Published in Computers and Structures Vol. 80 (18-19), pp. 1511-1521, 2002
A numerical model that accounts for the hydration and aging phenomena during the early ages of concrete curing is presented in a format suitable for a finite element implementation. Assuming the percolation of water through the hydrates already formed as the dominant mechanism of cement hydration, the model adopts an internal variable called hydration degree, whose evolution law is easily calibrated and allows an accurate prediction of the hydration heat production. Compressive strength evolution is related to the aging degree, a concept that accounts for the influences of the hydration and curing temperature on the final mechanical properties of concrete. The model capabilities are illustrated by means of a wide set of experimental tests involving ordinary and high performance concretes, and through the simulation of the concrete curing on a viaduct deck of the Öresund Link.