a number of problems can occur, including a weaker finished product that is irregular and more susceptible to cracks and other damage. In addition, temperatures that are too high can interfere with the chemical process involved when cement becomes concrete. In this article let’s explore 4 serious problems that can be caused by improperly cooled concrete.
Improperly Cooled Concrete Is Often Weaker
Concrete that has been created under overly high heat conditions is not as strong as it could be. The process of hardening concrete is called curing, and generally when concrete is cured at temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the strength and resilience of the concrete is greatly reduced. This is due to the chemical reaction that happens when concrete is formed. Temperatures that are too high can speed this process up, which does not allow for proper crystal formation within the material. This can be a disaster in many industries where durable, reliable materials are required.
Improperly Cooled Concrete Is often Irregular
When concrete is poured over a very large area and is prepared at temperatures that are too high, this can lead to an irregular material that is weaker in some places than it is in others. This is because of the temperature differentials caused by a concrete creation process that is too hot, and thus, goes too fast. In the same way that weak concrete is a hazard, uneven concrete poses similar risks, especially when the project is of the large-pour type. In these cases, central areas of the concrete may be a drastically different temperature than outer areas.
Improperly Cooled Concrete Is in More Danger of Cracking
Weak concrete is a very real problem. If concrete is less dense because of poor cooling practices, it can be more susceptible to cracking. Depending on the location of the concrete, this can possibly be catastrophic and could result in major accidents, injuries, costly property damage, and facility outages as the damage is repaired. Any industry where extremely strong, hardy concrete is required, a cracking hazard can be dangerous and costly.
Improperly Cooled Concrete May Not Undergo Full Hydration
To understand this negative outcome of improper cooling, one needs to understand first how concrete is formed. Concrete starts with a mixture called cement, which, when combined with water, undergoes a chemical transformation and becomes concrete. This process is called hydration. When temperatures are too high some of the water needed for the hydration process is in danger of evaporating, leaving some of the concrete un-hydrated.
There are a wide variety of ways that you can properly cool concrete to avoid any of these negative outcomes. Different concrete cooling methods involve different processes and equipment and may range in complexity from simply using colder water to full-scale post-pour cooling using a network of pipes inside the pour concrete – and many other techniques in between. The good news is that regardless of how large the project is, the concrete absolutely CAN be fully and adequately cooled, improving its quality and durability. Semco designs and manufactures high quality, customizable concrete cooling systems. Contact us for more information and to discuss your concrete cooling needs.