Portable concrete mixers, such as the diverse range offered by BS Power, come with a plethora of benefits for the eager buyer. These mixers can be utilised in different projects and offer solutions for a variety of problems. However, the most impressive characteristic of portable concrete mixers is that they always offer fresh concrete to be used on-site whenever the need be. In just a few minutes of reading, find out about the most handy functions that can be performed by portable concrete mixers as well as the benefits that come hand in hand with owning these impressive machines.
Different uses for portable concrete mixers
As mentioned, the highest appeal for portable cement mixers stems from their ability to mix concrete in most places, for the convenience of all those involved in a construction or repair project. If you are looking to purchase a portable mixer, know that they are extremely useful for the following:
General concrete work and repairs
At its most basic level, the concrete mixer functions to combine cement with either gravel or sand, as well as water to form what we know as cement. Most portable mixers use a revolving drum to achieve this function. The most common use of portable concrete mixers is to mix conventional cement for residential or commercial usage, wherein the machine’s easy-to-move nature comes in handy and reduces job and labour efforts.
Flowable fill concrete
Portable cement mixers are often used to create flowable fill, which is also called controlled low strength material. This is a flowable mix which comprises sand, cement, flyash and water (or foam admixtures). If you have never heard of flowable mix, you may be wondering exactly why it exists and what function it serves. Flowable fill is commonly well-liked as it is versatile in both design and function, and is usually used to fill up empty holes and trenches. During placement, flowable fill does not create voids, neither does it rut or settle under loading.
Many consider flowable fill to be “worker-safe” as workers need not enter a trench before filling it (which reduces the chances of injury due to cave-ins). Flowable fill concrete can be placed via conveyor, chute, pump or bucket, since this type of concrete is self-levelling and does not need to be spread or compacted. This is particularly helpful if the void needing filling is a pothole or gap in a road, as it also dries quickly and allows the fast return of traffic and road usage. In the same light, flowable fill concrete works well for roads as it is durable and capable of carrying higher loads than concrete consisting of more granular fills.
Rapid setting concrete
Rapid setting concrete is manufactured by various companies using sand, cement and selected aggregates and additives. In some cases, people need not even use their portable concrete mixers, and need only add water to seal the deal when using this type of concrete. However, this is not always the case. This type of concrete is famed for how quickly it hardens (usually around 15 minutes) in the right conditions.
Many people use rapid set concrete to mend fixing and pergola posts, as well as letterboxes and clothes lines. The concrete reduces the usual amount of time taken for similar jobs, which helps when site accessibility is a bit of an issue. Further, if you choose to use a rapid set concrete that needs absolutely no mixing at all, you will need no mixing tools – just water. It is therefore great for small jobs that you need done in a jiffy.
Pervious concrete refers to a structural concrete pavement that has a large volume of voids that are interconnected. Similar to conventional concrete, it is mixed in portable concrete mixers as a mixture of coarse aggregates, cement and water. However, what makes it different is that it contains little to no sand – which is why it presents as an open-cell, porous structure that allows for the easy passage of water. Pervious concrete is often used for paving since it can take in a considerable amount of storm water and prevent runoff issues during rainfall.
There are various types of concrete overlays, all readily mixed in your reliable cement mixers of choice. In its most basic form, overlay concrete consists of a thin colour concrete that goes on top of existing concrete – either as a means of repair, decoration or protection. The following are a few popular examples of concrete overlay:
Deep texture stamped overlay
Stamped overlay is a cement coating that is (as suggested by its namesake) stamped over existing concrete either in an exterior or interior sense. When it is stamped, it can create whatever pattern or design the constructor has available, such as: slate, brick, cobblestone, tile and cut stone.
Knockdown overlay textures are well-liked for their non-skid components that are useful for pool decks, walkways, driveways and patios in both commercial and residential circumstances.
Broomed concrete overlay
Broomed overlay serves to level and re-texture both exterior and interior concrete surfaces. When spread over the former, an appearance of freshly broomed concrete remains. It is often used over driveways, sidewalks, parking decks and decks. If applied correctly, the surface has non-slip properties.
