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Steam Curing is done to get high early strength in concrete. The high early strength is an important need for the manufacturing company of precast and prestressed concrete units. These units demand forms and stress beds which is expensive.
Another importance of this curing is the last removal of concrete forms and moving the finished units to the storage yards is only can be done after achieving early strength gain of concrete units. The good use of steam curing results in this aims it increases the early gain of strength.
If the uncontrolled utilization of steam curing is done then it can lead to huge volumetric changes that can hamper the strength gain in the early stages.
If the concrete is not cured sufficiently, its strength and durability are decreased, and, the safety of the structure may be at risk of failure.
3. Methods of Steam Curing
It can be done by two methods:
a. Steam Curing of Concrete at Atmospheric Pressure
This process is done within a temperature range of 70 to 90ºF per hour which is merely dependent on the size and the shape of the concrete component. The method is done for the manufacture of large precast units and for enclosed cast-in-place structures.
b. Steam Curing by High Pressure
The method is utilized for small manufactured units. This curing process is done with autoclaves at a temperature range of 325ºF to 375ºF and a pressure range of 80 to 170psi.
4. Factors Affecting Steam Curing Method
The factors that affect steam curing are as follows:
1. Size and shape of the concrete element.
4. Cast-in-place versus precast concrete
5. Type of concrete
6. Material availability
7. Labor force
8. Aesthetics of concrete structure
The uses of steam curing are as follows:
a. It is used in manufacturing companies of precast and prestressed concrete units.
b. It is used where early strength of concrete is needed.
Here are the advantages noted below:
a. The best use for curing concrete at the time of cold weather conditions facilitates rapid hardening of concrete.
b. High early age strength can be attained.
c. Construction Speed is boosted.
d. It is very quick compared to other types of curing methods.
Here are the disadvantages noted below:
a. The method does not work efficiently for large surfaces.
b. The process must be carried out only by skilled laborers.
c. The initial cost of the steam curing process is very high.
8. Cost for Steam Curing System For Prestressed Concrete
The cost of this system may vary from country to country, here is the average price for this system.
|India||₹ 4.50 Lakh. ₹ 2.50 Lakh|
|USA||$6000 / Set|
In other countries, the average cost of it is around $1700-$1800 / Set.
|Read Also: Recycled Concrete Aggregate|