All concrete mixers serve the same purpose: they are designed to mix cement, water and aggregates into what becomes concrete, which pours out of the mixer into the desired area or mold.
What the average person might not realize is that there are actually multiple types of concrete mixers, which accomplish the job in different ways and can be used for different applications. Here’s a quick overview of the main categories of mixers (and their subtypes) and what Pennsylvania concrete companies should know about how to choose a new concrete mixer.
Batch concrete mixers
The first overarching type of concrete mixer is the batch mixer. These are the most widely used machines for concrete mixing. All the concrete mix obtained by these mixers is collected in individual batches. Once the materials are poured into the pan or drum, the machine mixes these materials up for a certain amount of time before discharging. This process gets repeated until the workers have the desired amount of concrete mix.
There are two main subcategories of batch mixers:
- Drum: In these types of mixers, the concrete ingredients get mixed in a drum that has a double conical frustum shape. Tilting drum mixers allow the concrete to be rapidly discharged by tilting downwards, which is ideal for larger projects. Non-tilting drum mixers do not tilt, and the drum rotates around the horizontal access, with the discharge coming out of a chute in an inclined position. This is ideal for smaller projects.
- Reversing drum mixers: These mixers are similar to the non-tilting variety, but feature a reversal of rotation, and openings at two ends (one for pouring materials, one for discharge).
Pan-type concrete mixers feature a circular pan in which the concrete is mixed. That mixing is performed by blades set up in a star shape inside the pan.
There are a couple subcategories of pan mixers. One type features a constant circular pan and blades that rotate around a vertical axis in the pan. The other type features a circular pan that rotates while the blades remain static.
Both of these types of pan mixers create efficient mixing, and result in the concrete being collected through a central hole in the pan. The pan mixers with rotating star blades feature special scraper blades that ensure the concrete does not stick to the pan. In both mixers you can adjust the height of the blades so there isn’t any room for the concrete to store and build up in the pan.
Pan-type mixers are generally the most efficient types of mixers you’ll find on the market.
Continuous concrete mixers feature continuous mixing and discharging until the job is done, or until there’s a break in the work. This process us used for extremely large-scale projects like dams, high-rise buildings, bridges and other large concrete structures.
For more information about the various types of concrete mixers in Pennsylvania, contact Central Equipment Company. We offer sales, service and rental of a variety of construction equipment, including concrete mixers, and would be glad to help you choose the right one for your project.