7 Benefits of the Maturity Method

February 27, 2024

Why adopt the maturity method when traditional techniques are tried and tested? If destructive “cube-crushing” methods get the job done, why bother pivoting to modern tech-based practices for assessing concrete strength? The answer boils down to four words: cost, speed, safety, and sustainability. The maturity method, together with Converge’s ConcreteDNA and Signal Sensor system, empowers contractors to maximise project efficiency in all four areas.

The way we see it, destructive methods are tradition, but the maturity method is the future. Read on to learn more about the benefits of using the maturity method with Converge.

Read more: Can you trust the maturity method? and Concrete maturity sensors and AI

1. Access to accurate and reliable data

Eliminate the guesswork with the maturity method.

Above all else, concrete testing methods must produce data which is accurate, consistent, and reliable. This is the key to ensuring that work is carried out safely and that concrete will not crack or fail under load. The maturity method ticks all of these boxes and is a method that contractors can trust.

Temperature hugely affects the rate at which concrete cures and gains strength. The maturity method harnesses the mathematical truths underlying the relationship between cement, temperature and time, to assess concrete strength to a high degree of accuracy. There is no guesswork involved when using the maturity method. There is never a need for contractors to make decisions using incomplete data or estimations based on previous experience. The maturity method gives you a constant stream of indisputable, hard, mathematical data - even when weather conditions are inconsistent.

What’s more, Converge technology automatically harvests data for you (via Signal Sensor) and performs calculations on your behalf (via ConcreteDNA), so that the potential for human error is dramatically reduced, while the access to data is dramatically increased (24/7 real-time strength data).

This is in contrast to traditional destructive methods where contractors are kept in the dark until lab results come in, and frequently have to interpret unclear or inconsistent lab analyses and make project decisions based on incomplete data. The maturity method is superior in terms of yielding accurate data and insights.

2. Improved cost and time efficiency

Optimise your construction schedule with real-time strength data.

It's not possible to remove formwork or continue building until critical strength is reached. Consequently, waiting for concrete to reach strength can be a source of workflow bottlenecks and delays to project timelines. The knock-on effect of delays is spiralling costs as project timelines are extended and equipment rentals and personnel costs are required over a longer period. These issues can be prevented by utilising accurate and accessible data about concrete strength gain, which is precisely what the maturity method provides.

The maturity method, together with our technology solutions, allows you to monitor concrete strength development in real time thanks to embedded sensors which automatically harvest temperature data. By accurately predicting when concrete will reach strength, our software allows Project Managers to plan ahead with confidence and optimise procedures, rather than scrambling at the last minute. In addition, ConcreteDNA sends alerts at the exact moment concrete reaches strength, so that teams can be mobilised without a moment wasted. In many cases, this enables the removal of formwork and post-tensioning ahead of schedule.

This is in opposition to traditional destructive methods, where concrete samples must be repeatedly sent off for testing, which is both time-consuming and costly. Moreover, traditional methods can only ever provide limited “snapshots” of information, rather than giving access to real-time intel, meaning that teams may only be informed that concrete has reached strength hours or days after the fact.

A close-up of a construction worker's gloved hands holding a smartphone with a displaying the ConcreteDNA app by Converge.  The screen shows that the Converge Signal sensor is successfully installed and waiting for concrete to be poured. In the background, the Converge Signal sensor is installed on rebar with cable ties.

3. Simple and easy reporting

Reduce the admin burden with automated data collection and data entry.

The maturity method, together with Signal Sensors and ConcreteDNA, eases the admin burden across many areas of project management by automating data collection and data entry for all documentation. A prime example is QA records and the endless manual maintenance required to keep them up to date. Converge software automates this task so that records are always complete and free from human error. Similarly, by adopting sensors in place of traditional testing methods, the administrative workload is reduced thanks to performance data being automatically stored in the cloud. This has the added benefit of providing a historical data log for compliance purposes.

All in all, the maturity method prevents admin from being a constant data-entry time sink and allows contractors to focus on more important or practical tasks.

iPad displaying a Temperature Differentials report generated by ConcreteDNA. Concrete pours in the background.

4. Increase confidence in the pour

Avoid thermal cracking with live temperature data.

This is especially an issue for projects in extremely hot or cold environments (outside the 0-40 degree Celsius window). It is also a major consideration for projects involving mass concrete and other deep elements, which require additional measures to be taken in response to the heat generated by the pour and the increased risk of cracking. The maturity method provides solid reassurance about the quality and safety of these projects.

In the above circumstances, it is common to run concrete simulations to optimise the structure’s design and tailor the concrete mix. However, these simulations can only be so accurate, as factors such as weather conditions are unpredictable. The maturity method can avoid these pitfalls; by using embedded sensors, contractors are provided with accurate and live data about concrete temperature and temperature differentials. This can inform decision-making in real-time, by allowing contractors to spot potential issues as they arise and take corrective measures to prevent cracks or structural defects.

5. Improved safety on site

Perform safety-critical actions with greater confidence.

A project isn’t fully optimised if safety isn’t maximised for everyone involved. Our ConcreteDNA intelligence platform provides a more accurate picture of concrete strength gain than traditional techniques, which can often yield inconsistent data and leave contractors with the responsibility of deciphering unclear results. With access to better data, contractors can perform safety-critical actions with lower risk and greater confidence.

Consider projects using post-tensioned concrete, where steel cables within the concrete are put under considerable tension during the construction process: If the concrete hasn't gained sufficient strength, or if the contractor overestimates the concrete strength, post-tensioning of concrete slabs can lead to anchors bursting out. This poses a life-threatening risk to anyone working nearby. Similarly, there are injury risks associated with other activities such as the removal of formwork.

ConcreteDNA reduces the risk of these issues occurring by painting an accurate picture of concrete strength as it develops across the pour, making it possible to spot inconsistencies or weak spots. Not only does this improve safety on site, but it also reduces costly repair work, which in turn reduces the amount of time operatives would otherwise spend on correcting such issues.

Converge technology helps contractors reduce, or altogether remove, their requirement for traditional destructive testing. This typically involves preparing cubes or cylinders which requires a technician to stoop close to the ground to prepare and compact them, which can result in back injury or Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). By minimising the number of samples required, there is consequently a reduced risk of work-related injury for the technician.

6. Spend less time on-site

Access data remotely and in real time.

Through our wireless, cloud-based monitoring systems, Converge has given contractors the ability to operate remotely. Rather than relying on in-situ monitoring and measurements, all relevant data is at contractors’ fingertips 24/7, anywhere on earth, via the ConcreteDNA platform. Our wireless embedded sensors stay on-site so you don’t need to!

Over-the-shoulder view of a person sitting at a desk, working on a MacBook Pro using the Converge platform. The screen shows various temperature readings sent from the Signal sensor installed on site. This data shows the temperature of the in-situ concrete over time.

7. Reduce concrete waste and emissions

Non-destructive testing methods for less concrete waste.

At Converge, sustainability is at the core of our mission. We believe in the importance of keeping the future of our planet in mind with every project, and our methods make it easier to optimise the green credentials of every build.

Traditional destructive testing results in excessive concrete use and carbon emissions. Conversely, via the maturity method, we have made it possible to understand the strength gain profile of a concrete mix using intelligent digital solutions, thus reducing the number of cube tests required. In addition, the maturity method improves the quality assurance of your cured concrete with accurate data from embedded sensors. As a result, you have fewer cracks, and less wasted concrete.

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