3 Different methods to measure the maturity of concrete

October 14, 2023

The world of construction relies on concrete, a universal material known for its strength, durability, and versatility. A critical aspect of optimising the performance of this key material is understanding the 'maturity of concrete.' It is a concept that represents the evolution of concrete properties as it undergoes the curing process. 

Monitoring and assessing this maturity provides valuable insights into the concrete's expected strength, its rate of hardening, and overall durability.

In a construction context, these factors are instrumental in decision-making processes. Such as determining the optimal time for formwork removal, post-tensioning, and opening construction elements to traffic. Various methods have been developed to accurately measure concrete maturity, each with its unique approach and set of considerations. 

Among these are the Schmidt Hammer, Lab Cubes, and Smart Sensors. These approaches provide a comprehensive and practical toolset for engineers and construction professionals to ensure the quality of their concrete structures.

Read more: We make comparisons between cube testing and cylinder testing as well as between using sensors and cube testing.

The Schmidt Hammer

Firstly, the Schmidt Hammer is an instrumental device in determining the maturity of concrete. It operates based on the rebound principle to measure the surface hardness of the concrete.

  1. The Schmidt Hammer gauges the elastic properties of the surface layer.
  2. It offers a rapid assessment, proving useful for concrete maturity measurement in real-time.
  3. The method is non-destructive and often correlates with the compressive strength of the concrete.

Its reliability and speed have made the Schmidt Hammer a popular choice in concrete maturity measurement.

Lab Cubes

Next in line are the Lab Cubes. This method involves using cubes of concrete, prepared and cured alongside the structural concrete, to later test their strength.

  1. It provides a direct measure of the concrete's compressive strength.
  2. Lab cubes undergo controlled curing, ensuring a uniform process.
  3. They offer a traditional and straightforward technique to measure the maturity of concrete.

While they require more time, lab cubes provide a very accurate insight into concrete maturity measurement. However, the results can not depict exactly how the concrete is going to perform on-site in the real world.

Read more: Learn more about the maturity method, Lab curing and in-situ curing as well as Benefits and challenges of cube testing of concrete.

Smart Sensors

Lastly, Smart Sensors are revolutionizing the way we perceive the maturity of concrete.

  1. These sensors are embedded within the concrete, providing real-time data about temperature and strength evolution.
  2. They allow for continuous monitoring, ensuring optimal curing conditions.
  3. Leveraging technology, Smart Sensors provide a more comprehensive, data-driven approach to concrete maturity measurement.

Their integration in modern construction projects attests to their efficiency and the precision they bring to the concrete maturity measurement process.

Read more: Can you trust the maturity method and explaining AI and concrete maturity sensors.

Converge's fully embeddable Signal Sensor

In Conclusion

The maturity of concrete is a critical factor in determining its performance over time. Each of the three methods, the Schmidt Hammer, Lab Cubes, and Smart Sensors, brings its unique advantages and can provide valuable insights into the maturity process. 

Understanding these methods allows for improved concrete quality control and can contribute to the successful completion of construction projects. Concrete maturity measurement is an invaluable tool in the world of construction, enabling professionals to deliver robust, durable, and high-performance structures.

Frequently asked questions

What is concrete maturity based on?

Concrete maturity is based on an equation where you measure and combine the temperature of concrete with time and strength. 

How long does it take for concrete to reach 75% strength?

It takes approximately 7 days for concrete to reach 75% of its expected strength.

How many days does concrete need to have 100% of its strength?

100% of concrete’s strength will be reached around the 28 day mark. It can continue to gain strength after that but it will be slow and with very minimal differences after that point.

Read more: We explain how sensors improve the measuring of concrete maturity and explain the maturity curve.

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