Getting Good Concrete

This cold-weather placement about 800 ft aboveground was required to initially set within three hours of batching, which meant a collaborative effort between the ready-mix producer and the contractor.

Good concrete depends on carefully managing aggregate at the quarry and the ready-mix plant to avoid aggregate segregation and to maintain consistent moisture content.

Popouts like this one result from deleterious aggregates that absorb water and freeze. Good concrete must contain only very limited amounts of deleterious material.

Shown here is a dispatcher’s area in a central mix batching plant. It’s a sophisticated process that requires skilled personnel at every level of the operation.

Unlike dry-batch plants, central-mix facilities super-blend concrete inside the plant, pouring the finished product into waiting ready-mix trucks stationed below.

Companies such as Cemstone keep track of their trucks. They know how long they are in transit, how long they spend on the jobsite, and when the drums discharge concrete, and they can make decisions to assist the contractor, such as adding admixtures to maintain workability and durability.

When concrete is very important to a project, the ready-mix QC staff often work together with the owner’s testing company to check the concrete. The QC staff can quickly call order corrections from the job as testing indicates.

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