Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Re: Use of Sugar to Stop Concrete Curing


Old time concrete truck drivers use to keep a bag or two of sugar behind the seat in case they had a mechanical break down where they would throw the bag in the mix to keep it from hardening and ruining their drum.

For a more technical response, small amounts of sugar, say 0.03% to 0.15% will retard the setting time whereas at 0.25% or more it can cause rapid setting.  In any case it is not a good thing to put in concrete.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.

From:        Charles Canitz <>
Date:        11/16/2011 03:09 PM
Subject:        Use of Sugar to Stop Concrete Curing

I was recently contacted by a colleague who advised that a contractor for his project used a few pounds of sugar (purchaed from a nearby grocery store) to prevent concrete from curing. The concrete was placed for a communications manhole afterwhich it was realized it had the wrong compressive strength. Using the sugar allowed the placed concrete to be easilly removed in a viscous state (versus use of a jack hammer).
Anyone previously encounter a previous situation? I'm assuming that the sugar reacts with the cement such that the hydration process is negated.
Charlie Canitz
Annapolis, MD
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