Main Types of Concrete Failure & The Rapid Set Solution

Using traditional concrete products leaves projects open to a myriad of potential failures. Due to this possibility, there is a higher ongoing cost over time for both maintenance and repairs. Avoiding these failures altogether can be accomplished by using innovative and high-quality products including Rapid Set concrete, also known as belitic calcium sulfoaluminate (BCSA) cement.

What Is Rapid Set Concrete?

Rapid Set concrete offers several characteristics that provide superior performance. It’s a durable, fast-curing, and strong product that sets in as little as 15 minutes. It can also be retarded for as long as 45 minutes, if the project needs more working time.

Rapid Set concrete also demonstrates high early strengths according to laboratory trials: 20 MPs at one hour, 35 MPs at three hours, and 55 MPa at 24 hours.

It’s worth noting that Rapid Set concrete is not the same product sold in most hardware stores, as they do not contain the belitic calcium sulfoaluminate (BCSA) chemical compound. For this reason, most concrete you find in-store does not have the strength and durability properties that BCSA possesses.

Types of Concrete Failures

Why does using traditional concrete set projects up to potential failure? We’ve outlined the common types of concrete failures below, while highlighting how Rapid Set concrete addresses these issues.


Shrinkage is caused by mix water evaporation that prompts changes in volume as the cement hydrates. Known as autogenous shrinkage, it’s a characteristic that is important to everyone. As a matter of fact, every concrete specification includes a certain shrinkage limit.

Putting joints in concrete is a method that helps control the cracks that can occur due to the internal tension caused by shrinkage. Depending on the workmanship involved, shrinkage can be a large or minimal issue. Other problems within the project can also cause shrinkage as a carry-over consequence.

Rapid Set concrete reduces the issue of shrinkage because it’s designed to shrink three to four times less than Portland concrete. Another characteristic of Rapid Set concrete is that its quick strength gain enables the material to resist shrinkage on a synergistic level. Therefore, using Rapid Set concrete could potentially reduce a project’s dependence on joints.

Curling and Warping

Curling and warping are inherent properties of concrete, so this type of failure will also occur. The possibility of it becoming an issue is dependent on the application. For example, curling and warping can be a problem when it happens to road slabs. However, this may be of little importance when it comes to developing footpaths.

The heating and cooling of concrete causes curling and warping. While putting joints in concrete is a common way of controlling this issue, the curled edges may suffer from cracks and other joint issues when traffic moves over them.

Typically, the slab must be completely replaced or rehabbed at the least. The use of the road, as well as the costs involved, make this issue especially problematic.

On the other hand, Rapid Set concrete has been extensively tested in an elaborate field trial alongside Professor Vute Sirivivatnanon from the University of Technology Sydney. The results revealed that BSCA concrete performs on par with other high-quality Portland concrete.


Dusting is another type of concrete failure that is caused by a weakened concrete surface. This is typically the result of either bleed water that is worked back into the concrete or inadequate curing. When bleed water remains for longer periods of time, such as in colder climates, dusting can be a common issue.

When dusting occurs, surfaces will need to be replaced or repaired with a hardening product, which helps address the reduced resistance to impact and abrasion this issue brings. Using Rapid Set concrete, however, indirectly reduces the chances of dusting occurring because it doesn’t bleed.

Plastic Cracking

The changing weather is the primary cause of plastic cracking, which is why careful planning prior to pouring concrete is a must. In most cases, mild cracks are usually only a cosmetic issue.

Deeper cracks, however, could reduce the durability of the concrete and lead to the penetration of chlorides and other issues more quickly. Because Rapid Set concrete remains plastic for only a short amount of time, it is less likely to lose moisture.

Longitudinal Cracking

This type of cracking happens across a paving run’s length. It does so because drying shrinkage leads to internal tension.

Joints are often put into place in an effort to reduce this issue. It can be, however, difficult to identify the right time to saw the joints.

Because longitudinal cracking ranges from moderate to severe, it often compromises the integrity and longevity of concrete. And because Rapid Set hardens fast and helps reduce shrinkage stresses, it works better when used in conjunction with joints.

Curing and Timings

Curing and timing is extremely important when it comes to ensuring maximum concrete strength. When concrete is traveled over or when bolts are inserted too early while the concrete doesn’t yet have the structural strength required, the integrity of the project could be an issue.

With traditional concrete, the typical curing timeline ranges from three to seven days. Because of this curing timeline, Portland concrete is often not usable for a minimum of seven days.

Rapid Set, on the other hand, delivers an accelerated hydration curve that makes water curing unnecessary. Once Rapid Set has been placed, it is usable in as quick as 2 hours.

While traditional Portland concrete has a maximum holding time before it becomes unusable, this is not true of Rapid Set. Once the truck arrives, it can pour the concrete at any time while still retaining its usability.

Antoun: The Rapid Set Solution for Concrete Failures

Reduce the likelihood of experiencing the same concrete failures in your mission-critical projects by using Rapid Set concrete instead. If you’re eager to ensure the success of your construction projects while making sure the best quality of work is done the first time, Rapid Set concrete from Antoun gets you a high-performing, fast-setting structural repair material that’s suitable for use in general and structural concrete repair.

Get in touch with Antoun about your next project today and discover the difference innovative concrete products can make in the quality of your work.