Concrete, a man-made material, is used in the construction of skyscrapers, sidewalks and bridges, houses and driveways, highways and many other things. After being set and formed, concrete acts as a durable material strong enough to hold up against some of the largest natural forces. Yet, concrete is “plastic” in that it can be formed and molded into virtually any shape before it’s hardened. When it does harden, the quality of the concrete depends upon its properties as a mixture.
Concrete mixing involves getting the https://www.concretecontractorssanantonio.com/ appropriate proportions of water and cement, sand and gravel just right so that a durable concrete product can be created. Indeed, if the mixture has even the least bit of excess paste or water then the resulting concrete foundation will crack easily. Conversely, rough concrete results from concrete mixtures that don’t contain enough paste or water mixture.
Where Concrete is Mixed
To mix the concrete, a batch plant is used. The various ingredients used to make the type of concrete being used–such as sand, water, rocks and gravel–are combined in a large, mechanical and sometimes computer-aided machine, mixed and prepared for use at a job site. There are two basic types of concrete batching plants used to mix and prepare concrete. The first is a ready-mix plant, which involves combining all ingredients for the concrete except for water, which is added as the final ingredient during transportation to a job site. The second type of concrete batching is a central-mix batch plant. A central mix plant combines all ingredients for the concrete, including water, and then transported to the job site.
Ready-Mix Batch Plants
When ingredients for the concrete mixture are combined using a ready-mix concrete batch plant, the mixture is discharged into a mixing truck, which gets the concrete ready for production. There are basically three different options that you have if you’re going to be using ready-mixed concrete. First, the truck mixer can be set at slow speed during transportation to the job site, at which point the speed for the mixing drum can be increased for five minutes to prepare the mixture.
Second, the concrete mixture can be mixed at the mixing yard and only slowly agitated during transportation to the job site. Finally, the concrete mixture can be turned at medium speed while inside the drum during transit so that it can be completely mixed by the time it reaches its destination.
Central-Mix Batch Plants
The second primary method of concrete batching is to use a central-mix concrete batch plant. Central-mix plants combine and mix all ingredients for the concrete before the mix is discharged into a mixing truck for transportation to a job site. Central-mix plants use a fixed, plant-mounted mixer that resembles a silo in which all the ingredients are mixed. Sometimes referred to as “wet batch” concrete plants, there are actually a couple advantages to using them to mix concrete.
Central-mix plants can produce concrete mixtures faster than truck mixers. Second, using a central-mix plant doesn’t place as much strain or wear and tear on concrete-mixing trucks. Third, you can achieve an overall consistent mixture with a central-mix plant than you can with a truck mixer.
All in all, concrete batching can be performed in a variety of ways. The method which you employ for concrete production depends on your cost, the timeline of a project and the quality of concrete product with which you’ll be satisfied.