Curing is an important step to the final success of a concrete project. This step makes it stronger and more durable. During the hydration process, the water in the concrete reacts with the rest of the ingredients to create a stronger and more durable substance. By controlling the moisture level and temperature by which curing takes place, it’s possible to maximize the performance of your cured concrete and minimize the occurrence of shrinking and cracking.
Many factors can affect curing, from the composition of the concrete mix and its strength to how much concrete has been poured, current conditions (cold and rainy weather versus hot and sunny weather) and future conditions. There’s a standard curing formula established by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee, although cooler temps can make curing take longer and warmer temps can help speed up the process.
To ensure concrete cures properly, installers can use water to flood the surface. Water retention techniques like saturated mats, straw or sand can be used. Waterproof paper or plastic or a chemical membrane is also an option. It can be difficult to maintain a consistent water level using flooding and water retention techniques, and waterproof paper or plastic can leave concrete surfaces discolored. Using a chemical membrane like Pentra-Cure (MH) can eliminate these issues while providing an added benefit of increasing the strength and durability of the concrete.
Why Pentra®-Cure (MH) Stands Out
Applying Pentra®-Cure (MH) creates a physical membrane that holds in enough moisture for a proper cure, while a built-in densifier hardens the surface of the concrete and helps it resist abrasion. The high-tech lithium-based formula uses Responsive Separation Technology (RST)™. The nano-lithium silicate penetrates the concrete and reacts with the cement mix, while the curing compound remains on the surface as a barrier. The VOC-compliant Pentra®-Cure (MH) is eco-friendly and meets the ASTM C-309 standard.
Benefits of Using Pentra®-Cure (MH)
With the added hardening of the concrete that’s provided by this chemical membrane curing agent, users achieve long-term protection on their concrete surfaces against heavy-duty wear and tear. The simple, one-step application process enables curing, hardening and densification with a single product that’s easy to remove once curing is complete. Simply mix and spray while the technology does the rest. Pentra®-Cure (MH) requires minimal treatment time to be effective. This means reduced labor costs for concrete installation, as the work can be completed by a concrete finishing contractor or sub-contractor.
A chemical cure can be used in nearly any situation where a reliable and consistent concrete cure is needed in pursuit of a high-performance solution. Pentra®-Cure (MH) is applied with a sprayer, making it easy to use across large machine troweled areas. It goes on white and dries clear for convenience and accuracy. It’s an ideal solution where more labor-intensive cures like water cures or the removal of other chemical cures are impractical, expensive or have the potential to deliver a sub-par result. The result is a reliable, more abrasion resistant, cured and hardened concrete floor.
When to Use Pentra®-Cure (MH)
A chemical membrane cure like Pentra®-Cure (MH) is used when the concrete surface to be cured is especially large or subject to challenging conditions where water cures may not be appropriate. It helps concrete regulate the moisture needed in the chemical reaction to withstand wear and tear and freeze/thaw cycles without cracking. It keeps concrete stable at volume and condition, which is especially valuable when environmental conditions can interfere with proper curing. It also delivers abrasion resistance in manufacturing, industrial, institutional and other settings.
Using a Chemical Curing Agent
Once concrete surfaces are poured, they are prepared for curing. It may need cleaning to remove any debris, grime and filler that sits on top of the concrete. After the Pentra®-Cure (MH) is applied and is on the surface for the curing period, it needs to be removed. Use Pentra®-Clean (CR) Cleaner Restorer to remove the membrane, resulting in added hardening and protection of the concrete surface. This cleaner, combined with water and scrubbing, helps break down and lift the membrane while laying down additional nano-lithium. The concrete surface is hardened, densified, cured and ready for its next surface treatment, whether that’s an epoxy coat, polishing or other concrete treatment like Pentra®-Finish (HG).
When Boeing was constructing a new hangar in Everett, WA, to handle its aircraft production and assembly needs, the structure included 1.5 million square feet of concrete. The potential for joint and other concrete damage was a concern, as these problems surfaced at similar Boeing sites. In addition to adaptations made specifically to accommodate joint issues, several products were tested for curing the concrete. Pentra®-Cure (MH) was the top result both in performance and added durability. The single-step application process saved the company time and money because no additional staff was needed to complete the project, nor were additional security clearances required. In fact, Boeing liked the result so much, the company applied the same process at another site. Pentra®-Cure (MH) is now part of Boeing’s standard practice for similar projects because of its affordability, performance and efficiency of use.
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