How Do You Measure The Strength Of Concrete?

When looking at concrete work there is more to consider than just the aesthetics. One of the most important elements of concrete is the strength of the substance, and that can be affected by all kinds of things—from the type of mix used, to the way the concrete was installed to the time it was given to set. That’s why it’s so important to know exactly how strong a certain concrete installation is. While there are many ways to measure the strength of concrete, we’re going to go over the three methods we find to be the most effective. 


The most common measurement method is to use what are known as field-cured cylinders. These are cylinders that are casted and cured then sent away to a third-party lab for testing. This is one of the most effective methods because it allows the testing to be done in a scientific environment and by people have no reason to alter the results for their benefit. That’s why this has remained the most popular method of testing concrete strength since the 19th century. 


Often, people either don’t want to wait for a field-cured test, or they don’t want to pay for the expenses that come along with having a third party do the testing. As a result, many people use more modern methods. Some concrete workers even believe that these new methods are more reliable than the cylinder methods. 


One of the most common new methods is what is called Rebound Hammer Test.

 This method required a tool that uses a spring release to drive a plunger-tipped hammer down into the concrete that is being tested. The distance the hammer is rebounded is measured and assigned a score between 10 and 100. That score directly reflects the strength of the concrete. 


While the rebound hammer test is quick and effective, it is not always reliable since the surface conditions of the concrete being tested can directly affect the outcome. Whenever this method is used its imperative that the tester ensure the surface of the concrete is clear of any conditions that could adversely affect the test. 


Another common concrete strength test used today is what is called the drilled core method. As the name suggests, this method involves drilling into the concrete and extracting a core sample. That sample is then put into a compression machine to test its strength. 


The drilled core method is highly effective, and can even be used to test the strength of concrete that was cast decades ago. The downside to this method is that it is impossible to do without destroying some of the concrete that is being tested. This can be a big problem for a lot of people. 


The strength of concrete is even more important than the aesthetic nature of whatever concrete project is being tested. It doesn’t matter if it looks good if the concrete is going to break apart before it’s supposed to. There are many methods to test concrete, each with their own pros and cons. It doesn’t particularly matter which method is used as long as the testers take the time to ensure their results are accurate. 


Of course, for people working on home projects it’s always best to have a professional come in and do the assessment for you. To learn more about your concrete needs we encourage you to reach out to Razorback Concrete at

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