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Industrial mixers Today's market increasingly requires consistent homogeneity and short mixing times for the industrial production of ready-mix concrete, and more so for precast/prestressed concrete.
This has resulted in refinement of mixing technologies for concrete production. Different styles of stationary mixers have been developed, each with its own inherent strengths targeting different parts of the concrete production market.
The most common mixers used today fall into 3 categories: Twin-shaft mixers, known for their high intensity mixing, and short mixing times. These mixers are typically used for high strength concrete, RCC and SCC, typically in batches of 2–6 m3 (2.6–7.8 cu yd). Vertical axis mixers, most commonly used for precast and prestressed concrete. This style of mixer cleans well between batches, and is favoured for coloured concrete, smaller batches (typically 0.75–3 m3 or 0.98–3.9 cu yd), and multiple discharge points. Within this category, the Pan mixers are losing popularity to the more efficient Planetary (or counter-current) mixers as the additional mixing action helps in production of more critical concrete mixes (colour consistency, SCC, etc.). Drum mixers (reversing drum mixer and tilting drum mixers), used where large volumes (batch sizes of 3–9 m3 or 3.9–12 cu yd) are being produced. This type of mixer dominates the ready-mixed market as it is capable of high production speeds, ideal for slump concrete, and where overall cost of production is important. Drum mixers have the lowest maintenance and operating cost of the three styles of mixers.
All the mixer styles have their own inherent strengths and weaknesses, and all three styles of mixers are used throughout the world to varying degrees of popularity. Concrete mixing transport truck
Special concrete transport trucks (in–transit mixers) are made to transport and mix concrete up to the construction site. They can be charged with dry materials and water, with the mixing occurring during transport. They can also be loaded from a "central mix" plant, with this process the material has already been mixed prior to loading. The concrete mixing transport truck maintains the material's liquid state through agitation, or turning of the drum, until delivery. The interior of the drum on a concrete mixing truck is fitted with a spiral blade. In one rotational direction, the concrete is pushed deeper into the drum. This is the direction the drum is rotated while the concrete is being transported to the building site.
This is known as "charging" the mixer. When the drum rotates in the other direction, the Archimedes' screw-type arrangement "discharges", or forces the concrete out of the drum. From there it may go onto chutes to guide the viscous concrete directly to the job site. If the truck cannot get close enough to the site to use the chutes, the concrete may be discharged into a concrete pump, connected to a flexible hose, or onto a conveyor belt which can be extended some distance (typically ten or more metres).
A pump provides the means to move the material to precise locations, multi-floor buildings, and other distance prohibitive locations. Buckets suspended from cranes are also used to place the concrete. The drum is traditionally made of steel but on some newer trucks as a weight reduction measure, fibreglass has been used.