Large-Pour Cement Projects Result in Very High Temperatures
The process of mixing cement aggregates with water results in the formation of the strong, highly useful material known as concrete. However, the chemical reactions that occur during the hydration process are largely exothermic, meaning that they release heat. Thus large-pour projects result in rapidly rising temperatures that can easily exceed 200°F.
Problems Associated with High Temperatures in Concrete Pours
High concrete temperatures can potentially result in numerous problems including reduced tensile strength, non-uniformity, and a greater tendency toward cracking. This is particularly problematic since most large-pour projects have a great need for strength and durability. In industrial and commercial settings poor concrete strength can even compromise safety. Thus successful concrete cooling is imperative.
Options for Effective Concrete Cooling
Fortunately there are several effective methods to lower concrete temperature including:
- Water Cooling – Involves directly lowering the temperature of the water to be mixed with the cement aggregates to near freezing levels. This is one of the most effective methods of concrete cooling because the temperature of the water used for mixing is the single largest determinant in the mixture’s temperature.
- Aggregate Cooling – Aggregate cooling involves lowering the temperature of the aggregates that will be used in the cement mix. This method can be performed using either water with the flooded silo technique, or with air cooling.
- Drum Cooling – Drum cooling involves cooling the cement mix while it is in the drum undergoing hydration. This method typically involves the use of ice and it is important to ensure that the ice will thoroughly melt during the process so as to avoid gaps and uneven hydration in the final concrete.
- Post-Cooling – Post-cooling is performed after the concrete has been poured by pumping chilled water through a network of pipes located within the concrete. This method is effective for very large projects such as dam construction.
Custom Concrete Cooling Solutions
SEMCO/SEMCOLD LLC is dedicated to delivering the absolute best concrete cooling system for each of our clients’ needs. That means that the entire system will be custom made and designed to best fit the applications and settings in which it will be used. Our extensive background in commercial and industrial projects means that we are highly tuned in to the needs of our large-pour clients, understand the need for superior strength, durability, safety, and have the expertise and resources it takes to deliver outstanding concrete cooling systems.