Internal concrete temperatures must be tracked during hot weather placements, because hot weather can severely compromise overall concrete strength, performance, and durability. Construction teams embed COMMAND Center sensors within large concrete elements to monitor in-place concrete’s curing temperatures and ensure it stays within safe temperature thresholds.
Hot weather conditions increase concrete’s internal temperature. When the internal temperature of concrete is increased, early-age (meaning the first few days after placement) strength gain is accelerated, which may be an advantage during construction. However, if early-age concrete temperatures exceed certain specified maximum levels, there is an increased potential for delayed-ettringite formation (DEF) and drying shrinkage.
DEF is a materials-related distress causing cracking that can occur when early-age concrete temperatures exceed 158-160 degrees Fahrenheit. During hydration and over time, water in concrete’s pores dries. When this happens, concrete shrinks and there is a potential for cracking to occur. The potential for and severity of cracking can be increased in hot weather and when early-age internal concrete temperatures are higher than specified maximum thresholds. Both DEF and drying shrinkage can lead to costly repairs or reconstruction.
In an attempt to curb the negative effects hot weather can have on concrete, many specifications require construction teams to measure concrete temperature at delivery and monitor it during curing to ensure it doesn’t surpass maximum temperature thresholds.
Although a thermometer may be ideal for measuring temperature at delivery, it is not ideal for measuring internal temperatures within a column, footing, or any other large concrete element. In these areas, temperatures must be measured towards the center of the element—this is where temperatures will be the highest.
To measure these internal temperatures, use COMMAND Center temperature sensors. Just embed the sensors and leave them in the concrete—they automatically measure and record temperatures over time.
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