What Factors Affect Concrete Strength


Concrete is the foundation of modern construction, chosen for its durability and versatility. However, achieving optimal concrete strength requires an in-depth understanding of the various factors that influence its performance. In this blog, we will use our expert industry experience to highlight what factors impact concrete strength.

Factors That Affect Cured Concrete Strength

an image of strong concrete stepsHow The Proportion Of The Concrete Mix Affects Strength

The strength of concrete is partly based on the proportion of its ‘ingredients’. Achieving optimal strength requires strict attention to the ratio of components. The recommended formulation for creating strong concrete is 1:2:3:0.5 (of cement, sand, aggregates, and water). Reducing water content accelerates solidification while adjusting the ratio to include more cement and less sand can make the final product more robust by providing the mixture with more of the bonding agent. SRC Group prioritises the creation of ready-mixed concrete with precisely formulated proportions, ensuring consistency, reliability and, above all, strength in each batch.

Quality Of Materials 

Concrete strength is heavily dependent on the quality of the raw materials used. Good quality raw materials lead to a stronger final product of concrete. The strongest forms of concrete are usually formulated using either crushed rock or recycled aggregate. At SRC Group, we pride ourselves on the standard of our aggregates. Sourced from our own East Anglian based quarries, between our state-of-the-art processing equipment and highly skilled workforce, we can guarantee that our primary aggregates are top quality. We also offer recycled aggregates, subject to the same high standards as our primary aggregates, which are obtained through our waste management process.

The quality of cement used also determines the strength of the concrete that is created. Research indicates that using finer cement enhances the strength of the concrete. Additionally, it is essential to consider the manufacturing date of the cement, as its strength tends to decline over time, with a recommended limit of three months from production.

image of a man pouring concreteDrying & Curing Temperatures 

The influence of temperature during the drying of concrete can affect the final strength, although there is no direct correlation. Concrete which is dried at a higher temperature initially gains strength faster than if dried at a lower temperature. However, concrete dried at a higher temperature may have lower strength in the long run since the cement had less time to form well-structured bonds, leading to increased porosity. To achieve optimal bonding, a balance is crucial. Drying the concrete at a temperature that prevents excessive porosity and premature drying allows the bonds to form before air and voids compromise the final product. It is recommended to maintain a temperature between 12°C and 22°C for the first 28 days to attain the strongest form of concrete.

Curing Conditions

The process of curing concrete involves allowing the dried concrete to age in a controlled environment in order for it to strengthen further. As we talked about earlier, temperature is a key factor during this period but there is one other crucial aspect. The final strength of the concrete is significantly impacted by the humidity of the environment in which it is curing. To create the strongest concrete, high humidity levels are recommended. Often, around 85-90% humidity is optimal due to the cement needing continuous moisture. The length of the curing process can vary for different types of concretes however, in general, the period should last for around 28 days to achieve the best results. We have previously written in more detail about the concrete drying and curing process if you would like to read that article here.

What Makes SRC Concrete So Strong?

Overall, the strength of concrete is heavily influenced by all of the factors mentioned above. SRC Group’s commitment to producing high-strength concrete is grounded in our understanding of these key aspects. Our use of precisely measured proportions in our ready mixed concrete ensures consistency and reliability in every batch. Quality raw materials, such as aggregates sourced from our own quarries, guarantee a high standard for our products. The careful selection of the cement we use further contributes to the strength of our concrete. Temperature and humidity levels while curing also have an impact on the final strength. Therefore, there are many elements that can determine the final strength of concrete.

SRC Group strives to take every measure we can to provide the strongest concrete for any construction project. Our ready mixed concrete is suitable for a wide range of applications and is available for delivery across Essex.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your concrete requirements. You can call us on 0208 594 0169 or email us at enquiries@srcgroup.co.uk


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