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ML-S: a lighter aggregate footprint

O.C.O Technology is eyeing big growth for its highly innovative carbon-negative aggregate product utilising patented

Republished by Plato



O.C.O Technology is eyeing big growth for its highly innovative carbon-negative aggregate product utilising patented and state-of-the-art Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT). The company’s waste carbon dioxide capture solution is also attracting strong interest from firms looking for a more eco-minded approach to landfill waste disposal. Guy Woodford, editor of our sister title Aggregates Business, spoke to Steve Greig, the company’s managing director, at O.C.O Technology’s Leeds, North-West England, facility to find out more.

Landing a contract that will see air pollution control residues (APCr) arising from a new energy-from-waste station turned into 75,000 tonnes of high-quality carbon-negative aggregate every year for ten years is a pretty good way to advertise the renaming of a business.

The news of O.C.O Technology’s (O.C.O) agreement with Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2), a 50-50 joint venture between SSE and Wheelabrator Technologies, in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, came just a month after the carbon-negative aggregates specialist changed its name from Carbon8 Aggregates.

The move also led to a name change for the firm’s award-winning aggregate, previously known as C8Agg, to M-LS (short for Manufactured LimeStone).

O.C.O treats the APCr using its Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT), whereby carbon dioxide reacts with the residues and through the addition of various binders and fillers creates the firm’s M-LS carbon-negative aggregate product. A global first, M-LS manufactured limestone has many applications in construction, notably as an ingredient for use in the production of concrete building blocks. It can also be used in precast and ready-mixed concrete, screeds pipe bedding and various road applications.

Expected to be commissioned by the end of 2019, FM2 power station will export in excess of 80MW (gross) / 73.5MW (net) of electricity to the local power network. The contract with O.C.O will ensure that up to 30,000 tonnes per year of the APCr is recycled, permanently capturing around 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. It means that FM2 will be a ‘zero to landfill’ site, fulfilling SSE and Wheelabrator sustainability goals for this station.

The 75,000 tonnes of manufactured limestone produced annually will also help preserve natural resources, with significant environmental benefits.

With the addition of the FM2 contract, O.C.O will be producing over 450,000 tonnes of M-LS aggregates a year at its three plants – Leeds; Avonmouth, near Bristol; and Brandon in Suffolk.

“What we will be able to do with the FM2 contract is continue to show energy from waste plant operators and local authorities that award contracts to them that we are helping the energy waste journey towards 100% recycling,” explains Steve Greig, managing director. “A tonne of APCr going through our process turns out, broadly, 2.5 to 3 tonnes of aggregate. And for every tonne of carbon-negative aggregate used, 1.4 tonnes of natural aggregates are saved. The latter figure is based on the lower density per cube [1100kg/m³] of our M-LS.”

Stressing the difference between M-LS and traditional aggregate products, Greig says: “When you excavate or mine aggregate from a quarry, the product is what it is. Through our production process we rigorously test our aggregate for two aspects: is it chemically okay, and is it fit for purpose? We use our own laboratories and external accredited labs. We stress to our customers that because we manufacture an aggregate, we can make it different. We can make it harder, stronger, bigger or a different colour. We can almost make it whatever you want.

“We can be competitive on price. We also don’t have an Aggregates Levy to contend with. All our customers are large, sometimes national businesses. We never wanted to sell our aggregate by the tonne to the local market. It was all about having relationships with the large players. It is a recycled aggregate and we need to be conscious of the fact that like other recycled aggregates it can’t just go anywhere.”

O.C.O Technology’s spherical M-LS carbon aggregates are sold in sizes of 50mm down to 1mm, with the most popular sizes being 15mm downwards. “Our aggregates look like different-sized peas and customers generally want a grading to help create voids. This, together with the fact that we produce a lightweight aggregate helps in making the concrete product lighter, which has a number of structural and transportation benefits.”

Currently a £13 million-turnover business employing more than 90 staff, the company’s expanding customer portfolio means a fourth UK plant will be in construction soon. O.C.O Technology’s Leeds and Avonmouth facilities also have room to grow, and Greig expects company employee numbers to increase to 150-200 in the next three to five years.

“We currently recycle around 24% of the UK’s energy-from-waste sector’s APCr, and no-one else is doing what we do,” stresses Greig. “That creates a big growth market. The energy-from-waste sector APCr market is growing and our ambition is to treat around 250,000 tonnes of APCr per annum, producing over 700,000 tonnes of aggregate per year in the next three to five years.

