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What is a Concrete Mixer?
What is a Concrete Mixer?

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What is a Concrete Mixer?

Find out what a concrete mixer is, how one works, what types are available & further information.

A concrete mixer is a common piece of construction equipment used to create concrete for various applications.

Concrete mixers have a revolving drum attached to a stand, and a motor or engine. The drum turns to mix components homogeneously. It combines cement, sand or gravel, and water, and discharge the mix without disturbing its uniformity.

They come in a range of sizes, with drum volumes suitable for different applications. They can be driven by electric, petrol, or diesel motors.

What is a Concrete Mixer Used For?

Concrete mixers create mortar, screed, and concrete for all kinds of construction and masonry. They are used in the construction of homes, commercial buildings, bridges, roads, and other structures. Concrete mixers are also used in the construction of floors, slabs, paviours, kerbs, pipes, drains, and more.

Concrete is a composite material, consisting of cement, water, and aggregates, such as gravel, sand, and rock. These materials are mixed together to create a malleable paste that you can form and spread. Wet concrete sets over time and eventually hardens, or cures, simulating rock. It is strong and resistant to chemicals once it is set. Often, additives are included in the mixture to improve the physical properties of the concrete. Most concrete is poured with reinforcing materials, such as steel rebar embedded to provide tensile strength.

Concrete is the most commonly used man-made material. Masonry is a construction trade that typically refers to the assembly of structures from individual units, from materials such as stone, marble and other local substances. You can learn more about masonry work from City & Guilds.

What Are Concrete Mixers Also Known As?

Concrete mixers are more commonly called by the colloquial name cement mixers, and they can often be called just mixers in some industries.

The terms concrete mixer and cement mixer are usually used interchangeably. However, cement is really binder. It is applied, then when it sets and hardens, it adheres to other materials to hold them together. Cement is used as an ingredient in construction. It is mixed with fine aggregate to produce mortar and mixed with sand, gravel, or rock to produce concrete.

What Types of Concrete Mixers Are There?

For standard on-site concrete mixers with a drum, there are electric, petrol, and diesel models.

Electric concrete mixers are compact, lightweight, and cheap. They are easy to handle, need little to no maintenance, and they are easy to start up. You can find 230v and 110v concrete mixers that run from 220-240v domestic power supplies and 110-120v site supplies. There are also more powerful units that run on 3 phase power supplies.

As electric concrete mixers do not produce any fumes, they are safe to use indoors and in unventilated areas. They are ideal for building construction, and they are best suited to smaller jobs.

Petrol and diesel cement mixers are usually larger and heavier than their electric counterparts. They have fuel tanks, and tend to be more powerful and robust. They do require some maintenance to keep them in good, working condition.

As diesel and petrol cement mixers do not need proximity to a power source to work, they are far more versatile, and they can be used anywhere. As they tend to make larger batches of concrete and are only suitable for external use, they are ideal for buildings sites and landscaping.

Other types of concrete mixers include continuous mixers, batch mixers, in-transit mixers, paddle mixers, pan mixers, forced action mixers, resin mixers, and manual methods.

Drum Volume & Mixing Volume

Concrete mixers come in a range of drum capacities. For casual use, 60-litre or 120-litre drum mixers should be appropriate.

For more frequent use, 120-litre, 160-litre, and 190-litre drum mixers will allow you to work on several projects of different scales.

For regular or intensive use, larger machines are recommended. A drum size of 250-litres would be adequate for large construction jobs.

The mixing capacity of a cement mixer is approximately 80% of the total volume of the drum. Therefore, a 120-litre drum produces about 96-litres of cement.

How Do You Clean a Concrete Mixer?

Any material left in the drum will harden and attract more mixture every use until it builds up and the mixer becomes unfit for use. You can use a pressure washer to jet wash the mixer after use. You can also use a mix of 1" (2½cm) gravel and clean water, load it into the drum and run the mixer. This solution will dislodge any mixture stuck to the drum, so you can then pour it out. If you use plenty of this water and gravel mixture, you can get the cleaning done really quickly. Though, do not use large stone, rocks or bricks to clean out the mixer, as this can cause damage.

If you hire a concrete mixer, you will need to clean the concrete mixer properly before returning it, as you can incur extra cleaning charges if the mixer is returned dirty.

Where Can I Hire a Concrete Mixer?

With over 400 tool hire shops nationwide, National Tool Hire Shops offers DIY and Trade customers a convenient tool hire service, with over 2,000 products available, including concrete mixers.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Concrete Mixer?

Depending on the size of the drum, the engine - petrol, diesel, or electric, and the length of the hire period, you can hire a concrete mixer from as little as £11 per day.

Prices may vary due to location and availability. Check our range below to see what you can book in your area.