Q. What is 'curing' and why is it so important?
The term 'curing' is used to include maintenance of a favorable environment for the continuation of chemical reactions, i.e. retention of moisture within, or supplying moisture to the concrete from an external source and protection against extremes of temperature.
Q. What is the correct method of curing?
If a concrete mix is placed in and around a cage of steel rods, it is called Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC).
1. Walls: Water should be sprinkled from the top such that it covers the whole area of the wall and it should be remain wet.
2. Slab: Ponding should be done on the slab by constructing bunds of mortar of approximately 1mX1m and water should be stored.
3.Beams and columns: The beams and columns can be maintained wet by tying gunny bags around the periphery and by maintaining it wet always.
Q. What methods are commonly employed to ensure sufficient moisture for curing?
Ponding, continuous sprinkling, covering with wet cloth, cotton mats or similar materials, covering with specially prepared paper, polyethylene, sealing coat applied as a liquid commonly known as 'curing compound' which hardens to form a thin protective membrane, are some of the methods by which concrete is cured.
Q. When should curing be started and when is it complete?
Curing should be started just after the surfaces begin to dry. Normally 7 to 14 days curing is considered adequate.