What Is Rapid Set Concrete?

Whether you’re working on a DIY project or are a business owner, making sure that you meet deadlines is important. With projects that involve concrete, the drying time can massively interfere with your chances of finishing on time. But there could be an alternative and that’s rapid set concrete. But what is rapid set concrete?

Rapid set concrete has a much shorter drying time than traditional concrete and is a material that can be used in some projects such as paving, repairs to concrete and fencing, among others. 

However, it’s important to remember that rapid set concrete is not suitable for all projects. This guide will tell you everything you need to know. 

What Is Rapid Set Concrete And What Is It Made From?

Rapid set concrete is a type of specialty concrete that is used in situations where downtime on the job must be avoided. This material is smooth and easy to handle but the most notable trait is how quickly it sets, hence the name. 

Regular concrete might take up to 48 hours to fully harden. In some cases, there just isn’t scope to wait this length of time so using rapid set concrete means that you may only need to wait around an hour for it to set. However, there are some instances that this fast-drying nature isn’t suitable and I’ll cover this in more detail later on.

Compared to a typical concrete mix, rapid set concrete has a much higher cement content. Along with cement, the main ingredients include water and aggregates as well as some admixtures which are included in order to speed up the process of hydration. What’s great is that it comes premixed so this will further reduce the time your project takes to complete. 

What Is Rapid Set Concrete Suitable For?

If you’re a DIYer then you’ll find that rapid set concrete comes in handy in many instances. For example, it’s ideal for things like minor renovations or repairs to things like posts, steps or paving. 

What’s more, if you’re working on a smaller scale project and there’s a chance of rainy, cold or damp weather, rapid set concrete makes a brilliant alternative to regular concrete.

A lot of people choose this material for jobs such as installing fence posts as it drastically cuts down the time needed to complete the work.

When Should I Avoid Using Rapid Set Concrete?

Rapid set concrete certainly has its uses but as with anything, it isn’t going to work in every situation. Generally speaking, you should avoid using rapid set concrete for large construction jobs, any load bearing applications or where you need to pour in multiple locations. Let’s explore why this is. 

One of the main plus points of rapid set concrete is the speed at which it dries. Therefore, if you’re working on a small job that doesn’t need tons of attention, it’s perfect. But when the job is a little more hands on, it won’t work where you might need to make changes once it’s poured.

Usually, with regular concrete, you’ve got the advantage of being able to work on the material to get a smooth result without any bubbles or areas that aren’t level. Being able to do this means that the final result will be much longer lasting but you won’t have this benefit with rapid set concrete. 

Moreover, since the finish is not going to be as durable, it’s vital that you never use this material for load-bearing projects because it simply won’t be strong enough.

Is Rapid Set Concrete More Expensive?

Rapid set concrete is considered a special mix and therefore, the cost will be slightly higher than when purchasing regular concrete. The main reason for this is the cement content which is much higher. Since cement is the most highly priced component of concrete, this will boost the cost.

That said, if you really do need something that’s going to set in no time at all, it’s often worth investing that little extra cash to get the results you’re looking for. 

Final Thoughts

Where construction projects are concerned, there’s one thing that leaves a lot of people frustrated; waiting for concrete to set. If the weather is bad or you just want to get the job done then rapid set concrete could be the answer. 

This material, while more expensive, is ideal for things like installing fence posts, paving and making minor repairs. However, it isn’t suitable for larger projects or load bearing so be sure to choose your materials wisely. 

Driveway Expert