Strong communication is a quality that any ready mix supplier and buyer should value when planning out a project. This is because there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to concrete mixes. Creating the perfect mix depends on a multitude of factors generated by the performance requirements of the job, in both the plastic/pliable form, as well as the final and cured structure. Find out why finding the perfect supplier is so important.
Each build that requires a concrete mixture will have different requirements generated from an engineer. These will determine the structural integrity and longevity of the project taking into consideration factors such as setting times, anticipated climate exposure, durability, texture, and strength. All very important, and very different for each project!
The mix itself is composed of aggregates – the most abundant piece – cement, and water. In addition to the structural aspects, some other ingredients you might consider including in a concrete ready mix are fiber reinforcements (to eliminate the need for rolled welded wire mesh saving material and labor costs), decorative aggregates, or any additional requests submitted by the engineer. Each situation will require specifications tailored to that project.
Transportation and Pouring
After discussing how the mix is to be prepared, the next steps to consider and discuss are transportation (time and climate) and pouring the mix at the destination. As soon as you have the ingredients in a mix – water, cement, and aggregates – a chemical reaction begins to take place. This process is called hydration and is what forms the end result known as concrete. The time it takes to begin hardening will depend on the mix, so it is essential your concrete supplier has experience and knowledge to ensure a pliable pour that won’t harden before it is finished.
The Final Product
After the mix recipe is created, the hydration process takes place, and concrete is formed, the final step in the process is curing. Curing also plays a big role in the strength and durability of concrete. “The length of adequate curing time is dependent on the following factors: Mixture proportions, Specified strength, Size and shape of concrete member, Ambient weather conditions, Future exposure conditions.” Zemajtis, Jerzy. Role of Concrete Curing, http://www.cement.org/learn/concrete-technology/concrete-construction/curing-in-construction.
Curing methods include hydrating the concrete, adding special curing compounds, or sealing the surface. Properly cured concrete can add strength, resistance to freezing and thawing, the prevention of crazing (fine cracks), and resistance to abrasion. It’s very important to take the correct steps in the final stage of the concrete pouring process.
The process of concrete mixing is a very detailed, unique, and critical process for the longevity and durability of a structure. When choosing a concrete mix supplier, experience and education in the process is a big characteristic to take into consideration. Time, money, and safety are all reliant on this decision.