Getting To Know The Basics Of Cement And Cement Mixers



If cement mixers are the basis of effective construction, cement is the fundamental cornerstone. Cement is arguably one of the most important materials in constructing the foundation of any functioning society. Dating back as early as ancient Greece and Rome, cement has been a vital component in the establishment of public structures, including roads, schools, hospitals, and houses. If you’re interested in finding out all you need to know about cement and cement mixers, this article will provide you with a great introductory overview.


What Is Cement?


Before we delve into the importance of cement mixers and their many advantages in construction, it is important to first understand what cement mixers are used to produce, namely, cement. Cement is a building substance that holds added materials together. It is referred to as a binder, which means that whilst it can harden and set on its own, it can also bind other materials. Typically, cement is rarely used independently, but rather to combine gravel and sand together. Cement is essential for creating any urban infrastructure and can come in different forms. It acts as an adhesive between the building blocks of infrastructures and is used to create mortar and concrete. There are two main types of cement, hydraulic cement, also referred to as Portland cement, and non-hydraulic cement.


Hydraulic Cement


Hydraulic cement is made from clay, gypsum and or limestone that is finely ground to form a dry cement powder. The cement powder is made into a binding agent once the dry ingredients and water are combined resulting in a chemical reaction. After water has been added to the mixture, the cement becomes a spreadable paste that hardens and binds to surfaces when used. Hydraulic cement is versatile in its application as it can be used in both dry and wet conditions, including below and above ground. Unlike other types of cement, when hardening, hydraulic cement doesn’t shrink and is known to expand slightly once it has set. Because of its adaptability, it can be used underwater and will still dry in extremely moist conditions.


Additionally, hydraulic cement is also resistant to heat and chemicals. Not only is hydraulic cement used as an adhesive for bricks and structures, but it is also a go-to for repairing cracks and preventing leaks. Some places that it is most used is in include drainage systems, swimming pools, manholes, chimneys, fountains, and basement walls.


Non-hydraulic Cement


Non-hydraulic cement is less commonly used in construction projects. It is made of gypsum plaster, lime, and oxychloride. Unlike hydraulic cement, it does not set in extremely moist conditions or underwater. Instead, the mixture begins to harden as it dries. The cement dries when a chemical reaction occurs between the carbon dioxide found in the air and the non-hydraulic cement paste. This cement gets stronger as it hardens, however it is known to take a longer time to set than hydraulic cement. Because of the specific and restrictive conditions that non-hydraulic cement needs to dry, it is not as largely used but can sometimes be found indoors where dry environments are guaranteed to allow it to set.




How To Apply Hydraulic Cement


There are several steps that need to be adhered to when applying hydraulic cement. Because it hardens quickly when mixed with water, you need to ensure that the surface it is being applied to is clean and free of any dirt before using it. Here are the steps you need to follow when applying the cement:


  • Make sure that all the loose bits of dirt or dust have been removed from the surface that the cement is being applied to.
  • Whilst it is not mandatory, it is suggested to undercut all the areas where the cement is being used for a successful application.
  • During the first drying period, it is crucial to keep the environment’s temperature between seven and thirty-two degrees Celsius.
  • Make sure you have a cement mixer as they are recommended for mixing hydraulic cement uniformly. This is because they typically come with rotating blades that help to create a more homogenous mixture.
  • The mixture should be wet prior to applying and excess water must be removed.
  • Following the manufacturer’s instructions, add the necessary amount of water followed by the dry cement mix. Make sure that water is not added once the cement begins to harden.
  • Combine your cement mixture at a minimal speed. Ensure that you are mixing a small amount of cement that can be used within the application time. You will be making continuous batches of cement as opposed to one large mixture.
  • If you are using the hydraulic cement to cover a crack or leak, apply the mixture from the top of the crack while making your way down. When applying the cement on the crack, make sure to smear the paste using a consistent pressure throughout until it starts to set.
  • While applying, do not add extra water. If there is excess water in the mixture, segregation and bleeding will occur in the cement.
  • Only use the recommended materials for the hydraulic cement mixture – do not add other additives or intermixtures.


What Are Cement Mixers?


