How to Mix Concrete in a Mixer
For many construction jobs, there’s usually a need to mix concrete in a proper manner in order to end up with a mixture with the right form. The process of mixing concrete can either be done by machine or by hand. Generally, for small construction jobs, mixing by hand is a great option as opposed to the bigger construction projects that will need a mixer. Other people also prefer the use of the mixer rather than doing it by hand because the machine does the job better and the quality of the concrete produced is relatively better. If you want to use a mixer to mix your concrete here’s how to go about it:
What you’ll need
Apart from the mixer itself, there are several materials that you’ll need for this project. You’ll need water, cement, sand and stone. Each of these materials should be ready in the right quantities before you start the process of mixing your concrete. If your mixer uses fuel, be sure to have plenty of it ready for use. All the cement bags should also be kept away from moisture and water – you can achieve this by covering the cement with plastic bags.
Step 1: preparing and loading the mixer
You shouldn’t just go ahead and load the mixture with the materials before you’ve taken precautions to ensure that the process begins and ends smoothly. So, the first thing to do in preparing the concrete mixer is to wet the inner side of the mixer drum, wetting the inside will ensure that cleaning the machine won’t be unnecessarily difficult once you’ve finished using it.
You can then go ahead and load the materials into your mixer. It’s advisable to add the materials in a specific standard ratio which is 1:2:3. This is the measurement of the volume of the materials. Hence, you add one-part cement to two and three parts of sand and stone. Depending on the job you want to do, there are different qualities of sand or stone to use. For instance, masonry mixes require a higher quality and finer sand.
So, begin with the addition of sand, then add the same amount of water followed by cement and finally stone. This process should then be repeated until the intended volume of the mixture has been achieved. Use a bucket in the addition of the water to be sure of the amount of water you’ve added to your mixture, and be careful not to overload the drum.
Step 2: continue with the addition of water
To the first few concrete batches, make small water additions until you’re sure of the right consistency you’re looking for – don’t add the water excessively. You should end up with a thick mixture as it’s workable when wet and is very strong when it dries.
Step 3: cleaning the mixer
Most people would think that cleaning the mixer shouldn’t be part of the process of mixing concrete in a mixer. However, if you intend to use your mixture again later, this is a vital part of the process. Any remaining mixture inside the drum should be cleaned as soon as possible or it’ll become too difficult to clean.
Don’t prepare too much of the mixture that you won’t be able to use within a short time period. It may start setting making it impossible to use it any further and this would end up wasting the material.
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