Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Curing of High-Performance Concrete for Strength: Phase I Study



Nicholas J. Carino, K W. Meeks


This paper reports the results of an exploratory study on the effects of curing duration on the variation of mortar strength with distance from the drying surface. A novel, notched cylindrical test specimen was adopted for measuring tensile strength at different depths. Two mortar mixtures with w/c of 0.30 and 0.45 were used; the former was assumed to be representative of the paste system in a high-performance concrete. Specimens were moist cured for (1, 3, or 7) d and then exposed to air at 25 C and 50 % or 70 % RH. The cylinders were sealed to simulate one-dimensional drying in a large member. Tensile strengths were measured at 28 d. Relationships between tensile strength and depth were compared with those of specimens continuously moist cured. The data tended to show that 1 d of moist curing might be sufficient to ensure adequate strength development at a depth of 25 mm from the exposed surface. The phenomenon of increasing strength with drying may have confounded the results, and recommendations for additional studies are provided.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6505
Report Number


building technology, curing, high-performance concrete, mortar, statistical analysis, tensile strength


Carino, N. and Meeks, K. (2001), Curing of High-Performance Concrete for Strength: Phase I Study, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 29, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created April 1, 2001, Updated February 19, 2017