A new line of research to enhance the performance of concrete under adverse (harsh) and normal (air cured) curing conditions is presented. A crystallising hydrophobic admixture and curing agents were added to fresh concrete to improve its resistance against severe environmental conditions. A two-stage approach was pursued by adding the crystallising admixture to fresh concrete followed by curing agents, in a wax and liquid forms, in a separate application process, followed by exposing concrete to normal and adverse curing conditions. Results obtained suggests that protecting concrete with the crystallising admixture followed by applying wax based curing agent improves concrete strength and its resistance to water ingress than concrete cured with the liquid curing agent. When following the crystallising-wax treating system under adverse curing conditions, a more conserved strength was noticed compared to that produced by the crystallising-liquid system. Using the liquid curing agent in concrete with high water to cement ratio (w/c) has increased the cracks in the internal structure, while water permeability has decreased, either under normal curing conditions or adverse conditions. Following this protection-curing system in industry would resolve the problem of applying protection on wet surfaces and increase concrete’s resistance to deterioration. A microscopic study of the crystallising material was attained with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to check crystal growth with time.
Bibliographical note© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://