Effect of Curing Environment on the Strength Properties of Cement and Cement Extenders


Curing of cement based products such as concrete and mortar, is very important to achieve good strength and durable products. However the curing environment plays a pivotal role in the overall quality of cement based products in terms of strength development. ASTM C192 allows moist curing either in a fog room or under water. However, these must meet ASTM C511 which controls temperature, and specifically for water curing, the concentration of calcium ions in the curing solution. Unfortunately in many parts of the world, water curing literally means curing in tap water. This is done primarily because there is a lack of knowledge or ignorance regarding the mobility and roll of calcium hydroxide in the curing process. To illustrate the differences, in this study, straight ASTM Type I/II Portland cement and that mixed with powdered waste clay bricks as a cement extender were used to prepare two different batches of mortars. The chemical properties of the powdered waste clay brick met the ASTM C618 standard specifications for Class N pozzolans. Both mortar specimens were cured under two different environment comprising of either water and lime saturated water. Mortar specimens were tested for compressive strength at 3, 7, 14 and 28 days of either curing conditions. Test results indicated that mortar specimens cured in lime saturated water obtained higher strength than those cured in fresh water at all ages of curing. Statistical inference drawn from ANOVA testing showed that curing conditions had significant impact on strength development of the blended and unblended cement systems. The study recommends that testing of concrete and mortar samples and other research related works be performed in lime saturated water other than fresh water.

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Bediako, M. , Kevern, J. and Amankwah, E. (2015) Effect of Curing Environment on the Strength Properties of Cement and Cement Extenders. Materials Sciences and Applications, 6, 33-39. doi: 10.4236/msa.2015.61005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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