About the research
Internal curing (IC) is a practical way of supplying additional curing water dispersed throughout a concrete mixture. Such water can improve the hydration of cement, reduce autogenous shrinkage, and improve durability. The fundamental concept is to provide reservoirs of water within the matrix such that the water does not increase the initial water/cementitious materials ratio of the mixture, but becomes available for helping continue hydration once the system has begun to dry out.
Numerous studies have reported premature transverse cracking resulting from insufficient curing of concrete pavements. This represents both a safety issue and a cost issue in terms of transportation agencies’ time and money required to implement repair solutions. There has been considerable work conducted both in the laboratory and in the field to confirm that IC concrete is fundamentally sound and practical for construction purposes.
The primary objective of this research study is to perform a full-scale field demonstration of the IC technology and its efficient performance benefits for Iowa’s city and county roadways and state highways. In consultation with the project Technical Advisory Committee, two upcoming construction projects conducted by the city, county, or Iowa Department of Transportation will be identified for IC concrete field demonstration. This type of technology is suitable for use in a variety of transportation infrastructure components, including roads, bridges, sidewalks, rest areas, etc.
Two potential sites of interest to Iowa county engineers are W61 Riverside Road in Washington County, Iowa, and County Road W34 in Winneshiek County, Iowa. At at least one of these two sites, IC concrete technology would be implemented in a concrete overlay project to evaluate the performance of such pavement systems, and there is a strong likelihood that it would be found beneficial to implement both pavement sections using IC concrete technology.