Early strength development

Published 31 May 2017

This month Arthur Harrisson discusses early strength development in concrete, which is affected by many variables in practice. In the two-stage process, which includes a setting and a hardening phase, he observes the parts played by sulphates and C3A while acknowledging the importance of other factors such as the C3S content.

Cement hydrates five hours after mixing

Several studies of which factors influence early strength performance have been carried out under controlled conditions with a limited number of variables. In practice many values are varying at the same time at a cement plant and it can be the case that what affects the strength development in one way on one plant, may have a different effect elsewhere.

The progress of cement hydration is conventionally divided into setting and hardening, with various stages included in each of these.

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