What is Hydration

Definition of Hydration in Construction

The hydration process in construction is the process in which cement, sand, gravel and water will create a hard synthetic material, called concrete. The water within the concrete mix will react with the Portland cement within the mixture and by hydration, will become hard and strong due to a chemical linking of the products within the mix. The less water that is used, the harder the resultant concrete will be, however, there is a minimum of water that is required to properly hydrate with the cement in the hydration process to cause the concrete to become hard and strong. In many instances a freshly placed concrete slab, beam or other construction element will be covered with a curing compound to ensure that the water remains within the concrete to allow proper hydration of the mixture to occur. Concrete continues to cure for long amounts of time, however after 28 days; the normal mixture of concrete will achieve approximately 95% of its overall strength. The act of hydration is the reason that when concrete is placed under water, it becomes hard and strong and will continue to harden, the longer the concrete remains in the water.