How to measure concrete temperature during curing time |

April 11, 2023

When the process of placing concrete is finished, temperature is one of the most important things to monitor. If concrete freezes or heats up there can be major damage to the concrete’s strength. So if you are planning to place concrete in hot weather or cold weather, measuring the temperature of the concrete will be necessary. 

In this article we will inform you on how to measure concrete temperature during the curing process. There are a few different methods when it comes to measuring the temperature of concrete. We will shed light on four of those methods. 

Read more: Learn more about long term effects of hot climates and cold climates on concrete and how to pour concrete in freezing conditions.

What is concrete curing?

The curing of concrete is a process that starts when the concrete is placed. It is a reaction that occurs when the cement and water start binding together. The concrete needs to cure in order to reach its full strength, which takes approximately 28 days. During that period of time the concrete needs to stay moist to keep curing. 

If the concrete was to get dired out by hot temperatures the curing process will stop, which will affect the strength and durability of the concrete. This is why it is important to monitor and measure concrete temperature. 

Why do you need to measure concrete temperature?

Monitoring the temperature of concrete is crucial for ensuring the durability and stability of concrete structures in the long run. If the concrete gets to hot or too cold it will not cure correctly, which is why It is essential to monitor and verify several factors:

  1. That temperature remained within safe limits 
  2. Whether the temperature of the concrete decreased by more than 2.8°C per hour within the initial 24-hour period
  3. That the temperature remained consistent during the curing process

Sunset by a construction site

What challenges are there when measuring concrete temperature?

There are a few common challenges when doing mass concrete temperature monitoring. Firstly, it is challenging to get an accurate image of the temperature of concrete in a larger area, because it may vary in different spots. 

Secondly, the temperature will most certainly also differ depending on the depth. This is why you will need to measure the temperature of the concrete both at surface level and at a greater depth. 

Read more: Read up on how humidity affects fresh concrete, how to protect concrete from rain and underwater concreting.

Common methods for measuring concrete temperature

Concrete temperature can be measured using several methods, but the most common ones are:

1. Thermocouples

Thermocouples are inserted into the fresh concrete to measure its temperature at a specific depth. Most thermocouples can measure the temperature at two different points, which provide a more accurate result. The temperature readings are then recorded and used to monitor the concrete's temperature over time.

2. Infrared thermometers 

Infrared thermometers use non-contact technology to measure the surface temperature of the concrete. This method is quick and easy to use but may not provide accurate measurements of the concrete's internal temperature.

3. Thermal imaging cameras 

Thermal imaging cameras use infrared technology to capture images of the concrete's surface temperature. This method can provide a visual representation of the temperature distribution across the surface of the concrete.

4. Wireless sensors 

Wireless sensors can be embedded in the concrete to continuously monitor its temperature. These sensors can transmit temperature data in real-time, providing a comprehensive picture of the concrete's temperature profile. 

At Converge, our wireless smart sensors help you monitor the temperature of concrete while also giving you real time concrete curing data and accurate curing predictions. 

It is important to use appropriate temperature measurement techniques to ensure accurate readings. Figure out which concrete thermometers or concrete temperature sensors will work best for you. Mainly because they are necessary for determining the appropriate temperature control strategies during the curing process. 

Read more: Can you lay concrete in the rain and what is the best weather to pour concrete?

Frequently asked questions

Why do we check concrete temperature?

Checking the temperature of concrete helps to ensure that it is cured consistently, which is important for achieving the desired strength. 

What is acceptable concrete temperature?

The ideal temperature for placing concrete is around 15-25°C. If the temperature stays within those limits the concrete will most likely not be affected in a negative way. 

Does concrete crack in high temperature?

Since the concrete expands in higher temperatures, very hot weather can cause cracking. The same goes for cold temperatures where concrete will contract. Both expansion and contraction of concrete will eventually cause cracks.

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