Concrete Mixers: The Evolution Of Concrete



Ever thought to yourself, where did concrete mixers and concrete come from? Well, you are in luck as this article will provide you with the complete history of not only concrete but some of the big-name contributors to the evolution of tools needed to work with concrete mixtures effectively.


Self Falling Drum Concrete Mixer


We begin the evolution of mixers by discussing the history of the self-falling drum concrete mixer. At the start of the 1900s, we begin to see the rise of the drum cartridge concrete mixer which was driven by a stem engine. Just after the 1950s, we see the development of two new types of concrete mixers, the split drum concrete mixer and the tipping and material discharge double cone concrete mixer. Concrete mixers which were self-falling adopted blades which were radially arranged on the mixing barrel wall.


As the operation is going, the mixing drum rotates around its horizontal axis, and material which is added to the mixing barrel is raised to a particular height by the blade, as well as by it falling on its weight the uniform stirring effect from the cycling movement can be achieved. Self-falling mixers tend to adopt a simple structure, typically used to stir plastic concrete.


Compulsory Concrete Mixer


This type of concrete mixer has been around since the early 1950s and has been rapidly developed and promoted. The first type to be created emerged from vertical shaft-forced mixers. This mixer is divided into two parts, the planetary type and the turboprop type.


Shortly after the 1870s, as a result of the application of lightweight aggregate, there was a circular groove horizontal compulsory mixer that was divided into dual-axis and single-axis horizontal mixers both of which have the advantages of forced stirring and self-falling. When it comes to forced stirring it has good wear resistance, small stirring blade linear velocity, low energy consumption, and faster development.


Additionally, it is equipped with a stir on compulsory concrete mixer mix arm blade shaft barrel, some barrel material mix which gets added with stirring blades tough agitation to shape a cross-logistic. Interestingly, compulsory mixers have stronger stirring force compared to self-falling, it has been adapted mainly to mix dry hard concrete.


Continuous Concrete Mixer


Continuous concrete mixers are equipped with a helical blade for mixing, it can mix a variety of materials consecutively after successive weights into the mixers, the concrete mixes well outwardly from the discharge end part of the continuous discharge. Continuous mixers also have a relatively short mixing time, the development is compelling, and they have high productivity.




History Of Concrete: The Inventors


Robert Maillart


The history of concrete dates back to the beginning of the 1900s. A Swiss civil engineer, Robert Maillart, was the man who revolutionised the utilisation of structurally reinforced concrete by incorporating the design of structural art. His use of reinforced concrete was seen as radical at the time, but using reinforced concrete to construct the masonry arch bridge design was seen as revolutionary.


In 1901 Robert built his first bridge at Zouz over the Inn River. To do this he began by designing a curved arch and a flat roadway that connected to longitudinal walls which turned the entire structure into a hollow box girder. This concrete hollow box was the first of its kind to be created. Between 1912 and 1919 Maillart built various other structures including warehouses and factories in Russia.


Unfortunately, the Russian revolution ruined his finances temporarily, however, he later returned to Switzerland to continue his career. Some of his most famous designs include mushroom ceilings and flared bottom columns.


Auguste Perret


During this time a French architect, Auguste Perret, was receiving significant praise for his pioneering contributions to his architectural use of reinforced concrete. He began studying architecture but he decided to leave before he was able to receive his diploma and started working at his father’s business, his father was a stonemason. Auguste was a brave man as he was the first person to dare utilise concrete.


Before him, it was a material only really found in the domain of engineers. For his work, he used reinforced concrete, which he decorated with various colours, and treated with different techniques like chipping, washing, polishing, and bush-hammering. Augustus had various types of components and distinct proportions. In 1903 he and his brothers built the first-ever apartment block using reinforced concrete.


For a clothing factory in Paris, he used elegant concrete arches, which were built in 1919. And for his warehouses in Casablanca, he utilised thin shell vaulting, these were built in 1915.


Edwin Clarence Eckel


An American geologist and engineer known as, Edwin Eckel, was born in New York City. Here he also completed his graduate studies at the university in 1896. He began his career as an assistant geologist in New York in 1900, later he decided to join the US Geological Survey as an assistant as well.


By 1906 he was the head geologist responsible for structural materials and iron ore. Eckel joined the President Dominion Cement Company in 1907 as a construction geologist and engineer. His great contribution was known as “Eckel’s rule” also called the cementation index, which can also be seen as a modification of Newberry’s rule for how to proportion raw materials. “Cements, Limes, and Plasters” (1905), is just some of his published work, as well as “The Materials and Manufacture of Portland Cement.”




