A pillar of the building industry, concrete has been used to construct everything from homes and skyscrapers to schools and hospitals to airports and restaurants since first being introduced in a rudimentary form by the Egyptians several thousand years ago. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any structure today that isn’t constructed using some element of concrete thanks to its unmatched durability and strength. While the popularity of concrete as a building material has never been stronger, completing projects faster, which saves money, remains an ever-present desire among contractors.
The chemical process of curing standard concrete, also known as hydration, takes time. Over the years, new technology, materials and insights have led to a variety of concrete formulas that expedite the curing process, but not significantly enough to dramatically improve project schedules. However, about a decade ago that changed when calcium sulphate (CSA) and other dynamic admixtures were incorporated into concrete mix designs to facilitate rapid hardening while delivering the necessary structural strength and durability for building and repair jobs.
The advent of rapid-hardening concrete not only streamlined project schedules, but also minimized large voids and pores in concrete that cause premature cracking resulting in costly repairs and call backs. Obviously, these performance benefits were initially well received by contractors who envisioned increased margins on jobs without jeopardizing quality. Unfortunately, these early forms of rapid-hardening concrete mixes activated too quickly and didn’t provide contractors adequate working time on projects. In addition, the complex mix designs required additives that pushed many rapid-hardening concretes to more than $20 per 60-pound bag, which made it cost-prohibitive even when time was being saved on a job.
Earlier this year, the riddle of rapid-hardening concrete was solved with the introduction of QUIKRETE® Q-MAX Pro. The first and only concrete mix that delivers one-hour working time, three-hour walk-on time and 6,500 PSI compressive strength, QUIKRETE® Q-MAX Pro provides the perfect balance between working time and rapid strength for a variety of concrete applications including slabs, parking garages, bridge decks, roads, balconies, steps, floors, ramps, sidewalks and patios. In addition, it features alkali-resistant fiberglass fibers for crack resistance, an air-entraining admixture for a superior finish, easy workability and freeze-thaw durability, and an integral corrosion inhibitor. Available for approximately $10 per 80-pound bag, QUIKRETE® Q-MAX Pro finally gives contractors the cost-efficient, time saving rapid-hardening concrete they want. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.