Cement mixers are tools used for producing and mixing cement and concrete. Most cement mixers come with the same basic components, including an electric engine or motor, a rotating drum, and a frame to hold them up. Inside the drum are sets of blades that rotate and mix the water, sand and cement and are usually powered by an engine or a motor. If the mixer is needed for a larger-scale project, it will typically be diesel-powered or use gasoline to mix the cement.


For smaller-scale jobs, electric mixers are the most common. Concrete mixers come in varying sizes and help to make cement mixtures more uniform and thorough. In addition to their versatility in appearance and size, they are also affordable to buy, or hire compared to other machinery used in construction. If you’re looking for accessible, easy-to-use concrete mixers, you can check out selected products at BS Power on our website. We offer a variety of concrete mixers, ranging from capacities of 360L to 500L. Our cement mixers and construction equipment are guaranteed to be reliable, robust, and durable.


How Cement Is Used With Cement Mixers


Whilst it is physically possible to mix cement without machinery, it is recommended to use cement mixers for medium to large-scale projects to achieve optimal results. When using a cement mixer, it is important to follow the necessary steps.


Measure Your Materials: Ensuring that you have the correct ratio of materials prior to mixing is essential. Measurements may vary from project to project, so doing the proper research into what works for your construction job will help. Depending on the scale of your project, have the necessary amount of water in containers at the construction site, especially if you’re doing a large mix.


Clear The Area And Place Your Mixer: Before positioning your mixer, make sure that your workstation is clean and has sufficient space. It is also important for the cement mixer to be placed on a level and sturdy surface to ensure that it does not topple over when being used.


Switch On The Mixer: Now that your space is prepared and your mixer is positioned, you can begin setting the mixer before turning it on. Align the cement mixer so that the drum is slightly tilted. You will know it is correctly positioned if the drum is facing up at an angle of nearly 45 degrees. Once you have achieved this, plug the mixer into your power source and switch it on.


Put Your Materials Into The Drum: For the initial mixing, put seven liters of water into the drum. You may add or remove excess water to the mixture subject to the proper ratios for your project. Add a little bit of aggregate to the mix before adding the other materials as this will prevent the cement from becoming stuck to the mixing drum. Once you have added your cement mixture and allowed it to mix for around 4 minutes, add the remaining sand-aggregate blend.


Pay Close Attention To The Mixing Process: Whilst concrete mixers are automated and work efficiently, you need to be watching as it mixes the cement to ensure that your water-to-cement mixture is correct. During the 360-degree cycle, it is important to note what level the mixture reaches as it can indicate if it is too dry or too moist. If the mix touches the highest part of the drum before falling, it lacks moisture and needs more water added. If the mix doesn’t reach the rise to the side whatsoever, that means it is too wet. When the mixture goes midway up the side of the mixing drum before falling, this means you have the correct consistency.


Power Off The Mixer: When you are ready to pour the mixture and have achieved the required consistency, turn off the mixer. It is best for this step to take place when the machine’s power is off as a safety precaution. If you try to pour the cement out with a shovel while the blades are rotating, it could be dangerous as the force of the moving blades may cause you to get struck in the face.


Discharge The Cement: Before you pour out your mixture, make sure that your wheelbarrow is placed correctly at the front of the mixing drum for the cement to be deposited into. Once your wheelbarrow is positioned right, slowly begin tilting the drum as the cement begins to pour – ensure that the mixer doesn’t tip over while you do this.


Wash The Drum After Use: After you’ve used the mixer and made your desired batches of cement, add lots of water and some sand into the drum and let it mix for a few minutes. Repeat this step until all the leftover concrete stuck to the bowl is washed off. Use a hose to wash the exterior part of the mixer. When using electric powered concrete mixers, make sure it is unplugged from its power source before cleaning to avoid electrical hazards. Once you’ve applied your cement and the mixer is properly cleaned and switched off, your job is done.




BS Power For All Your Mixer Needs


At BS Power we are committed to helping you find the tools you need to make your DIY or construction projects as easy as possible. We have a wide array of products from cement and concrete mixers, to brush cutters and ride on mowers. So when you are looking to make your manual work easier look no further than BS Power, visit us on our website today and find the right tool for you.