From the truck mixer to accelerated curing: all the tips for perfect cement
Cement and concrete are two fundamental materials on any construction site. They are used for foundations and the construction of supporting parts due to their hardening capacity. This is why it is important to prepare high-quality material and cast it in the best conditions, avoiding mistakes, cracks or unevenness.
In order to always have the best cement available, optimizing time and costs, it is essential to rely on professional, easy-to-handle and intuitive truck mixers. From the mix, this is how to make perfect concrete without making mistakes!
Why use a truck mixer on construction sites
Concrete is indispensable on construction sites. This mix of water and solids is mixed inside the drum of the truck mixer using rotating blades. This makes it possible to obtain a dense, homogeneous and ready-to-use product.
The main advantages of DIECI truck mixers are:
- Self-sufficiency in mix preparation. With the self-loading shovel, production can take place even at locations far from concrete mixing centers, avoiding blockages or stoppage phases that would require the operators to intervene;
- The large capacity, linked to both the truck mixer’s output capacity and the speed of the production cycle, which allow 100m3 of concrete to be obtained in just 5 hours;
- Cost and labor savings through mixing both during transportation and on site. In fact vehicles such as the F7000 CCS are approved for road travel even when fully loaded. This makes it possible to work with greater organization and time management, giving proper attention to each phase of the construction site.
Concrete: mistakes to avoid
At the time the concrete is mixed inside the truck mixer, it is important to properly dose the quantities of material, avoiding mixing a product that will be unusable at the time of pouring. In order to produce excellent concrete, it is essential to:
- use the right amount of water. Water is in fact the key element in making concrete strong. Liquid acts as catalyst during the hydration phase, which allows the formation of the chemical bonds necessary for the cement to harden. One mistake that can occur is to use too much water, “submerging” the mixture. This blocks the development of chemical bonds, making the product too porous and, consequently, prone to shrinkage and cracking.
- processing a dense and homogeneous substance, which therefore does not have any lumps or particularly liquid areas. To ensure that this happens, it is important to rely on highly efficient construction equipment. DIECI truck mixers are equipped with spiral mixers, which process the mix in all sections. Furthermore high thickness of the steel used for the drum ensures its dimensional stability and long-lasting durability.
Similarly, when pouring, it is important to mitigate with proper maintenance. Cement must be poured into formwork surfaces, which prevent water evaporation through external areas. By using steel, PVC or resin-coated plywood boards, the material can be protected, preventing excessive water loss.
How to pour concrete in winter and summer
Furthermore, climatic conditions are a very important factor to be considered in order to achieve proper concrete curing. During the hydration phase, the material develops its properties. In order for this to happen, it is important to monitor the speed of hydration, which is closely dependent on the humidity and heat in the surrounding environment. For concrete, the ideal temperature is around 10°-15°.
However, without certain precautions, it is not unusual that defects can appear in concrete in cold temperatures, too high temperatures, or during rainy days. Specifically, this is how concrete should be processed according to the climate:
- in the winter or with very cold temperatures, it is essential to prevent the soil or the mixture from freezing. In order to avoid this problem, it is ideal to cover the area before pouring, preventing it from freezing. Warm water can also be added during the curing time, so that a suitable and constant temperature is maintained throughout the process. Eventually, accelerators can be used to speed up the setting time. This ensures that the upper part of the cement does not set before the lower part, preventing the formation of cracks;
- with warmer temperatures, keeping the moisture content of the concrete constant is essential, to avoid standstill during the hydration phase. One of the risk factors to be avoided is the evaporation of water on the surface. If this occurs, a weaker top layer will form. After pouring, it is advisable to cover it with plastic sheeting, using a curing agent to keep the product adequately wet;
- in order to prevent rain-related problems, it is useful to facilitate good drainage to avoid the creation of puddles within the areas excavated for the foundation. In addition, it is crucial to avoid mixing large amounts of rainwater into the concrete mix as it hardens, and not to add solid cement on the wet surface to “absorb water”.
DIECI also guarantees operator safety and comfort in colder temperatures. Together with a highly insulating drum, which protects the cement from outside temperatures, the cab is heated and soundproofed, safeguarding the work team as well.