Benefits of the Maturity Method
The Maturity Method has proven to be one of the most reliable methods to estimate in-place concrete strength. Thanks to new technologies and smart maturity systems like Maturix, which utilizes wireless temperature sensors and cloud computing, the Maturity Method has become a fast and easy-to-use method for real-time strength estimation.
The benefits of using the Maturity Method are many and in this article we have gathered some of them.
1. Reduced project time and costs
Every construction project has two concerns, delays and overall costs. The Maturity Method gives real-time insights into the concrete strength development which helps to optimize planning and use ressources more efficiently.
For example, in the Bagsværd Bridge project, the team was able to remove the formwork seven days earlier than they expected. This cut down the equipment rental costs and reduced their total project time. This was possible since the strength was estimated in real-time using Maturix. Without the use of the Maturity Method, they would not have been aware that their concrete was strong enough for formwork removal earlier than planned.
Moreover, the Maturity Method reduces the number of test samples and laboratory testing needed. This is because the information is gathered by temperature sensors placed in the structure. The maturity and strength calculations are done instantly when new temperature readings are being received, which they are constantly. This reduces the time waiting for test results, the costs of excessive laboratory testing, and the need for preparing and testing more samples than what is actually needed.
Below are some of the many factors that will help you reduce the time and costs of your project:
2. Improved project execution
At the construction site, there are always problems arising that must be solved fast. If you are the site manager, you probably spend a majority of your time making sure that everything is how it should be or plan the next important steps. Temperature and strength monitoring are important parts of the project as these affect how fast the project and all of its phases are completed.
With testing methods, like traditional break tests, it is unclear when to start testing the samples or when the test results will be back from the laboratory. This makes it very hard to be efficient as everything needs to be done in the last minute, normally causing additional costs and inefficient use of equipment and labour. With the Maturity Method, the results are displayed for the whole strength development process. This allows you to check, at any time, what the strength is and take your decisions accordingly.
If you are using a maturity system like Maturix, the strength information will be available remotely and alarms can be set at specific parameters. This means that you can see the strength information and get notified wherever you are. This allows you to follow the curing process without the need of being personally on-site. You can even follow the hardening of your concrete from half around the world!
3. Get accurate strength estimations
Getting strength estimations that are accurate is crucial, as this will help determinate when the next step can be started. If the estimations are inaccurate, the structure may not be strong enough, and might fail under load.
The Maturity Method estimates the concrete strength based on the actual temperature history of the structure and the concrete mix’s specific strength development (maturity calibration). Monitoring the structure’s actual temperature matters because the speed at which the concrete cures is affected by it. If the temperature is high, the concrete will develop strength faster than if the temperature is low.
The Maturity Method takes this into consideration when calculating the strength of the concrete. Instead of trying to guess the strength based on previous experience or wait for break tests results, the Maturity Method allows you to accurately measure the strength development of your structure – even under changing weather conditions.
4. Get your documentation done automatically
Documentation is an important part of any construction project. Many different documents are required to fulfill regulations or quality procedures. It can be hard to obtain documentation of high quality as many workers have other tasks they need to work on. Some workers even dread to fill these documents as they would rather be doing something “more practical”.
By using the Maturity Method, the documentation of the temperature and strength monitoring can be automated almost 100% by using Maturix. The system will show the full temperature history, make all the maturity calculations automatically, and display the correlating strength development over time. The data can be exported in different formats and shared within the organization and with the building owner. That the documentation is created automatically ensures that the requirements are fulfilled, while saving a lot of your workers’ time.
5. Reduce the risks of cracks and defects
Thermal cracking can be one of the most challenging effects to manage in concrete. The risk of cracks and defects increases when the concrete is cured under extreme environments, which might be the case in very hot or cold weather, when producing special concrete elements, or in mass concrete applications.
In many of these applications, concrete simulations are made beforehand in order to design the structure correctly and choose the appropriate concrete mix. However, these simulations might be inaccurate, as several factors such as the ever-changing weather conditions can be hard to predict in advance.
Constant monitoring on-site with the Maturity Method can provide more precise data about your in-field concrete. You can see the internal temperature and temperature differentials in real time and take immediate actions to mitigate the risk of cracks and defects. Some customers of Maturix even monitor their cooling systems to stay in full control allowing them to always deliver concrete works of excellent quality.
6. Increase safety and quality
Break tests can give inconsistent results leaving you with the responsibility to find the root cause of the problem. This can be nerve wracking since it can be hard to figure out if is is just a faulty result or a real safety concern.
With the Maturity Method, you can monitor the strength development at the critical spots in your structure. This is important because sometimes the surface or a zone in the structure does not cure as fast as the rest. If excessive load is applied on the surface or on the weak zone this may fail compromising the safety of your workers.
The Maturity Method gives you a clear overview of what is going on in your structure to help you to detect problems as soon as they occur. Then you can take actions to improve the curing process to assure the desired quality and the workers’s safety.