construction 1The Construction Industry has had many occasions to use our equipment. In many cases, this has been to condition concrete which is the major material used. I have over the years been heavily involved in construction as an Engineer with, at the time, one of the UK largest construction companies in the UK. 

Problem

Concrete pours vary in size from a few cubic meters to thousands of cubic meters.  The issue with concrete is that it needs moisture to prevent the material drying out too quickly. On a very large mass pour the heat generation from the cement hydration causes a thermal reaction and heat generated cannot dissipate to the external surfaces.  When concrete comes into contact with the ambient air, it cools causing shrinkage, which in turn causes stress fractures internally, weakening the structure. 

Solution

It is often the case in the UK that after finishing the pour and the concrete has gone off so access onto the slab can be made, water is poured onto the surface to both cool and hydrate the material for a number of days. This allows the heat within the slab to dissipate as it evaporates the water on the surface. 

construction 2Desiccant Dryair in warmer climates have supplied evaporative cooling systems that lowers the air temperature to saturation slowing evaporation by ambient air in contact with the slab. Water is still applied to the surface to slow the thermal heat generation, sometimes hessian is laid on top to retain this damp layer.

Problem

Once concrete has dried, there is a real need to increase the speed in which structures and buildings are finished. For this reason there is a real issue now with the drying of the concrete slab. This can take up to a twelve month period to obtain a level of moisture that can allow the slab to be finished with paint or floor coverings.

If the slab is not allowed this drying period, paint will form blisters underneath as moisture comes to the surface or floor coverings after a short time will start to give off a damp odour as the moisture is trapped.

Solution

Using a Desiccant Dryair dehumidifier from our standard range will draw the moisture out of the concrete as the difference between the concrete moisture level and the air being dried by the dehumidifier increases. This means the finishing of floors can be carried out with confidence knowing that there will be no issues with moisture and that buildings can be handed over to the client quicker.