Every industrial large-pour concrete project has its own unique specifications. Local geography, climate, and architectural design are a few factors that may impact your project. If you have a large-pour concrete project coming up, you’re likely thinking of what you can do for the best chance of success, not just for the duration of construction, but for the long term. One of the most important things you can do is properly cool your concrete. Consider these following major factors.
The Need for Concrete Cooling
Concrete has been used industrially since Roman times, and many such structures are still standing, thanks to careful calculations and clever project management. You can’t argue with the fact that the hydration process produces an immense amount of energy. A 6 feet wide, 80 feet deep concrete shaft releases more energy than two bolts of lightning, and such excess heat, if unmanaged, can result in a product with reduced strength and increased tendency of cracking.
New Technology Can Help
A relatively new development is the measuring of concrete’s heat output during the curing process. Before a pour, wires can be installed to read the soil’s temperature. After the material is in place, the current reading from the same probes can be used to calculate the initial heat output of the fresh concrete. Engineers can use this data to predict the long-term reliability of the slab. While this may not be necessary for most concrete projects it is emblematic of the advances in technology that allow projects to run more smoothly and yield better results than ever before. At Semco we keep up with the latest technological developments, and will work with whatever project specs you have.
When it comes to questions like how low should you go in regards to water temperature, which components of concrete should be cooled, and how long should a post-pour cooling program last, a definite consideration is its cost. Here is a look at a couple of your options in terms of what we can do to meet your cooling needs:
- Water Chilling – During the mixing process, water can be chilled to as low as just a couple of degrees Fahrenheit above freezing. In most cases, the lower the temperature drop, the more costly.
- Aggregate Chilling – Cooling down the gravel or other small stones to be used in your mix can help in certain applications. There are at least two different methods: flooded silo or air chilling. Lowering the temperature of aggregates is not required for all projects, so check with your engineers to decide if it’s worth the additional investment.
- Post-Pour Cooling – Post-pour cooling methods are typically among the most costly cooling methods and are generally only used in large-scale projects.
Semco Provides Industry-Leading Concrete Cooling Systems
Concrete cooling is a great way to ensure a safe, durable end product. Contact Semco to learn what we can do to help you meet not just the building code, but deadlines, and budget requirements as well. All of our systems are fully customizable and can be designed with your particular specs in mind.