Concreting at Subfreezing Temperatures

by Charles J. Korhonen, US Army Cold Regions Research and, Engineering Lab, Hanover, United States,
Edel R. Cortez, US Army Cold Regions Research and, Engineering Lab, Hanover, United States,
Brian A. Charest, US Army Cold Regions Research and, Engineering Lab, Hanover, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Materials: Performance and Prevention of Deficiencies and Failures

Abstract: Temperature affects the rate at which portland cement concrete develops strength. Below about 20°C, strength gain is retarded, whereas at higher temperatures it is accelerated. Strength gain is essentially stopped at temperatures below -5°C because water that otherwise would be available for hydration freezes. A series of chemicals was tested for the ability to promote strength gain of concrete at 20, -5, -10, and -20°C. The results show that low-temperature strength gain of concrete containing certain chemicals can be comparable to that of additive-free concrete cured at normal temperature. The best admixtures were those that depressed the freezing point of the mix water and accelerated the hydration of cement.

Subject Headings: Temperature effects | Strength of materials | Freezing | Concrete construction | Portland cement | Water management | Hydration

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