Piling is a robust, long lasting foundation method used to support large, heavy structures. Concrete is an often-used material for piling, due to its high durability and cheap cost, but concrete requires curing to be used effectively.
Curing is a process that helps maintain the concrete’s moisture and temperature for a longer amount of time, increasing the strength of the concrete and preventing cracks in the concrete. These cracks can eventually result in the piles having issues such as corrosion due to humidity in the pile. It is done immediately after the concrete has been poured.
When there is a lack of moisture in the concrete, it can result in problems such as:
- A lack of strength in the pile
- No resistance to freezing and thawing.
- Shorter lifetime of the pile
As well as moisture, temperature is very important for concrete to stay durable and keep its strength. Generally, piles are supposed to be maintained at around 10 degrees Celsius to stay effective over time.
Issues with high temperature concrete include:
- Faster degradation of the piling
- Higher probability of corrosion
- Higher chance of shrinking, leading to cracks in the concrete
Issues with low temperature concrete include:
- Freezing water, resulting in cracks
- Drastic reductions in the strength of the concrete
There are a large variety of concrete curing methods that depend on the characteristics of the concrete. These include:
- Membrane curing – A liquid material is sprayed over the concrete to solidify into a membrane. This prevents evaporation of moisture. There are either oil or water based membranes.
- Sheet curing – Different types of sheets that are used to prevent evaporation of moisture. Materials like plastic are used, as they are watertight and easy to manage. Curing blankets are used to prevent evaporation during the curing process.
- Heat absorption – Pipes are set inside of the concrete to absorb heat. This also lets moisture circulate in the concrete. The sudden change in temperature could however cause cracks.
If you’re looking for advice and consultation regarding your upcoming piling project, or for more information about our commercial piling and mini-piling services, visit our website or get in touch with a member of our team to learn more!