“We formed in 2010 as Carbon8 Aggregates specifically to look at APCr as a waste stream to see if we could take what was then a lab-based technology [ACT] and turn it into a commercial entity. We did a bunch of trials and tests to see if it would work. A significant achievement was when we achieved the UK Environment Agency ‘end of waste’ status at the end of 2011. We were the first company in Europe to achieve this status for an APCr waste stream. This demonstrated our credibility in the marketplace.”

Carbon8 Aggregates built its first plant in Brandon in 2012 due to its proximity to Lignacite, a concrete building blocks maker with whom the firm had formed a close working relationship during its initial ACT-testing programme.

“Brandon was the prototype to build Avonmouth in 2015,” explains Greig. “The reason we chose Avonmouth was because there were a lot of energy-from-waste businesses in that area. There were also a lot of concrete building block makers in that part of the west of England. Strategically, it made sense.”

Carbon8 Aggregates then signed a framework agreement with Somerset-headquartered Viridor, one of the UK’s leading recycling, resource and waste management companies, to take all their APCr from their plants in Cardiff, Exeter, Ardley, Peterborough and Runcorn.

What was Carbon8 Aggregates’, now O.C.O Technology’s, state-of-the-art Leeds site was opened in 2018.

Greig, who lives in Kent, South-East England, continues: “The ambition for our business was always to build it on the back of recycling APCr as a waste stream. We would then look to expand and incorporate recycling of various other waste streams, such as cement and lime kiln dust, steel slags and other thermal residues creating a UK business that was strong and stable which could give us the platform to look at opportunities overseas.

“Some of the things we are now looking at are not about aggregates, more around pre-treatment prior to landfill. This has led to our change of name to reflect what we are truly about – two oxygens and a carbon. We believe we are the pre-eminent company in using carbon dioxide for industrial waste recycling, and this is an opportunity before establishing ourselves on an international stage to create a brand that reflects our broader offer.”

In May 2020, O.C.O Technology and its new licensed Japanese distributor will open a demonstration plant in Japan to showcase its ACT technology to energy-from-waste companies keen to find a permanent APCr carbon dioxide capture solution prior to the waste’s disposal in landfill. Greig is excited about the massive growth potential for his company in the Japanese marketplace.

“In the UK there are about 50 energy-from-waste plants. This will probably swell to mid-sixties to 70 plants by the time the market build-out has finished. Japan has north of 1,200 energy-from-waste plants, but a lot of them are principality- or local authority-led, so they tend to be a lot smaller. Each principality or local authority has to deal with their own energy waste stream, so our challenge is can we build a suitable in-line plant solution for them?

“There are other opportunities when it comes to recycling Japanese waste streams. For example, the country is still building coal fire power stations. These bring with them lots of challenges in terms of waste stream disposal and how best to gain carbon credits, and huge opportunities for us.

“We are already in the top ten companies in the world for carbon capture. Our ACT technology not only permanently captures the carbon dioxide, it also removes the need for other more expensive treatment layers that would be used to treat waste prior to it going into landfill.”

O.C.O Technology also has sights on the Australian market. “Australia is building its first energy from waste plant. It’s in Perth, Western Australia. There are many more plants planned as they start on their energy from waste journey. It’s a very interesting market for us,” explains Greig.

“We have entered into an agreement for our ACT Technology with Macquarie, a leading investment business with an ambition to be one of the leading energy-from-waste operators in Australia. Wheelabrator Technologies in the UK is part of the Macquarie portfolio. It’s a business that is investing in the energy-from-waste sector worldwide.”

Greig says O.C.O Technology’s research and development team is looking at how the firm can increase the value of M-LS, such as through its potential use in various foam- and traditional-based asphalts and whether it can be produced in different colours in a resin-based format, making it well-suited for use in residential and industrial driveways. “We are also testing M-LS in green [garden centre/nursery/greenhouse] roofing as it retains water which can subsequently be used on plants. With M-LS being lighter, it also means the structure for making your roof does not have to be as heavy. All this could create different income streams and the ambition is to create different branded M-LS such as M-LS – Block Mix and M-LS – Coloured Aggregates.”

