The nature of concrete used in construction creates various handling challenges. Concrete is comprised of a mixture of sand, water, cement, and aggregate. This combination makes up a dense and heavy mixture that would be very difficult for manual handling.
The mixing process is also very important as it affects the quality of the concrete.
The mixture settles into a hard substance after about two hours in a process called setting and this process is irreversible, therefore it must be at the appropriate place before setting.
Various Concrete Handling Equipments
- The Batching plant is used primarily for mixing the various elements required to form concrete. It may consist of mixers, batchers, conveyors, aggregate bins, heaters and even cement silos depending on the scale of the operation. The main equipment however is the mixer which ensures an even and consistent mix.
- In cases where off site mixing and preparation of concrete is done, a transit mixer is used which is a truck with a mixing unit attached. The ingredients may be dry or wet depending on the distance of transport or other factors and on arrival to the site, the concrete is poured on to the target area.
- Concrete pumps are powerful pumping units used to deliver concrete through a hose to the specific point. They are fast and deliver a greater volume than a manual system. Two main categories are available which are the boom pump and the line pumps.
- Special concrete structures such as concrete sewage pipes are difficult to construct manually. The RCC pipe-making machine is used for this process.
Benefits of Using Equipments in Construction
- Reduction of labor costs. Concrete is heavy to handle and using manual labor can present huge challenges.
- Faster operation. Equipments such as mixers are able to deliver a greater volume of concrete than a manual process. Better uniformity is also achieved while using machines.
- Heavy products can easily be lifted using machines. This includes concrete pipes and slabs that cannot be handled manually. Heavy construction projects are easily completed on time using construction equipments.
- The quality of the mixture is guaranteed using the construction equipments. This is because precise calibration of machines will ensure the ingredients are mixed in accurate proportions thus giving a great product.
General Maintenance Practices for Greater Productivity
Maintenance of concrete handling equipments is essential for longer working life and efficiency of the machine. Regular cleaning after work is crucial in preventing solidifying of particles which could clog the machine.
Regular preventive maintenance is also important such as lubrication and flushing of piping’s for great performance of the machine.
Concrete handling equipments include batching plants, concrete pumps, transit mixers, and pipe making machines. These machines are important in delivering quality construction work and well as speedy completion of projects.
Using concrete equipments also greatly reduces the cost of construction due to the great reduction in labor costs. The machines must be maintained in good condition by regularly cleaning the equipments and conducting regular preventive maintenance.