Ensuring Optimal Concrete Strength By Testing Concrete Temperature

Construction worker installing concrete temperature logger at jobsite
Construction worker installing concrete temperature logger at jobsite

The Importance of Concrete Temperature Testing

Like with many other materials, concrete can change in quality as a result of its temperature. This can be especially important when there are certain temperature extremes where concrete is being poured.

Get Your First SmartRock Concrete Sensor for FREE

Giatec SR demo kit_
Giatec SR demo kit_

Concrete has to be relatively warm for it to set and cure properly. It needs to be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit while poured and at least 50 degrees when curing. The demands for a supportive environment are so strict that sometimes an outside heating source might be required to project warm air near the concrete during cold weather conditions.

A typical mass concrete mixture will generate heat as a result of the hydration process. This process involves the water within the cement moving around and being used up. This will create the heat that is required for concrete to thrive, but it still needs to be kept in a temperature where this process can actually be sustainable.

The concrete mixture must be analyzed carefully so it will solidify and stay strong for years to come. Concrete that is not set properly may have a hard time with solidifying and can end up having very poor quality.

This shows the importance of testing concrete temperature. A temperature monitoring device can help you out in cold and hot weather conditions to protect the concrete (surface). At Giatec Scientific Inc., have created a unique product called SmartRock®. This is a wireless sensor and concrete temperature meter that helps you track the temperature of concrete, from fresh to hardened stages. The temperature history can then be used to calculate the maturity index of concrete, enabling the user to predict its early-age compressive strength.

What is a Thermal Control Plan?

A thermal control plan allows contractors to monitor the temperature of early-age concrete in order to ensure that the maximal temperature gradient is not reached so that it cures properly. These temperature monitoring procedures are specific to the project and concrete mix being used. They define the concrete temperature limits as well as the maximum concrete temperature differential between the core and surface in order to prevent concrete cracking and other quality issues. They also state how often concrete temperature should be measured. Learn More About Thermal Control Plans

The Importance Of Temperature Measurement In Concrete

What Are Concrete Temperature Sensors Used For?

Concrete temperature sensors, like Giatec’s SmartRock®, is a fully-embedded wireless device that can be used to check concrete temperature from fresh to hardened stages. Wireless concrete temperature sensors are installed within the concrete formwork, typically on the rebar before concrete is placed. The sensor is then connected to a mobile app where it provides updates on concrete temperature in real-time.  The SmartRock app helps you tag sensors quickly via a QR code, receive proactive custom alerts and smart notifications, and provide multiple-company access to project data. The data is uploaded wirelessly to the cloud and you can also get alerts with Giatec 360™, allowing you to easily follow your thermal control and curing plan. is an advanced web-based dashboard for managing concrete pours, predicting concrete temperature, analyzing temperature differentials, and setting up thresholds for your pours.

Learn More About the Maturity Method Here!

The concrete temperature testing can be used for monitoring the variation of temperature on the surface of concrete, especially in the cold season, or to study the strength development in concrete. The latter is based on the maturity method and can be used to predict the early-age strength of concrete.

One important application for temperature sensors is to decide when covering concrete surface is necessary, or when it is safe to remove the coverings. Another important application is to decide when it is safe to open the formwork or shoring in a construction project.

How Does a Concrete Temperature Sensor Work?

The temperature sensors will typically work in many extreme conditions and can easily handle temperature values of up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (as is the case for mass concrete foundations, retaining walls, or dams). However, the sensor will have to be buried in appropriate locations, and key structural components.

A reader is used to collect the temperature data. A traditional reader requires a wired connection to the sensor to retrieve the data. This can be done using wireless technology for the case of SmartRock sensor. The wireless sensor should be placed within the 3 to 4 inches distance from the surface. This will ensure that the signal strength is powerful enough to be detected by a smartphone or tablet. A mobile app will help the user to find and locate the sensors and connect to them. It is also used to retrieve the test data from the sensor and analyze the results.

The sensor collects temperature sensor in certain time steps (normally 30 minutes or less). This should be good enough as it can take a bit for the temperatures in your concrete to change rather substantially. Still, when used properly, it should not be much of a challenge for your app to give you the most accurate forms of analysis possible.

Curious About How Maturity Can Help You Reduce Labor Costs? Learn More Here!

Contact Giatec for Help

Giatec Scientific Inc. provides continuous technical support for our SmartRock concrete maturity sensor. You can always get in touch with us when you need assistance with installing the sensors, collecting the data, and analyzing the test results. Giatec’s SmartRock is a unique sensor that can be easily used in various construction projects.

SmartRock is designed using wireless technology for enhanced data management. It is rugged and waterproof, and the mobile app provides a user-friendly and intuitive environment to collect data, view results, and share reports with team members.

3 Responses

    1. Hi Danny! Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, using an infrared radar gun to monitor cold weather concrete placement is not an acceptable method. This method would only be acceptable for near-surface imaging or to find the surface temperature of an element. The resolution would not be adequate to look at an element with even 30 cm of thickness and it would essentially provide the same results as using a thermometer on the surface of the element. It’s required to use embedded sensors at this point.

      I hope that answers your question! Please feel free to email me at roxanne@giatec.ca if you have any further questions.

  1. Now it is high tech instrumentation is available to monitor temperature. During 1980 we were to monitor temeprature by placing electrical wire and using Wheatstone bridge principle to monitor temperature for chimney raft and TG deck concrete wherein the cold water pipes were left inside to monitor temperature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

concrete testing lab

Revolutionizing Third-Party Concrete Testing with SmartRock® Wireless Sensors

Often, third-party testing agencies face several challenges with standard temperature and strength monitoring systems. Some of these involve relying on multiple wired components and expensive concrete monitoring systems. Subsequently, concrete testing lab facilities require extra time to produce accurate data, and this presents a burden when contractors need this information right away.  Get Your First SmartRock Concrete Sensor for FREE Free Demo Kit How Can Technicians Solve This Challenge?SmartRock is the world’s leading wireless sensor for monitoring concrete curing and hardening. This fully embedded sensor attaches…

Book your meeting with us at World of Concrete,
January 17-19, 2023

The Big 5

Book your meeting with us at The Big 5, December 5-8

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, analyze site traffic and assist in our marketing efforts. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy Page.