Concrete is literally what you need to hold your house together, and offices too! There have been many researches and experiments carried out to find the best ratio for each and every type of project of construction and many formulas have been extracted out and are in use right now. Water, cement, rock and metal aggregates all have their defined properties which are infused to bring out the best material possible and thus used by the constructionists and scaffolders. There is a constant debate on which of the two types to be used and which of them is exquisite; Ready mix or the on site mix concrete? Well, we’d say that both have their flaws and perfections, it depends on so many other factors which help us decide which to buy. Find out these factors in this article and make the choice you want in the end.
The necessity of buying the most suitable concrete
For your building’s structure to stand firm and durable for a long time, your concrete input must have to be good. Each percentage of the ingredient you put into the concrete mixtures, turns out to show different uses as the properties change each time. The resulting mixtures go through a lot of testing before they are given out for selling. Each construction is different in nature, there are projects which are for a small but are lengthy because they need extra detailing and then there are projects which are for a skyscraper but are short in time period because they are usually done on the basis of set standards. However, whatever the nature or duration of the construction may be, you need the most suited concrete for it.
What makes up the unmatchable and best concrete?
We have already mentioned the three main ingredients but those are not the only ones, a concrete mixture goes way beyond that to provide the desired results to the buyers and the users. There are admixtures to reduce the water and liquidity, air content, slump thickness, coarse and hard aggregates and powdered aggregates also. Some experienced concrete makers also add some chemicals to increase the strength and decrease the setting time of the concrete along with speeding up the making process. Also, the proportion differs if you have to use the mixture for a slab, a wall, shelves, roof and so on.
This addition of things varyingly has its benefits and pros, such as:
- Concrete gets more solidified and workability enhances.
- It gets less affected by heat and dryness and does not crack due to bad weather or light blows by dropping anything.
- The concrete becomes less absorptive and permeable and this gets more durable.
- Cement is quite a bit expensive, so the less it is used, the more economical the concrete gets.
- It also does not harm the environment and has no adverse effects.
To get all these benefits, the concrete mixers try to make out very defined and precise ratios and then use it on their required construction areas. The other things which should never be ignored while making a concrete are discussed here:
How much water does the cement need?
Some people tend to add the exact same amount for both but it is not suitable and useful all the time. The more quality cement you add in the mixture, the stronger the concrete will be. However, sometimes even a low-graded cement can prove to be of much value if you add the right amount of water. Some other things which play a role in cement setting are:
- Mixing and curing
How much of an exothermic reaction is it?
If the reactions on mixing the items to produce concrete release heat, the concrete will turn out to be of good quality without being affected by cracks or drying up as the mixture cools down.
Which is the grade you’d assign to your mixture?
After curing the concrete mixture, testing is done to see how much strength it has and how much force it can withstand without cracking. These tests which mock the usage of the concrete are used to grade the concrete accordingly.
Evenness of the aggregates
If the aggregates such as glass, rock etc. are not ground to a fine size, the mixture will turn out to give poor physical properties and thus your desired result will not be achieved. You should make sure that every ingredient should be ground to a standard size for high quality output.
How good does it work?
If the mixture produced is easy to apply and consolidates correctly, it means it has good workability. Cement has the ability to expand after it is mixed with water and applied on the surface. You need your mixture to be flexible enough to be optimized for any use and to dodge the obstacles of external conditions to make it rank high on workability.
How much consistency does your slump represent?
When the concrete mixture is prepared, some of it is taken out and placed on a surface in a slump form to see how long it stays before collapsing. If it collapses quickly this means the concrete failed the slump test and is not consistent. However, if it stays like it is without melting to the ground, it means that the slump formed it truly consistent.
How durable is your concrete?
Hot weather, rains, floods, snow etc. all can cause the concrete to decay or break down or at the minimum, to crack. The less the concrete is prone to the cracks and breaking, the more durability it carries within. This can also be tested by exposing the concrete sample to flowing water and heat to see how long it survives.
How thick and dense is the concrete mixture?
How dense of a layer you have to apply on the required surface for your mixture to work well also defines its quality. The less you put and the more it works means you have a high-quality concrete mixture.
