Develop High Early Strength Concrete

How to Develop High Early Strength Concrete for Construction Projects?

High early strength concrete is a type of concrete mix that increases the level of initial strength in concrete. It is often believed to be a concrete mix which gains high strength at the early stages of curing. Everyone in the construction industry knows that there are three main factors that determine the performance of concrete – admixtures, water-to-cement ratio, and cement.

According to construction experts, it is recommended to develop high early strength concrete if you want the concrete to set quicker and retain optimal strength.

In this blog, we will find out how to create high early strength concrete for construction projects, and its various benefits and advantages.

What is High Early Strength Concrete?

High early strength concrete is also known as “fast track concrete”. You can develop high early strength concrete with the usual concrete components, including special admixtures and special concreting techniques. This type of concrete gets its optimal strength at an early stage during the curing process, as compared to conventional concrete.

Normally, concrete usually takes a few hours to several days to gain optimal strength, depending on specific components. High early strength concrete is very useful for rapid form reuse, high-speed cast-in-place construction, fast pre-cast concrete production, fast-track paving, quick pavement repairs, and for construction in cold weather.

Tips to Develop High Early Strength Concrete

It is easy to achieve high early strength in concrete by using one, or combining several techniques listed below.

Here are easy tips to develop concrete with high early strength –

1 – High Cement Content

The easiest way to make concrete gain high early strength is by increasing the cement content in the concrete mix. According to construction experts, increasing the cement content between 400 kg/m³ to 600 kg/m³ in the concrete mix can help achieve high early strength concrete.

2 – Type III Portland Cement

Type III Portland Cement is a popular high early strength cement that is designed to react quicker than Type I cement or conventional cement.

This high early strength cement gains around 70% of its 28-day strength in just 3 days. The initial setting time for concrete made with Type III Portland cement is around 45 minutes while it only takes 6 hours to set fully.

3 – Higher Freshly-Mixed Concrete Temperature

As the temperature of freshly mixed concrete increases, so does the need to hydrate it more. Hence, raising the temperature of newly mixed concrete also enhances the strength development process in concrete, which in turn, produces high early strength concrete.

4 – Low Ratio of Water-to-Cement Materials

High early strength concrete can also be produced by reducing the water-to-cement ratio in the mix between 0.20 to 0.45 by mass. Normally, construction experts recommend using 0.32 to 0.42 water-to-cement material ratio to develop high early strength concrete on-site. However, to get even higher early strength in concrete, it is recommended to mix around 0.20 weight/cm.

5 – Chemical Admixtures

Some construction concrete admixtures with accelerant properties are also used to produce high early strength concrete. For instance, calcium chloride is an excellent example of chemical admixture that can ensure high early strength in concrete. The accelerant admixture boosts the rate of hydration of the concrete which helps to create high early strength in the cement-mix.

6 – Autoclave / Steam Curing

The Autoclave or Steam Curing technique is another effective way to gain high early strength in concrete. The total compressive strength achieved with autoclaved concrete in the first 24 hours is equal to the compressive strength of concrete that is normally achieved in 28 days under normal curing conditions.

7 – Supplementary Cementitious Materials

Using supplementary cementitious material in concrete also produces high early strength concrete. The combined properties of higher curing temperature and ground granulated blast furnace slag helps the concrete achieve high early strength.

8 – Heat Retaining Insulation

Another simple way to ensure high early strength development in concrete is to use insulation that traps the heat in fresh concrete soon after it is poured or laid.

Related Post: Everything You Need to Learn About the Compressive Strength of Concrete

Advantages of Using High Early Strength Concrete

There are several benefits and advantages of using high early strength concrete in construction projects, which are not possible to achieve using conventional concrete.

High early strength concrete has enhanced durability, additional strength, better workability, and effective resistance to chemical attacks. These properties make high early strength concrete far better than conventional concrete.

Though high early strength concrete is more expensive than conventional concrete, the various advantages it offers make it worth the extra cost.

Let’s check out some of the major advantages of using high early strength concrete –

1. High early strength concrete is easier to place/pour and consolidates without compromising its compressive strength.

2. It lowers the average required volume of concrete by reducing the size of structural components which helps to increase the usable area.

3. As smaller sections are sufficient to bear heavy loads, it helps to reduce the size of structural components, like columns and beams.

4. It also reduces the thickness of floor slabs and the supporting beam sections which are high contributors of weight and cost in majority of construction projects.

5. It also cuts the superimposed dead load and self-weight by reducing the smaller structural components, such as slabs, columns, and beams which leads to using smaller foundation size and reduce the overall cost of construction remarkably.

6. High early strength gain in concrete also gives the structures higher resistance to seismic activities as compared to conventional concrete.

7. It also provides improved abrasion resistance to concrete surfaces.

8. It helps to lessen the formwork used, which inherently reduces the cost of construction too.

9. High early strength gain of high-performance concrete also helps decrease shoring and stripping time of formwork.

10. It successfully lowers the average cost of constructing high-rise buildings.


You can develop high early strength concrete by using Portland III cement, lowering water-to-cement ratio, increasing cement content, creating high freshly mixed concrete, or by using chemical admixtures provided by Sakshi Chem Sciences Pvt Ltd. Construction experts highly recommend using chemical admixtures to gain high early strength in concrete for the strong, durable, and affordable construction projects.