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Internal curing of high performance concrete using lightweight aggregates and other techniques.
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  • Abstract:
    Internally cured concrete has been rapidly emerging over the last decade as an effective way to improve the

    performance of concrete. Internal curing (IC) holds promise for producing concrete with an increased

    resistance to early-age cracking and enhanced durability (Bentz and Weiss, 2011). IC is a simple and effective

    way to cure concrete. Proper internal curing supplies water that is necessary to relieve stress buildup due to

    self-desiccation. Typically this is done using pre-wetted lightweight aggregates (LWAs), as this is the most

    commercially available application at the present time. IC has shown reduced autogenous and drying shrinkage

    cracking, improved fluid absorption resistance, improved compressive strength, and reduced ion diffusion. It is

    becoming increasingly clear that internal curing has great potential for the concrete industry to create a longer

    lasting, more sustainable product.

    This report specifically examines the freeze-thaw resistance of internally cured concrete. It is shown that

    internally cured concrete, using the recommended mixture proportions (i.e., pre-wetted fine LWAs to replace

    only the water lost due to chemical shrinkage) is freeze-thaw resistant.


    Internal curing has shown, as outlined in this report, to be a simple and cost-effective way to create longer

    lasting, more durable concrete. The initial cost of a bridge deck concrete can increase in price anywhere from 3

    to 10 $/yd3. However, this percentage when compared with the cost of bridge is typically negligible, especially

    when considering an increased service live and reduced maintenance cost. CDOT can benefit from this

    research by applying what has been presented in this study to create longer lasting, more durable bridge decks.

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