Water Bath Accelerated Curing of Concrete

Report No: 70-R8

Published in 1970

About the report:

Water bath methods for accelerating the strength development of portland cement concrete were investigated in a two-phase study as follows. Phase I - Participation in a cooperative accelerated strength testing program sponsored by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The three methods studied consisted of; (1) curing immediately after casting in 95°F water for 24 hours, (2) curing in boiling water for 3 1/2 hours, commencing 23 hours after casting, and (3) curing in boiling water for 15 hours commencing after the concrete reached a penetration resistance of 3500 psi (fixed set). Phase II - A study of the effects on the results of the fixed set accelerated curing methods of curing water temperatures from 95°F to 212°F. Also considered were certain heat transfer parameters relevant to strength development. The major conclusions were Phase I 1. The fixed set boiling method is the most efficient and reliable of those studied. 2. Water bath accelerated curing is more efficient for high than for low strength concretes. 3. Water bath and standard moist curing produce strength results of about equal reproducibility. Phase II 1. Accelerated curing efficiencies are directly proportional to the total relative amounts of heat released by the concretes during accelerated curing. 2. Boiling (212°F) water is not conducive to optimum curing efficiency. 3. Optimum water bath temperatures for accelerated concrete strength development range approximately from 165° to 180°F. The duration of accelerated curing is not critical for the fixed set boiling method.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


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Kenneth H. McGhee

Last updated: February 12, 2024

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