Wet and dry shotcrete
Shotcrete is usually conveyed through a hose and projected at a high velocity onto a surface as a form of rapid construction technique. Shotcrete is used in both wet-mix and dry-mix forms. Shotcrete can be placed onto any surface, including overhead areas which would be difficult to reach with more conventional concrete applications. Shotcrete can be created in a portable concrete mixer and shot out with an appropriate hose tool.
Roller compacted concrete
Taking its name from the method of construction used to apply it, roller compacted concrete is placed with asphalt paving equipment and then compacted with industry rollers. Roller compacted concrete can be mixed in portable concrete mixers, and consists of the same basic ingredients as conventional concrete mixes : water, cement and aggregates. It differs on one point from regular concrete, however, in that it is a drier mixture – which is where the vibratory rollers come in.
Because of its rigorous placement process, roller compacted concrete does not usually need any overlay or finishes, nor does it contain any reinforcing such as steel or dowel rods in order to maintain structural integrity. Roller compacted concrete is, because of these reasons, looked at as economical and efficient.
- Self-consolidating concrete
- Portable concrete mixers are also used to mix self-consolidating concrete – a mix which is known to have a:
- High deformability
- Low yield stress
- Good segregation resistance (meaning that it prevents particles from separating in the mixing process)
- Moderate viscosity (ensures the solid particles are suspended uniformly during transportation and placement)
Self-consolidating concrete flows extremely readily around the pre-existing formwork and is known to be a fluid mix. In doing so, it is almost self-levelling – which means that it need not be compacted or fiddled with after being poured in order to look neat.
Why purchase portable concrete mixers from BS Power?
A quick perusal of our concrete mixers will inform you that all of our models can be considered portable, coming with durable and efficient wheels for ease of movement from site to site. Having such a concrete mixer allows you, in a large sense, to own your own personal concrete making plant – that you can take wherever you go! You need no longer rely on traditional drum mixing or mixing by hand, which can set you back hours out of your workday. If you as an individual, or company, require a couple cubic metres of concrete work each day – then a portable mixer is just right for you.
Some benefits of portable concrete mixers:
- They are ideal for remote locations
- They are the perfect size to wheel into not-so-easily accessed locations for jobs
- Your concrete will always be fresh since it will be mixed on site
- Because of the compact and precise size of the machine’s drum, it is unlikely that there will be any concrete left over to waste
- Concrete is mixed quickly and without much effort on your behalf
- Different types of mixtures can be swapped relatively quickly as the drum can be easily cleaned.
Transporting your concrete mixers
The BS Power concrete mixer range are all compact enough to transport easily. Ensure that when you do transport your mixer in a vehicle, it is tied down in order to avoid damage from movement. Alongside your mixer, you should remember your cement as well as other materials needed to create the perfect concrete mixture.
Even the largest of the concrete mixers stocked by us at BS Power are the ideal size for easy storage. There will be no need to rent out a storage space as a homeowner making use of a portable concrete mixer, for example. Simply clearing out and dedicating a dry, clean space in your garage or storehouse will be enough to safely store your machine.
As previously mentioned, due to the compact size of the portable concrete mixer’s barrels, cleaning can be an easy and quick task. It is highly important to clean your concrete mixer after each use so as to prolong the lifespan of the machine as well as its efficacy. The following is a brief guide on how to effectively clean your portable mixer:
- Begin by turning on the mixer so the drum is spinning.
- Pour some water and then gravel into the drum – this will help to dislodge the semi-dried concrete from the sides of the barrel. Your individual machine’s user guide should give you an exact ratio of gravel and water for the cleaning process.
- After around 2 minutes, empty the drum entirely. If necessary, you may need to repeat the first 2 steps (should the drum still have residual concrete stuck on the sides).
- Once all gravel and water has been removed, use a high-pressure hose to spray the inside of the drum.
- Next, scrape out any residual cement from the drum. If this proves more difficult than expected, use a chisel to scrape the material. Should this also fail, you may need to use a hand-held pneumatic hammer or something similar to do the job.
- If the above methods prove futile, use a diluted hydrochloric acid solution and apply it to the inside of the machine’s drum to solve the issue. Remember to don a protective breathing mask as well as gloves before doing this, as the chemicals in the solution are harmful to the skin and lungs if breathed in.