Concrete Mixer: The Development Of Concrete



Have you ever wondered how the concrete mixer process started? Has concrete just always been around? The concrete mixer process is used in almost every area of construction, but it hasn’t always been used.


Concrete dates back thousands of years and the development of the material is surprisingly interesting. The use of reinforced concrete started a lot further back than many people would expect.


B&S Commercial Power has put together a small guide on the history of concrete (mixer) and we look at a few steps for using your new concrete mixer.




Who Were The First Groups Of People To Use Concrete (mixer)?


The first known concrete structures were recorded in 6 500 BC in Jordan and Syria by the Nabataeans. During this time concrete was used to build houses, floors, and underground water storage.


In China and Egypt during 3 000 BC, a mixture of mud and straw was used to bind bricks. During this time gypsum mortars were used in the construction of the pyramids. Another type of cement was used to create the Great Wall of China.


Furthermore, during 600 BC the ancient Romans were the first group of people to use concrete more widely. In 200 BC, the Romans started using concrete in almost all aspects of their construction. The concrete mixture they used consisted of seawater, lime, and volcanic ash.


This mixture was shaped into blocks and when cured, they would be stacked on top of each other like bricks. Many of these old structures can still be seen.


Concrete Mixer: Development of Concrete


As mentioned above, concrete dates back thousands of years. However, this material has changed significantly as time has gone by. Here is a short timeline to show how concrete and cement have changed to become the materials we know today.


1.Despite the Romans and Greeks not being the first people to use concrete, cement dates to ancient Rome and Greece. During this time, water, lime, and volcanic ash were mixed to create a hard material. Interestingly, Romans named cement.

The name cement comes from the Latin word caementum. Caementum refers to the stone chipping used for Roman mortar.

2.In the year 125 AD the Pantheon building was completed. This building is circular with a huge concrete dome. The dome is 43,28 meters in diameter, with a height of 21,64 meters and has an 8,23 meter hole.

The fascinating part of this concrete dome is that it is not reinforced but is still standing. It is believed that the structure is still around because of the aggregates that were used.

The lightest pumice was used in the center while heavy basalt was used on the outer edges of the dome.

This building is exceptional, it is the best-preserved monument built in ancient Rome. It was designed as a temple and was later used as a burial site.

3.Portland cement was patented in 1824 by Joseph Aspdin. He created this type of cement by burning a mixture of clay or shale and limestone in a thermally insulated oven. Once this was done, he finely ground it.

4.The first ever concrete pavement was poured in 1865 in Inverness, Scotland. Concrete pavements that were poured in 1872 in Edinburgh, Scotland are still used today.

5.Steel-reinforced concrete was patented in 1867 with the help of Joseph Monier. This Parisian gardener reinforced concrete with iron mesh to create garden tubs and pots.

6.The first concrete street in the United States of America was laid in Bellefontaine in 1891.

7.French engineer Eugène Freyssinet developed the process used for prestressed concrete in the early 20th century. This process made it easy to reinforce the strength of concrete.

8.The first ready-mix concrete delivery was made in Baltimore, Mayland in 1913.

9.Brad Bowman started the process of imprinting brick patterns onto concrete. For this process, Bowman used wooden blades. He named this the Bomanite Imprint Systems. This process included coloured, textured, cast-in-place, and imprinted architectural concrete paving.

10.Jon Nasvik added to Bowman’s idea during the 1970s. Nasvik created the urethane stamps. These stamps imprinted texture and patterns on fresh concrete. These types of stamps have become an industry standard.

11.Rod and Gerry Sadlier were some of the first people to resurface concrete. They used a thin polymer-cement overlay.




In 2001 Gerry Sadlier created Spray-Top, which is a polymer-modified cement. Spray-Top is used over stamped concrete for restoration while also keeping the texture intact.


When Was Modern Concrete Developed?


Modern concrete was developed due to the creation of Portland Cement by Joseph Aspdin. Aspdin was a bricklayer who started experimenting with cement manufacturing. Aspdin wanted to create a product that could be sold in shops.


The creation of modern concrete has a lot more betrayal than one would think. Aspdin opened a production plant with his neighbour William Beverley. However, in 1838 the plant closed which led Aspdin to open another plant.


Joseph’s youngest son, William took over the plant until 1841, he stopped working for his father and his older brother took over his position. After this, William started his concrete production plant and altered his father’s recipe.


