When curing freshly poured concrete specific care has to be taken to avoid the ‘green’ concrete freezing to permit the concrete to achieve it’s designed strength correctly. A variety of different materials can be employed to assist retain heat inside slab. Concrete frost blankets can be used to prevent surface freezing and protect the water content inside fresh slab freezing. Frost blankets can be found in relatively cheap closed cell polyethylene forms as well as the more costly electrically heated variety. Simple things such as using timber forms as opposed to steel will also help retain heat inside slabs.
Winter concreting brings more challenges for the batching plant. Ensure that your supplier understands your project requirements so that the correct utilization of aggregates, mix design and transport methods are used. Low slump mixes are recommended because it quickens setting times, you may even wish to consider using accelerators that literally speed up the chemical reaction, producing more heat and quickening setting times. Some suppliers could possibly supply a heated mix depending upon where you are. If that’s the case be sure that the concrete is laid as quickly as possible to gain the additional benefits this offers. It is strongly recommended to maintain the concrete temperature above 5 degrees Celsius until the concrete has reached 5Mpa.