Steam curing of precast elements develops the full strength of the concrete many times faster than curing at ambient temperature, which allows the precasting plant to reuse its casting beds on a 24-hour pouring cycle.
Why Are Precast Concrete Structural Elements Usually Cured with Steam?
Precast concrete structural elements are usually cured with steam for several reasons. Steam curing is one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of precast concrete products, providing several benefits that can be difficult to achieve with other curing methods. Steam curing helps to increase the strength of the concrete, making it more durable and less prone to cracking. The steam also helps to reduce shrinkage and helps to make the concrete more uniform in terms of color and texture.
The steam used in curing precast concrete also helps reduce the amount of water needed to hydrate the concrete mix properly. This helps to reduce the cost of production, as well as helping to reduce the amount of time that is necessary to cure the concrete. The steam also helps to reduce the level of shrinkage that can occur in fixed concrete, reducing the risk of cracks and other structural problems.
The steam also helps to speed up the curing process, allowing precast concrete structural elements to be manufactured and shipped to sites much faster. The steam also helps reduce the energy needed to heat the concrete, making it more economical to use. Additionally, the steam helps to reduce the amount of air that can enter the concrete mix, helping to reduce the amount of