Cement Hydration is a chemical reaction in which cement and water combine to form a gel known as Calcium Silicate Hydrate – CSH for short. The CSH gel coats the sand and stone in the concrete mix, fills in the voids between the sand and stone materials and acts as the “glue” that holds the concrete together.

Concrete is the second most utilized (water is the first) and one of the most popular building materials in the world. Concrete is so popular because it is strong, dense, durable and aesthetic.

Concrete Hardens


Curing Process

Hydrated cement, in addition to quality raw materials, makes concrete strong, dense and durable.

While cement hydration principles have not changed much since its origination in the early 1800s by Joseph Aspdin, the characteristics of and requirements from manufactured concrete products have evolved and widened the scope of what is concrete.

Concrete Hardens



Curing is a process that maintains a satisfactory moisture content and temperature in the curing environment.

Thus, curing controls the movement of temperature and moisture into and out of concrete during its early stage strength development so that it obtains its desired properties thus making concrete the more popular building material.

Curing is only optional if quality is unimportant.

Concrete Hardens

The result of intelligent concrete curing

Better Aesthetics

Better appearance

  •  Reduce efflorescence
  •  Brighter color

Product on left was cured with vapor while product on right was cured with steam from a boiler (original concrete color is gray).

Consistent Color

Consistent appearance

  •  Consistent color
  •  Consistent appearance through secondary processing equipment

Concrete block manufactured with same materials and cement under different curing conditions. The unsightly efflorescence is caused by excessive condensation during curing.

High Early Strength for Concrete Tunnel Liners

High early strength – precast and prestress concrete

  •  Wet cast – handle in 6 to 8 hours
  •  Dry cast – handle in 4 to 5 hours
  •  Pipe – handle in 10 to 12 hours
  •  Hollow-core – detension in 8 to 12 hours

Precast tunnel liners may be demoulded after 6 to 8 hours when cured with vapor – allowing for double-casting of expensive steel forms.

High Early Strength for Pavers and Blocks

High early strength – block and block paving

  •  Secondary processing possible after 18 hours (shot blasting, curling, grinding and polishing, bush hammering and splitting)
  •  Less rack space
  •  Less production pallets
Reduce Cement Costs

Save cement

  •  Up to 20% of cement in semi-dry concrete is not hydrated
  •  Eliminate switching from summer to winter mix designs
  •  Reduce cement costs by as much as 10%
  •  Reduce pigment content as cement content decreases
Durable and Abrasion Resistant

More durable

  •  Resistance to freeze thaw forces
  •  Higher resistance to abrasion
  •  Higher resistance to chloride penetration
  •  Stronger corners and edges
  •  Less chipping

to learn more about how controlled curing affects the quality and economics of concrete products, click here (PDF – 968 KB).

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