Types of Concrete Mixers

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Types of Concrete Mixers
Concrete mixers use a rotating drum to mix the raw material that produces concrete. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A concrete mixer is a machine typically run by a motor that uses a revolving drum, or barrel, to mix cement, sand, gravel and water into a homogeneous state, producing concrete. Mixers are categorised into two broad categories as stationary or mobile, which can be further divided into various types, each using different technology, for specific applications.

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Mobile or Stationary

A mobile mixer is a type of vehicle, usually a truck, used to transport concrete to several batched locations such as for sidewalks or roadways. Mobile mixers are divided into several types that range in size and mixing grade. Stationary mixers are typically used when concrete is needed in large batches for one location. Often a stationary mixture is used to form precast concrete moulds or in large building applications such as foundations. Stationary mixtures are usually hand-fed, meaning the raw material is first measured and then poured into the mixer, and then the mixer does the job of blending the components into concrete.

Standard Transit Mixer

When large amounts of concrete are required, concrete delivery vehicles -- called standard transit mixers -- are used. These are trucks that contain a large moving barrel that contains the mixed concrete. Standard transit mixers are sized based on the amount of concrete they can carry. The size used is based on the amount of concrete ordered by the customer. If the order is more than what is needed, often the remaining concrete is unused. They're typically used for ready-mix concrete.

Rough Terrain Mixer

Rough terrain mixers are also a vehicle, and function in much the same way as a standard mixer, but this type of mixer is able to transport the concrete over rough terrain while loaded with cement. These mix any grade of concrete and are fitted with a slewing drum, which enables you to pour concrete from any side of the vehicle at heights over 6 feet. Rough terrain mixers are used in remote areas, but can also be used in urban settings. As with a standard mixer, however, there is the potential for waste as the concrete is premixed according to the customer's order.

Volumetric Mixer

A combination of a cement mixing vehicle and a batching plant, the volumetric mixer stores the materials needed to mix the concrete in separate compartments. These raw materials are measured and mixed into cement on site as needed. This reduces waste because the components of the concrete don't have to be mixed before transport and the vehicle can move to different job sites. Volumetric mixers can provide all grades of cement, and these can be switched part way through the job.

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