Concrete is one of the most widely used building products in the world. As a mixture of cement, aggregates and water, concrete provides the foundation for residential and commercial construction. In 2021, the U.S. alone consumed 109 million metric tons of cement to make concrete. To achieve that scale of production, a modern method known as ready-mix concrete (RMC) is most often used for efficiency and precision. In essence, RMC is concrete that has been mixed to exact specifications, most often at a factory or within a batching plant. That mixture is then delivered to the project site inside a rotating transit mixer that’s mounted on the back of a large truck.
Types of Ready-Mix Concrete
Transit Mixed – Also known as “dry batched,” this method takes all the dry components of the concrete mixture as well as water and injects them directly into the truck mixer. The mixer is typically rotating at an increased speed, then slowed once the contents are mixed. This can be done at the mixing plant, in transit, or on the job site if needed.
Shrink Mixed – In this method, the concrete is partially mixed at the mixing plant and then transferred to the transit mixer for completion.
Central Mixed – This is the method we alluded to earlier, where the concrete is mixed to precise specifications at the batching plant and then placed in the transit mixer for transport. In this case, the transit mixer is only used to maintain a baseline agitation of the mixture to avoid hardening.
Advantages of RMC
There are several advantages of using ready-mix concrete for your concrete projects, but in this instance, we’ll focus on the most profound, which is quality control. Plant-mixed concrete adheres to consistent procedures, performed by sophisticated equipment. The amount of control that’s exerted in that kind of environment, points directly to the quality of the product. This is especially the case when certain tolerances must be met to adhere to certain kinds of applications. Beyond that, the accuracy that can be exacted through the delivery process, regardless of the quantity needed, means that product delivery and scheduling can be timed accurately. If site and plant coordination remain intact, you get what you need, when you need it.
Disadvantages of RMC
With all the upsides of ready-mix concrete, there remains little room for disadvantages. However, they do exist. The first of which is transit time. With concrete, workability, or the span of time that you have before the concrete sets up, is paramount. The longer the time that elapses between mixture and placement on the job site, the more opportunity you have for the concrete to be rendered unusable. That can be because of travel distance or unforeseen traffic delays during transit. Lastly, is the issue of site preparation. The formwork (sidewalls) that are placed on job sites to contain the concrete, along with ground compaction and any necessary steel reinforcement, must be ready to receive the delivery. If that preparation isn’t coordinated precisely with the delivery, then on-site delays are inevitable. With delays, you run the risk of losing the entire concrete batch and potentially delaying the project itself.
At Four Corners Materials, we have perfected ready-mix concrete. With decades of experience, our ability to process, coordinate, deliver and finish concrete is second to none. If you’ve got any size concrete project that you need to be addressed with professionalism and care, then we urge you to give us a call. You can also request a quote directly from this website. We look forward to serving you soon!