Cement Mixers: Pick The Right Size For Your Project


Cement Mixers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes these days. Embarking on a construction or home improvement project can be very exciting, especially if it is your first time. And while it may be more inexpensive to manually mix cement, it is a long and laborious endeavour. Cement mixers help to lighten the load and are specifically designed to thoroughly mix cement.


If it is your first time delving into the world of DIY projects, it may be a bit confusing to figure out what equipment you need to complete your project. Keep reading to learn a little more about these marvellous mixers as well as the different sizes required for certain construction projects.


An Abridged History Of Mixers


Stephen Stepanian developed and patented the first electric truck mixer in 1916 to replace the horse-drawn concrete mixers in use at the time. A wooden shovel stirred the mixture while the wagon wheels turned, but the design was of limited use. However, the same applies to engines and trucks from this period.


By the 1940s, however, engines and truck frames had caught up with the need for heavy-duty vehicles capable of carrying thousands of pounds of wet or uncured concrete. When the post-World War II construction boom was in full swing, truck mixers came into their own. The big drum mixers you see on the streets today haven’t changed much from Stepanian’s vision of a better concrete truck. Mobile transit mixers are available in a combination of motors, truck frames and rotary mixers.


The mixer is like, but larger than, the smaller ones found on construction sites. A large motor, separate from the engine, rotates the drum of the truck body, and a series of paddles or screws driven by the same motor keep the aggregate, water and cement in constant motion. In this way, the ready-mixed concrete does not harden even as the clock ticks to deliver loads to a construction site, section of road, or parking lot. Most cement manufacturers recommend limiting the mix-to-injection time to no more than 90 minutes (about 1 and a half hours). Even better, you can have it on your site within an hour.


Technology has also changed the basic mixer design. Many truck mixers still have rotating drums, but most do not simply pick up and carry large amounts of wet cement. Yet most are street locations where the mixture can be watered immediately.


Most transport mixers have a separate water tank on the truck. A rotating drum keeps dry materials, aggregates and cement mixed for most of the process. Drivers add water and deliver fresh concrete just a few kilometres from the site.


A form of concrete, a mixture of binders, aggregates and water, has existed since the dynasties of the Pharaohs of Egypt, using a mixture of water, sand and lime as mortar in the building parts of the pyramids.


The Romans also used some form of concrete in the construction of aqueducts, the Colosseum, and other important structures.


How Do Mixers Work?




Operating cement mixers is not very complicated, but there are precise steps that need to be followed to ensure the mixture is smooth and thoroughly mixed, and that no one is injured during the process.


We’ll break down the steps you need to follow to make your cement mix is mixed correctly:


Step One


To get started, all the required ingredients must be collected before starting the mixing process. Of course, this includes on-site concrete mixer preparation, access to water, buckets, and specially-made mixers.


Appropriate personal protective equipment (including but not limited to eye and mouth protection) must also be worn when handling concrete.


The exact amount of water required to mix the desired amount of concrete must be measured using the appropriate tools and materials. Once that’s done (ideally using a bucket or two), pour half that total amount of water into the cement mixer. If using concrete colourant, add it at this point and mix with water according to directions.


Step Two


Once you have added the required amount of water, you can turn on the cement mixer (just flip the “on” switch or plug it into the unit).


Wait until the machine reaches the intended speed before cutting open and pouring the concrete bag. Pour the concrete powder little by little to avoid large clumps inside the drum.


Alternatively, you can start entering the cement and other materials that make up a typical concrete mix.


Step Three


After the concrete powder is placed in the mixer drum, the actual mixing process can begin.


Depending on the model of blender you use, this should happen automatically within 3-5 minutes. However, it is still common for clumps to form during the mixing process.


To combat this, add water from a spare bucket and supplement the rotary mixing with manual mixing targeted to those chunks.


But be careful when adding water. The result should be a tangible product that is coherent and viable. If necessary, test the concrete mix regularly until the desired consistency is achieved.


Step Four


Once the concrete has been thoroughly and properly mixed, it can be placed directly into the concrete formwork or by any transport method required on site. This may include a hardened bucket or wheelbarrow set.


In either case, it may be necessary to use a shovel to remove the mixed concrete from the drum. Some mixers can also be tilted forward for a more efficient discharge process.


The Components Of Cement And Concrete Mixers


The standard parts of a cement mixer are a rotating drum, stand, chute and rotating mechanism. Depending on the model, the blender may include a motor and wheels.


Cement mixers come in a variety of sizes, from simple portable models to complex mixer trucks. Each model features a large drum containing raw cement material. The interior may contain one or more blades that help mix the water and dry ingredients as the drum rotates. In small home blenders, the rotating mechanism is often a simple gear and handle.


