Have you heard about the Maturity Method before?
If you have or know what this method is—GREAT, however, for those of us who have not heard about it yet, Maturity is classified as a Non-Destructive method used to estimate the strength of concrete in real-time.
The Maturity Methods is based on the principle that concrete strength is directly related to its temperature during the hydration process. Based on this principle, ASTM C 1074 emerged about 30 years ago, which is a concrete standard for estimating the strength of in-place concrete.
But, WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
It is important because it directly addresses some of the limitations of current concrete testing methods. Some of these methods can be expensive, labor-intensive, and lack accuracy in the estimations of concrete strength at the early stages of the construction process. In the construction industry, the Maturity Method (ASTMC 1074) is not widely used because of the lack of awareness and also because some old school methods have been practiced for hundreds of years, but that does not mean they are cheaper, faster, or provide more accurate results than the Maturity Method.
In fact, the lack of accurate early strength results can result in:
- Longer construction waiting time: Because of the inability to obtain accurate early strength results, general contractors are not able to perform post-tensioning, they are not able to remove formwork and stripping, saw cutting, and overall, the whole construction process is stopped until concrete strength results are obtained.
- Construction Failures: By not having access to accurate and reliable data on time, a general contractor undergoes the issue of prematurely performing post-tensioning, formwork removal, and even stripping which in some cases can lead to durability and performance issues and even structural collapsing.
Another important trend that the maturity method has brought to the concrete industry is the ability to incorporate technology to speed up the process of obtaining real-time data on concrete strength and quality. From strain gauges to maturity meters, and even concrete sensors that are fully embedded into fresh concrete to determine the in-place strength, these technological advancements are reshaping the concrete industry. By understanding strength developments in real-time, general contractors can confidently remove formworks sooner, perform structural post-tensioning, open roads faster, and better decision can be made on loading.
Despite all the benefits that the Maturity Method offers, it is not an easy task to create awareness in general contractors because they have been using old methods for concrete testing such as ‘Break Testing’ for a very long time. These other methods are not bad, but they cost a lot more than maturity meters and concrete results take a lot longer to be determined. Whether general contractors choose to incorporate maturity meters into their projects or not, our goal is to create awareness among them about the benefits that this new approach is bringing to the concrete industry.