Concrete contractors know that the strength of a completed project relies on the quality of concrete, and that can be compromised by fluctuations in temperature. When the temperature falls outside of concrete's upper and lower bounds for curing properly, the cement paste found in concrete will have a weaker structure. Gathering data on temperature levels throughout the curing process is the best way to ensure that a concrete structure will meet durability and strength requirements.

Gathering Data With Concrete Temperature Sensors

These types of Concrete Sensors are arguably the most important. Contractors can use them to measure temperatures throughout the entire mixing and curing process, and high-quality sensors can withstand temperature values of up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature sensors aren't what's revolutionizing the concrete industry. Wired sensors have been around for a while. The big difference now is that contractors can use wireless sensors to collect more accurate and comprehensive data, which can be transmitted in real time to apps on contractors' phones to let them know exactly when the concrete is finished curing.

The Importance of Sensor Placement

The placement of temperature sensors is crucial to getting accurate information. Sensor manufacturers offer clear guidance on best-use practices for their products. In general, these sensors are placed in key structural components at the concrete's hottest point. 

Some more advanced sensors collect data from multiple measuring points, which can further increase the accuracy of the data they provide. Cable sensors are usually placed on the reinforcement before pouring, while wall sensors are incorporated into form-facing and positioned along with formwork. Slab sensors can be placed directly on the surface following screeding.

AI-Driven Data Analysis

Modern concrete temperature sensors do more than collect data and send it to contractors directly. They use AI-driven algorithms to analyze the data first so that they can offer more useful analyses. Advanced programs store key data for future use and allow contractors to compare scenarios in the future to maximize project efficiency.

The Benefits of Wireless Sensors

Some concrete contractors are still using wired temperature loggers or even basic thermocouples. However, both of these methods of data collection are labor-intensive and prone to failure. The wires can become dislodged, or the worker responsible for checking the data logger could be running late, causing the whole team to lose valuable time. Fully embedded wireless sensors are much more effective and efficient. They offer the following.

Easier, faster installation

Simpler operation

Automatic data transfer

Minimal risk of damage following pouring

Maximum efficiency for the entire operation

Access to accurate data ensures adequate curing and allows contractors to move forward with projects as soon as it is feasible to do so. As anyone in the concrete industry knows, efficiency is the key to maintaining a healthy bottom line. The best sensors can boost efficiency further by analyzing data across projects to identify the most effective mixes and create projections for comparison by project planners.

Worth the Investment

Contractors who are still relying on old-fashioned thermocouples or wired-in temperature sensors should seriously consider making the switch to a more modern alternative. While it's true that upgrading comes at a cost, the small investment in sensors and the software required to communicate with them will pale in comparison to the money saved on future projects.