Concrete is versatile, it’s affordable and it’s one of the most commonly-used building materials in existence today. Still, while its basic components might remain largely the same across the board, not every blend is created equal. The specific ingredients and ratios that come into play affect the finished product — and can impact your cement mixing drum. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right concrete blends.
The aggregate in use
Aggregates are among the three major ingredients of a traditional concrete blend, but they can vary widely from mix to mix — and even from one geographic region to the next. As Concrete Producer notes, areas that rely heavily on harder aggregate such as trap rock for their concrete experience more wear and tear on their drums than areas that focus on softer stones. It makes sense when you stop to consider it, as your drum’s main purpose is to knock aggregate around to incorporate it into the overall blend.
The hydration factor
The moisture in your concrete blend doesn’t just make for an easier pour. It reduces friction along your drum’s walls. Think of it like oil incorporated into a baking recipe and finding the entire mix easier to stir and scrape off the side of the bowl. Concrete Producer points out that drier, lower-slump concretes tend to be harder on a vehicle.
Of course, no one blend is right for every project or drum. The key is to select the concrete mix that can help your crew tackle a particular job, and provide ongoing maintenance to keep your drums in fine form. Concrete chipping can help.