The Limitations of the Concrete Maturity Method

concrete pour
concrete pour

As a company that develops and produces concrete testing equipment, we can’t stress how important it is to properly test concrete with reliable equipment. In the last decade, we’ve seen the arrival of real-time sensors that make it easier than ever to gather data and put it to good use. As maturity becomes more and more popular on jobsites around the world, we thought we would shed some light on what the concept of concrete maturity is and what its limitations are. 

What Is the Maturity Concept of Concrete? 

As stated in ASTM C1074: Standard Practice for Estimating Concrete Strength by the Maturity Method, the maturity concept of concrete can be used to “estimate the in-place strength of concrete to allow the start of critical construction activities such as: (1) removal of formwork and reshoring; (2) post-tensioning of tendons; (3) termination of cold weather protection; and (4) opening of roadways to traffic.” Maturity can be used to help your team stay on schedule by avoiding structural failures and making sure that you aren’t doing any of the activities above before your concrete has reached the required strength.  

Temperature v. time maturity method

In The Maturity Method: From Theory to Application, N.J. Carino and H.S. Lew describe the maturity method as “a technique to account for the combined effects of time and temperature on the strength development of concrete.” They also state that it is a fairly simple approach to estimating the in-place strength of concrete elements during construction. With the use of real-time sensors, maturity can be used not only to monitor the strength development, but to predict when your concrete will reach required strength which allows you to plan your project around the current state of your concrete curing. Rather than waiting for laboratories to come back with your break test results, which we know are not always the most reliable, you can depend on fully-embedded concrete sensors to give you maturity and strength data instantly.  

While we know that the concrete maturity method is the best way to predict the early-age strength and integrity of concrete elements, it, like anything else, also comes with some limitations.  

What Are the Limitations? 

It’s important to know the limitations of any tool or method used, especially when it comes to the safety of the workers on a project and the public that will be using the structure. One limitation of the maturity concept of concrete is that the in-place concrete is not always representative of the concrete cylinders used to calibrate the sensors or the equation in the lab. The reason for this is that there are often changes in the materials used in a mix, for example a higher water to cement ratio to regulate the temperature. Still, if you change your mix, you can re-calibrate your concrete in 5 easy steps

According ASTM C1074 and outlined in Concrete Maturity: Concept, Measurement and Application, the limitations of the concrete maturity method are summarized as follows:  

  • In-place concrete is not representative of the concrete used to develop the calibration in the lab. This can be because of changes in materials, water to cement ration, air content, batching method, etc;  
  • In-place concrete is not properly placed, consolidated, cured, etc;   
  • Very high early-age temperatures can lead to inaccurate estimation of strength at later ages;  
  • Using a datum temperature (for the Nurse-Saul function) that is not representative of the concrete mixture can result in incorrect estimation of strength.  

Knowing these limitations allows project managers and engineers to know what to pay extra attention to during ongoing building projects using the maturity method. As mentioned in Concrete Maturity: Concept, Measurement and Application, “routine quality control tests should be performed to ensure the accuracy of the maturity – strength curve. These controls minimize any error in the estimation of in-place strength due to inherent limitations of the maturity method.” Despite these limitations and partially due to the fact that they are easy to overcome, the maturity method is still one of, if not the, most reliable method for measuring and predicting the in-place strength of concrete. 

Sources

ASTM International

The Maturity Method: From Theory to Application

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Use These Tech Tools for More Efficient Cold Weather Concreting

Let’s dive into our sensors in detail.   Learn More SmartRock Sensors:    SmartRock is a wireless concrete sensor designed for temperature and strength monitoring with the ability to record real-time temperature data for every 15-minute interval for 2 months and comes with remote-monitoring capabilities. It is fast, simple, designed rugged and waterproof, and can be activated and installed hassle-free. The sensor contains two points of temperature measurements located in the sensor cable and body, and comes with an extended temperature cable and probe for mass concrete purposes. This sensor can measure temperature as low as -22℉ (-30℃) with an accuracy range of ±1℃.   The SmartRock sensor, containing a black box, a…

Everything You Need to Know About Pouring Concrete in Winter

Winter is coming! Worried about the cold weather concreting that comes with it in the construction industry? We’ve got it covered with Giatec’s SmartRock sensors.  Keep reading to learn more.  Learn More The temperature is dropping, the days start to get shorter, and frost covers the ground. While it may be exciting to imagine a festive winter season, that is not what comes to mind when working in the construction industry. Especially, when you have a project to complete, a schedule to maintain, and a desired concrete temperature and strength to achieve; the pressure is on when dealing with factors like freezing of concrete at an early age, rapid temperature changes, all…

Giatec’s Unique Concrete Knowledge Resources

The Giatec Scientific website is a treasure trove of concrete knowledge, ranging from blogs and case studies to podcasts and videos! Find a few of our exclusive resources below: Learn More Giatec’s Concrete Terminology Search Bar Need a one-stop destination for searching definitions for a plethora of terms related to concrete knowledge? Make sure to check out our concrete terminology search bar! To search for a term related to cement or concrete, just type a word in the search bar. Try rebar, rodding, aggregates, cracking, or…

Essential Guide for World of Concrete!

January 18-20, 2022 | Las Vegas

Visit us at Booth #N1253

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.