The Ultimate Comparison of Ready-mix and Site-mix concrete
Now that we have learnt all about concrete mixes, its ingredients, its proportion working and all the other characteristics you have to have a hold of to identify which type suits your work best and why, we are going to find out the difference we mentioned at the start of the article, that you will found out in the end. All the factors we have mentioned above including some other like, where you store the concrete, where you have to take the concrete for application (distance from location), the equipment you are using for mixing and application and how much skilled are the construction worker are, also tells a lot about which concrete is best suitable and will give out the best outcome. So, let’s start with:
Because of it being measured in volumes, we also name it as volumetric concrete. It is called ready-mix for a reason and that is, it is made available to use in an already prepared form. All the mixing process is carried out at the manufacturer’s and then measured according to the needed order placed and is delivered to the buyer in packages of plastic tubs where it is still not set or hard as rock.
This delivery has to be made quickly and in time and the location from which one places the order shouldn’t be far from the factory in which it is made. The best part about this concrete is, you don’t have to do the hard work amateurly only to find out your product outcome isn’t what you want. Experts do it with precision, accuracy and expertise and give the best made product to you. There are some other things you need to get a grip on:
- This concrete mix spares you a lot of time you would’ve spent on mixing.
- You don’t have to go buy it, it will be delivered to you and you can track the whole concrete delivery process.
- You don’t have to buy mixers and other heavy equipment for mixing the concrete.
- Also, you don’t have to buy extra and store it. Also, nothing goes to waste in this process.
- This concrete is used in buildings and structures for more commercial projects and for steep and high buildings.
- Because of the expert touch, you don’t have to worry about quality and consistency.
- There is no limit to the volume of the concrete you can order. However, you need to be in proximity to the factory.
How does ordering Ready-mix concrete benefit you?
The conditions which are required by the mixture to be out the best are present because they are controlled by the experts. You don’t have to make space for the mixing trucks on your location or to find a suitable parking space for them. You will be delivered just the product. This type of concrete does not make lots of wastage because you are delivered the exact amount you need.
Where does ready-mix concrete lack?
If you placed an order for ready-mix concrete on a busy day with lots of traffic, there are chances you are not getting a quality product. The gap between the mixing and the application is long and sometimes it takes a toll on the workability of the mixture. Where are you going to pour the received mixture to use it and set it should be decided beforehand, otherwise it can cost you a lot. You may also require admixtures which makes the slump sheer and not true. Also, you have to pay for delivery.
On-site or Site-Mix Concrete
When you prepare the mixture hands on, in front of you, either with the help of others or by yourself, it is referred to as site-mixing. For this, you have to have proper knowledge of the mixing formulas and the ratios so you get the desired strength and consistency in your product. Because the external conditions vary, there’s a need to be extra careful and precise to get standard and consistent batches every time and to maintain the quality of the product. You also need to have tools and to make samples, so you can do testing and everything related to finding the exact outcome you need for your project. Other than that, there are some other related things you need to grab about this type of concrete mix.
- Because of testing and sampling and mixing, you need to have a lot of spare time to work with this concrete.
- This on-site concrete is always fresh and without any contamination.
- You need to have the required tools and equipment for it.
- Also, because you prepare extra in this way or you can get short of mixed concrete, you need to have a holding or storage space for raw materials of concrete.
- This is used more in domestic constructions; slabs, shelves, fountains, benches etc.
- When you mix a sample wrong because of inexperience, it all goes to waste. So, you have to be super careful and keen about the quality also.
How Site-Mix concrete can prove beneficial?
It is more cost efficient and economical because you don’t have to pay for delivery and expert services. You can always make a small sample and test it before use rather than ordering a large volume of wrong concrete. You can make as much mixture as you want and can store the rest for future use, saving yourself fuel costs for a new purchase. There is no gap between the production and application, so it can be applied fresh without the need for admixtures and other chemicals. You can also control the environment for it, if you have the right experience. So, you don’t have to pay for extra services.
Where does Site-mix concrete lack?
You need to have proper space for parking and storage. If all of the concrete is not used, it goes to waste. Also, if you store the cement and other ingredients as inventory, it can go to waste as more time passes by.