William introduced his new concrete recipe which was a lot stronger than the one his father developed. What made William’s concrete stronger than Aspdin’s recipe? William used more limestone in his concrete and burnt everything at a higher temperature.


Additionally, he also ground discarded clinkered materials. This improved the wear and tear. This concrete mixer process proved to be better than what his father had created.


All these events may seem unimportant, but this is how modern concrete was created. Without these developments, the concrete we use now could have been extremely different.


What Are The Oldest Concrete Structures?


The first reinforced concrete building is the Ingalls Building. It was built in 1903 in Cincinnati. This skyscraper has 16 stories and was designed by Elzner & Anderson an architectural firm. There are many other concrete structures that were not reinforced that are still standing.


Here is a list of the oldest concrete structures that you can still visit:


  • The Pyramids of Giza. These pyramids were built around 3 000 BC and were made from mud and straw (the earliest form of concrete). Mortar made from lime and gypsum was used between each brick, like modern cement.




  • The Eddystone Lighthouse on the Eddystone Rocks in Cornwall. This lighthouse is one of the most famous. It has been standing since 1882. After 120 years cracks started appearing in the lighthouse which led to the reconstruction of the top half.
  • The first reinforced structure in the United States of America is the Alvord Lake Bridge. This bridge was built in 1889 in San Francisco.
  • The Centennial Hall in Poland is an exceptional display of the history of reinforced concrete. This building was erected between 1911 and 1913 by Max Berg. This building was created as a multi-purpose recreational structure.


These old concrete structures have laid the ground for modern concrete structures. Without the development and adjustments made to the concrete mixer process, construction would not be at its current level.


How Should A Concrete Mixer Be Used?


The days of mixing concrete by hand are long gone. Using a concrete mixer is a breeze and will make this process simple. A concrete mixer will allow you to produce large amounts of concrete quickly. B&S Commercial Power has numerous mixers available to assist you.


Continue reading to learn more about how to use your concrete mixer as well as safety steps that should be followed.


Step 1


Place your concrete mixer from B&S Commercial Power on level and firm ground. If your mixer is on uneven and soft ground, it will fall over. Also, make sure that you have a constant water supply, this is important for the mixing process as it will prevent your concrete from drying out.


Step 2


The opening of the mixing drum should face upwards at a 45-degree angle. Once you are ready, you can plug your machine in and start mixing.


Step 3


The mixing ratio you use will depend on how you plan on using the concrete. If you need harder concrete, use more cement in your mixture or if you need rough concrete, use more aggregate.


Moreover, pour 7 litres of water into the mixing drum. If needed you can add water, this will depend on the application. Before adding dry cement to prevent sticking add the recommended amount of aggregate.


Always stick to the same ratio of ingredients. If different ratios are used on the same construction project this can cause problems later. Let your concrete mixer turn for about 3 to 4 minutes. Following these steps should ensure that everything stays consistent.




Safety Steps


  • Test the mixer before placing ingredients into the drum. Check all the nuts and bolts and make sure they are tight before using the machine.
  • On some construction sites, tools are placed into the drum of the mixer at the end of the day. At the start of the next working day ensure all these tools are out of the drum before starting the machine
  • Follow the loading instructions for the concrete mixer exactly. Don’t overload the drum, this will not help you make more concrete in less time.
  • If your concrete mixer runs on electricity, regularly check that all the cables are in good condition.
  • If your concrete mixer runs on diesel, make sure to wear masks. Inhaling the smoke produced by diesel engines can cause health problems.


Where Can I Buy A Concrete Mixer?


Find the perfect concrete mixer for your business at B&S Commercial Power. We have a variety of concrete mixers at great prices. The brands we have available range from Husqvarna, Briggs & Stratton, Baumax, Honda and Stihl.


We founded our company in 2003 and we are based in Cape Town. We also supply clients all around South Africa with mixers and other equipment like brushcutters and chainsaws.


Moreover, if you are looking for a specific type of concrete mixer, look through our range. We have a few mixers that include the 360L concrete mixer with Baumax engine, 360L concrete mixer with Baumax engine, 400L concrete mixer with Baumax engine, 400L concrete mixer with Honda engine, 500L concrete mixer with Baumax engine and 500L concrete mixer with Honda engine.


The size of the mixing drum will depend on the amount of concrete you need to produce at a time. If you only need a concrete mixer for small construction projects, you won’t need a large mixing drum. However, if you need large quantities of concrete a large mixing drum will be necessary.


You will find the perfect concrete mixer from us. We will make sure you buy the best one possible for your construction needs.