A commercial concrete mixer may work 8 or more hours – running full time during the working day, so need to be high quality for good lifespans and minimum maintenance or breakdowns.
A commercial concrete mixer should provide good mix quality, minimum mix time, and adequate volume.
Specialist commercial concrete mixers have different designs and attachments to suit the applications where they are used.
The type of mixer needed will depend on the application. Foundation work requires a different mix of concrete compared to flatwork, although one machine may be able to perform both tasks.
Types of Commercial Concrete Mixers
Twin Shaft Concrete Mixers
Twin shaft mixers are known for short mixing times and high-intensity mixing. They are often used for self-consolidating concrete and preferred where high strength is important.
Vertical Axis Concrete Mixers
Vertical axis mixers are used where the quality of concrete finish is important, for example, flatwork, pre-cast, and colored concrete. The planetary of counter-current types are particularly popular for their consistent mix. Vertical mixers clean well between batches, which provides for better quality mixes. They are more suitable for smaller areas.
Reverse Drum Concrete Mixers
A reverse drum mixer, sometimes called a non-tilting mixer, consists of a horizontal drum, which turns on a shaft mounted on rubber or polyurethane bearings. The reverse drum mixer has very low maintenance costs and operating costs and produces a good mid-range concrete product in a low mix time. This type of mixer dominates the ready-mix market where production cost is vital.
Portable Tilting Concrete Mixer
The portable tilting commercial concrete mixer is the smaller better-known type. They are made for industrial applications where smaller quantities of concrete are needed, for example, brickwork and plastering.
In-Transit Concrete Mixer
In-transit commercial concrete mixers are usually concrete trucks, while special mixing trailers are also available.
A concrete truck can be one of two types, a mixer that only uses pre-mix, or a mixer that accepts dry material where the mixing is completed while in-transit.
In-transit concrete mixers may be connected to a flexible hose or a conveyor for discharge.
In-transit mixers have a simple means of operating, where turning in one direction mixes the concrete and turning in the other direction discharges the concrete mix.
Special Purpose Concrete Mixers
Conveyor belt concrete mixers and hopper concrete mixers are used for batching, block making, and precast forms in large industrial applications.
Self-loading concrete mixers are a specialist application, which can provide mixing and transport all in one. They may be used where labor is limited or batching and in-transit mixers are unavailable due to the site groundwork.
Large batching concrete mixers form part of a batching plant, with storage, delivery, and discharge equipment. These are sold as complete units of as modular units for large batching operations, usually for ready-mix or large block manufacturers. Batching plants connect weighing machines with screw or belt conveyors, and a silo for storage, to the mixing equipment itself.
Some special purpose concrete mixers are provided with built-in lifts for easier application to upper levels.
Accessories for Commercial Concrete Mixers
Commercial concrete mixers accessories can help improve the versatility of any mixer and good quality industrial mixers will come with a range of accessories. Some of the options that may be available include wear plates, high-pressure washing, central lubrication, pump discharge, speed control, loading and discharge start/stop functions.
Power Source for Commercial Concrete Mixers
Commercial concrete mixers may operate on petrol, diesel, or electric power, depending on the availability on site. Stationary mixers are often electric powered, whereas portable mixers may be diesel or electric.
The specialists at Merlo Construction know industrial mixers well. If you need more advice about mixer types to use for specific jobs, contact our industrial concrete specialists.