3 Unexpected Benefits of Smart Concrete™ for Flatwork Contractors
Simply put, Smart Concrete™ is a rugged concrete maturity system, coupled with powerful reporting and data sharing capabilities, and real-time temperature monitoring. As with all maturity systems, the contractor can benefit from knowing real-time strength allowing him to post-tension decks, strip forms, or open pavements to traffic sooner. However, with the ease of real-time temperature monitoring in Smart Concrete, contractors have found a few new unexpected benefits.
Reduced Plastic Shrinkage Cracking: By coupling the real-time concrete temperature with the standard nomograph for estimating evaporation rate, contractors can quickly see if they're concrete is at risk of plastic shrinkage cracking. Especially in warm dry weather, this can tell the contractor when they need to protect the concrete with either an evaporation retarder or a fog spray to reduce the evaporation rate and prevent cracking.
Reduced Delaminations: Another summertime phenomena, delaminations occur when the surface of the concrete dries or stiffens faster than the body of the concrete which fools the finishers into getting on it too soon. By using two smart concrete sensors, one with the thermocouple near the surface and one measuring temperature in the middle of the concrete, contractors can see when the concrete is setting and when it is crusting. If it is crusting they can reduce delaminations by simply waiting to finish the concrete and thus avoiding trapping the bleed water below the surface.
Reduced Mix Cost: By purchasing Smart™ concrete mixtures from their ready mix supplier, contractors are more able to match the performance of their concrete with their construction schedule. At the beginning of the project, when they submit their mixes, they are submitting a range of mixes that might work in a post-tensioned application, for example. Then as they start the project they can use any mix that meets the 28-day design strength, but also meets their early strength requirements. This allows contractors to not always pick the richest mix for their post-tensioned work. Which means they're saving money on their concrete, while also saving money on finishing costs by using an easier to finish concrete mixture.
Image credit: http://www.redcoidaho.com/2013/03/24/flaking-or-chipping-concrete-causes-and-solutions/