Conventional concrete is typically cured using external methods. External curing prevents drying of the surface, allows the mixture to stay warm and moist, and results in continued cement hydration (Taylor 2014). Internal curing is a relatively recent technique that has been developed to prolong cement hydration by providing internal water reservoirs in a concrete mixture that do not adversely affect the concrete mixture’s fresh or hardened physical properties. Internal curing grew out of the need for more durable structural concretes that were resistant to shrinkage cracking. Joint spacing for concrete overlays can be increased if slab warping is reduced or eliminated. One of the most promising potential benefits from using internal curing for concrete overlays, then, is the reduced number of joints due to increased joint spacing (Wei and Hansen 2008).
IHRB TR-676; InTrans Project 14-499
Iowa Highway Research Board; Iowa Department of Transportation
Babcock, Anthony Eugene and Taylor, Peter, "Impacts of Internal Curing on Concrete Properties" (2015). InTrans Project Reports. 120.