Gebhardt Jaeger


The inventor of mixers was a Columbus industrialist, Gebhardt Jaeger. Gebhardt was born in Germany where he too received his education. When he turned 18, he decided to emigrate to the united states of America in St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the Union Steel Company in 1900, as one of the designers for woven wire fence machines.


In 1902 Gebhardt moved from Pittsburg to Columbus where he designed the Hayden Concrete Block Machine. He later designed and built the very first concrete mixing machine in 1905. Later this machine was manufactured by his own company with a lot of incomparable success. In 1928 he thought of the idea of a truck mixer and as time went on his company acquired ownership of the most basic and oldest patents on truck mixers.


These truck mixers load meticulously proportioned and weighted quantities of cement, sand, and stone under appropriate bins and mix the concrete while it is on the way to the job where it needs to be used.


Carl Akeley


Carl Akeley was a biologist, sculptor, nature photographer, taxidermist, and inventor born in America. He took a job, in 1888, at the Milwaukee Public Museum where he worked for roughly 7 years. Unfortunately, he failed to discover the freedom to attempt his ideas which was seeking to do. In 1895, he was more than happy to accept a job offer he received for the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago. Carl created a new method of repairing the crumbling pretence of the museum.


In 1907, He was credited for the invention of the “Spraying concrete and mortar onto the surface at high velocity”. By using compressed air, he was able to use the method of blowing dry material out with a hose, whilst injecting water at the nozzle as it was released. Carl was granted a patent, in 1911, for his inventions, the material used, the tools used and “gunite”, and the “cement gun”. The process and the machine were announced in New York at the Cement Show.


The term “shotcrete” was used by American Railway Engineers to explain the same process completed by using a cement gun however, with a coarse aggregate mixture. In constructing a pool “shotcrete” makes a reference to wet cement, and “Gunite” refers to the dry mix. In actuality, Gunite originally was coined by Akeley, patented in North Carolina and trademarked in 1909.


The concrete mixture is by curvaceous pressure from a gun, ergo “gunite”. “Gunite” as a term became the registered trademark of Allentown Equipment, which is one of the oldest known manufacturers of gunite equipment. Other manufacturers were as a result persuaded to use other terms to describe the process like pneumatic concrete, concrete, and shotcrete, etc.


Thomas A. Edison


Thomas Edison was an American businessman and inventor who was born in Milan, Ohio. With over 1000 patents to his name like the light bulb, the motion picture, and the phonograph. He founded a concrete company in 1899 that produced extremely high-quality Portland cement. He was able to make significant improvements in the process of producing cement.


Edison’s cement company “Edison Portland Cement Company”, was featured as the first long-rotation kilns globally. In that period, the usual length of a kiln was between 60 and 80ft, in contrast, Edison’s kilns reached up to 150ft. Some would say that Edison was drunk with ambition as he searched for ways to use concrete for the production of full objects like pianos, refrigerators, as well as entire houses.


In 1910 he was able to successfully cast house prototypes by pouring concrete in only one shot. Thomas was the first person to investigate using formwork moulds which could be used to create concrete homes repeatedly.




Fairfax Cary Harrison


Mr Harrison was an American businessman, writer, and lawyer. He began his career as a lawyer in 1896 working for the Southern Railway Company. In 1906 he then became the vice president of finance and by 1913 he got elected as the president of the Southern Railway Company. He was not only an author but also an industrialist. His work includes the translation of the agricultural works of ancient Roman writer Marcus Cato, “On Agriculture” (1913).


Stephen Stepanian


Next on our list, we have Stephan Stephanian. He was an Armenian-American Columbus industrialist and an inventor. Stephan moved to Ohio, US, in 1906 from Armenia where was born. He has many patents accredited to his name, but one of the most important patents was the self-discharging motorised transit mixer which came before the concrete mixer truck. Mr Stepanian was regularly called the “father of the ready-mic concrete industry”.


After he invented the self-discharging motorised transit mixer he patented it in 1916. Unfortunately, in April 1917, the patent was rejected by the patent office because at the time they were under the assumption that a truck would not be able to support the weight of a concrete mixer at the top of it. They also noted how there has been no previously patented information that would prove integration would be possible with both the design of the truck and the mixer.


It has been suggested by others the patent was rejected since Stepanian was not an American citizen. Despite that on the 21st of December 1928, Stepanian re-applied for the patent and received approval on the 21st of November 1933.


About BS Power


The history of concrete and mixers spans incredibly far back in time and features many individuals who contributed greatly to the industry which includes amazing construction companies like BS Power. Not only does BS Power have all the equipment and types of cement mentioned above, but they are also a very knowledgeable team.


So, if you have any questions about not only the world of construction but concrete and concrete mixers as well visit BS Power today for the best construction service.