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Federal Highway Administration
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Washington, DC 20590

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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-09-0050
Project Name:   Computer-Based Guidelines for Curing Concrete
Project Status:   Completed
Start Date:  September 16, 2009
End Date:  January 15, 2011
Contact Information
Last Name:  Faridazar
First Name:  Fred
Telephone:  202-493-3076
E-mail:  fred.faridazar@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Pavement Design and Construction Team [HRDI-20]
Program:   Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   The SmartCure system was developed for the Federal Highway Administration as an aid for evaluating curing conditions during paving, and to provide reliable and realistic guidelines on proper curing. The system consists of measuring components connected to a laptop computer operating a Windows®-based software program. Further work is required for successful implementation of the SmartCure system. Fiscal Year 2005 funds were used to initiate this research study. Field evaluations for the SmartCure were completed onsite during real pavement projects on three locations in Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal Year 2008. The field evaluation phase proved the SmartCure system as functional, reliable, and accurate in the field. The system successfully relates ambient weather conditions to fresh concrete properties, and alerts the user of potentially critical conditions based on user defined or default thresholds. Most immediate problems regarding components and software were addressed during, or just after, individual site visits. However, some problems encountered in the field could not be readily addressed and will require future work for successful implementation of the SmartCure system. It became clear that future work should focus on the development of a more portable SmartCure system housing for the laptop and its accessories. Ideally, a more compact and wireless version of the current system would best meet the needs of a field environment. Not only would the laptop equipment be less of a burden on the cure cart operator, but the automatic, real-time calculation of distance between the paver and cure cart would be obtainable. SmartCure works; the system is just not as practical for the field as it could and needs to be for implementation. Future work should focus on optimizing practicality by making the system wireless. Also, replacing the laptop with a hand-held receiver (e.g. pocket PC or cell phone) that could receive the warnings and recommendations SmartCure generates would increase practicality by offering mobility, thereby making the system less obtrusive to the cure cart operator. A hand-held, wireless receiver would allow an inspector, project manager, or paving supervisor to be more aware of curing conditions no matter where they are on the job, as opposed to only the cure cart operator standing next to the laptop screen.
Goals:   Construction and Material Quality Innovation.
Product Type:   Hardware
Research report
Test Methodology:   Analytical and experimental work both in the lab and in the field.
Expected Benefits:   Inadequate curing of concrete pavement results in excessive moisture loss from the concrete and/or thermal gradients. This may damage the pavement structure. Typical distresses that can develop due to inadequate curing include plastic shrinkage cracking, drying shrinkage cracking, thermal cracking, and surface defects, such as spelling. The SmartCure will allow highway agencies to monitor the paving process, create a permanent record of environmental conditions, and provide real-time warnings when environmental conditions suggest an increased risk of damage to the new pavement structure.
Deliverables: Name: SmartCure
Product Type(s): Research report, Software, Hardware
Description: The product is the development of user-friendly computer-based guidelines for curing of concrete pavements.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology
TRT Terms:   Pavements
FHWA Disciplines:   Construction and Project Management
Pavement and Materials
Subject Areas:   Construction


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101