As the handle rotates, the gear and drum rotate. Larger commercial models may use motors instead of manual systems to handle heavier weights and ensure even mixing. The cement mixer wagon incorporates a complex and robust rotating mechanism.


All mixers require a frame to support the weight of the entire barrel. Frames are usually made of steel or iron. The frame holds the drum at an angle, leaving enough space for it to fully rotate. Portable blenders often have large wheels and handles. Each mixer also has a spout that directs the flow of mixed cement to a secondary container or prepared pad site.


Different Mixtures And What They Are Best Suited To




Cement mixes are not one-size-fits-all. There are specific cement mixes that perform well when used in certain projects, but others that will completely ruin your work as they do not have the appropriate strength and density.


While the mixers you use are important, the cement mix you choose for your project is arguably the most vital aspect.


These are a few different cement mixtures and what they are used for:


15 Mpa Mix


A low-strength mix suitable for freestanding retaining walls, perimeter walls and unreinforced foundations require a mix of 15 MPa.


25 Mpa Mix


25 Mpa Concrete is a medium-strength mixture suitable for apartments, paths, driveways, stairs, patio slabs, lighthouse floors, garage floors, and light floors in reinforced foundations.


How To Determine The Best Size Of Cement Mixer For Your Project


Mixers come in a variety of sizes, and there are several factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best capacity for your project.


One of the most important determining factors in the size of your cement mixer is its frequency of use. If you use your concrete mixer only occasionally or for a one-off project, rent one or choose one with a capacity of 120L.


If you use the cement mixer frequently, for example, at a construction site, a 120L machine can get the job done. If your project is large, choose a larger drum (160L or 190L). If you mix cement five days a week, you should choose a large drum capacity of at least 250L.


How To Safely Use Cement And Concrete Mixers




Cement mixing is common on almost all types of construction sites, including homes. Small, portable drum-type mixers are typically operated by unskilled or semi-skilled homeowners and are used on sidewalks, patios, driveways, and produce concrete for other outdoor projects around the house.


It’s easy to forget that mixers are dangerous power tools that can cause injury if not used carefully.


  • If the cement mixer is operated on an unstable surface, it may tip over and injure the operator or bystanders. To avoid tipping, place the mixer on a level, stable surface and block the wheels before operating the machine. Avoid overloading the mixing drum, as too much weight can cause the mixer to become unstable. Remove debris and obstructions that could cause operators to trip and fall onto or into the mixer.
  • Before starting to mix cement, check the power cord of the electric cement mixer for cracks, frays, or other damage. If you find cable damage, replace the cable immediately. If water touches you and a defective power cord at the same time, it can cause a fatal electric shock. For gasoline-powered mixers, keep the fuel can away from the mixer while it is running. Do not smoke near gas blenders.
  • Cement mixers have moving parts that can cause injury if you are not careful. To avoid injury, make sure all shields and guards are in place around the drum drive mechanism and that the drive mechanism and drum are in good condition. Don’t wear loose clothing that can get caught in the blender. Do not put your hands, arms or other tools into the rotating cement mixer drum. Also, do not try to clean the cement mixer while it is running. Turn off the blender before cleaning the machine.
  • Inhaling cement dust can cause lung problems, and contact with corrosive wet-mix cement can cause skin irritation and skin burns. Wear dust masks, waterproof gloves, safety goggles, long sleeves, hats, and other personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to cement dust and wet cement. If possible, stand upwind of the concrete mixer and quickly wash the wet cement off your skin and clothing. Wash cement-exposed skin as soon as possible with mild soap and water and apply a medicated skin cream to reduce irritation.


Personal Protection Equipment You Will Need During A Construction Project


Boots and gloves:


Boots and gloves prevent the chemicals in the cement used in concrete from causing skin irritation and chemical burns. Alkaline-resistant boots and gloves are ideal to withstand these harsh chemicals. It can also protect your hands and feet from scratches and abrasions caused by flying objects.


Safety goggles:


Safety goggles prevent eye irritation from chemicals and concrete dust. For best protection, wear shatterproof safety glasses that can withstand high impacts.


Face shield:


A face shield such as a P-95, N-95, or R-95 mask can help prevent lung problems from inhaling concrete dust. For example, silicosis can occur when workers inhale large amounts of crystalline silica dust over many years. Silicic acid is naturally present in many types of rocks and sand and is commonly found in concrete aggregates. Breathing concrete dust can also cause nasal and throat irritation, chronic bronchitis, and occupational asthma. A face mask or respirator can help keep your lungs clean and healthy.


Full-length pants and shirt:


Complete body coverage is required to reduce the risk of skin irritation and concrete burns. Bodywear protects your skin from chemicals.