The water causes the hardening of concrete through a process called hydration. Hydration is a chemical reaction in which the major compounds in cement form chemical bonds with water molecules and become hydrates or hydration products.
How Does Concrete Harden?
Concrete is one of the most popular building materials used in construction today. It is a composite material composed of cement, water, sand, and aggregate, which when mixed together form a paste that hardens once it is exposed to air. While this process is relatively simple, understanding how concrete hardens can help you use it more effectively in your projects.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that concrete does not harden on its own. In order for concrete to harden, it needs to undergo a process called hydration. During hydration, the cement particles in concrete react with the water and form crystals. These crystals then become embedded in the cement paste, binding the aggregate and sand together.
The rate of hydration is dependent on various factors, including the temperature, the amount of water used, and the amount of cement used. The more water used, the faster the hydration process. However, too much water can lead to a weaker concrete. Similarly, the temperature plays an important role in hydration. Cooler temperatures slow down the rate of hydration while warmer temperatures speed it up.
The hydration process is not instantaneous. The rate of hydration depends on the amount and type of cement used, as well