Concrete curing - goals and potentials

Strategies to minimize restraintstresses in conventional reinforced-concrete structures and in particular in water-impermeable structures

The main function of concrete curing is to minimize premature evaporation of water across the concrete surface. Concrete can achieve the desired strength and durability characteristics only if a sufficient amount of water is available in the concrete fringe zone for the ongoing hydration processes. Another function of curing is to avoid larger temperature differences in the concrete cross-section to counteract potential crack formation.

The aim of the new Guide to Good Practice on Concrete Curing (March 2019 edition) is to provide assistance to building contractors to select suitable curing measures and to determine the required duration of the concrete curing process depending on the functions and goals to be achieved by curing and within the scope of Eurocode 2 or ZTV-ING (Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für Ingenieurbauten; Additional Technical Terms of Contract and Guidelines for Engineering Structures). The information and recommendations included in the Code of Practice on Concrete Curing are additionally intended to achieve a comprehensible documentation of the curing process as defined by DIN EN 13670 and DIN 1045-3.

The objective(s) of concrete curing listed below determine the kind and duration of the curing measure(s):

1. achieving sufficient strength and high durability (density) of the concrete fringe zone;

2. reducing the potential for cracks resulting from early shrinkage (plastic shrinkage);

3. reducing the potential for cracks resulting from thermal stresses caused by strain resulting from:

a. development of hydration heat in the concrete; or

b. prevailing weather/ambient conditions in particular in the case of non-shuttered concrete surfaces;

4. meeting requirements placed on the look of exposed concrete surfaces.


DIN EN 13670 and DIN 1045-3 do not explicitly deal with measures for reducing the potential for cracks resulting from restraint strains caused by changes in temperature and any resulting stresses (objective 3), or with curing exposed concrete surfaces (objective 4).

The Code of Practice on Concrete Curing also includes detailed information on controlling heat dissipation, in particular in connection with implementing design principles relating to crack formation.

Related articles:

Issue 2009-06 Performance-based quality control in Norway

Durability and service life of concrete structures

In recent years, an extensive amount of research has been carried out in order to better understand and control several of the most important deteriorating processes acting on concrete structures in...

Issue 2017-02 Potentials for the precast industry

Bridge construction with UHPFRC precast elements

Stringent requirements for bridge structures due to rising traffic volumes, accompanied by the age structure of bridges in Germany, are calling for fast construction of new and replacement structures....

Issue 2017-06 Opterra

Optablue for low-cracking massive concrete elements

Many civil engineering structures consist of massive concrete elements. Special requirements are placed on the concrete used for these elements to ensure the duration of their effectiveness and...

Issue 2020-02 Accelerating concrete hardening

Alternatives to heat curing

In the production of precast elements, special focus is given to optimizing early strengths. High early strengths are a prerequisite for two-shift or three-shift operation with the corresponding...

Issue 2018-02 Compressive strength of lightweight concrete masonry

Defining fk values in the national annexes to EC6

One of the main objectives in revising DIN 1053-1 was a more differentiated description of the compressive strength of masonry as a function of the different types of blocks used in order to be able...