A former senior banking and corporate finance executive, Greig was intrigued by the commercial potential for what was then a lab-based technology when helping a client sell his business in 2008. “Part of his business had planning permission for an energy-from-waste plant, and part of the process you go through when seeking planning permission is specifying what you plan to do with APCr residues. Some work had been done and it turned out that a spin-out company from the University of Greenwich, called Carbon8, had been looking to exploit this technology as an alternative to landfill.

“A few years later I was approached to assist in funding this technology. Initially I assisted in arranging angel investment [affluent individual/s who provide capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity] and thought this was quite interesting technology. We did some trials but recognised that it needed more funding and commercial acumen if it was going to be successful. I went home and spoke to my wife and decided to give up my corporate salary and car and invest in Carbon8. I knew I wouldn’t be paid for several years, but I felt it was the right time. I was 40-years-old and had always wanted to run my own business.”

Greig admits he and the rest of the O.C.O Technology management team have been on a “huge learning curve” over the last decade. “It’s been a fantastic journey, which is moving quicker and faster now than it’s ever done, supported by our primary investor Grundon Waste Management Ltd, who have been a fantastic partner. It’s good to be growing a business that is both sustainable and good for the planet. Without doubt, the drive towards a carbon-neutral footprint will have a huge impact on the construction industry in every shape and form.”


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Why Does Concrete Crack?

One of the biggest hesitations people have when it comes to choosing concrete for their projects is that it cracks over time. While this practical, durable material is one of the strongest goods on the market, the forces of time and nature will eventually cause it to crack–especially if it’s been installed by a non-reputable
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The post Why Does Concrete Crack? appeared first on Port Aggregates.

Republished by Plato



One of the biggest hesitations people have when it comes to choosing concrete for their projects is that it cracks over time.

While this practical, durable material is one of the strongest goods on the market, the forces of time and nature will eventually cause it to crack–especially if it’s been installed by a non-reputable company.

But why does concrete crack, and is there anything that will prevent this from happening?

These 5 mistakes are some of the most common causes of concrete cracks.

1. The concrete dried too fast

Faster is not always better. If your concrete mix doesn’t have enough water in it, it will dry too quickly and crack prematurely. Depending on the project, it should take at least a few weeks, maybe even a month, to dry completely.

2. Your contractor put too much water in the mix

Poorly mixed concrete can create a range of problems. Just like having too little water in the mix can cause it to crack, so can having too much water. Water must combine with the concrete at just the right pace so that it can cure and set properly. 

3. Control joints weren’t used

Your concrete must be able to properly expand and contract in different temperatures, otherwise it’ll crack. Control joints are made specifically to help your concrete move about without breaking. 

If your contractor doesn’t use these joints, there won’t be extra room for the slab to adjust its size with the changing temperatures, and it will end up cracking due to its internalized pressure.

4. It was too cold when your concrete was poured

Just like the amount of water affects concrete’s hydration process, so does cold weather. When the temperature drops too low, concrete won’t be able to cure correctly. In these situations, the pour will either need to be postponed, or the subsurface will need to be warmed before pouring. 

5. Your concrete is too thin

Concrete that’s too thin is extremely susceptible to cracking. The proper thickness of your concrete will vary based on its purpose. For example, a driveway that’s meant to support vehicles needs to be thicker than a sidewalk that is not.

Improper concrete thickness is one of the top reasons why DIY concrete projects fail. When taking on a massive project like this on your own, it’s easy to miscalculate the weight your concrete will be expected to bear and the subsequent thickness necessary. Unfortunately, this will result in severe premature cracking.

At Port Aggregates, our contractors have 40 years’ worth of experience built into their pours. Our beautiful concrete has been trusted for decades with good reason. When you hire our professionals, you can say goodbye to premature cracking and rest assured that your slab has been installed properly. Contact us today to request a quote!


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Jan 2, How To Form and Pour A Concrete Slab – The #1 Resource on The Web

Learn how to form and pour a concrete slab. My step by step guide will teach you everything you need to know from forming to pouring to finishing.

Republished by Plato



how to pour concrete
how to pour a concrete slab

The tools and materials you need to form and pour a concrete slab


  • Ready-mix concrete (yardage will depend on size of slab)
  • Wire mesh or Rebar reinforcement
  • Anchor bolts

If your concrete slab is smaller, you can use bags of concrete instead or ready-mix.

Find out how many bags of concrete it takes to make a yard. I did all the calculations for you.

On my Tools Page you can find all the tools required to form and pour concrete.

I also have a concrete yardage calculator that shows you how many yards you need and how many bags of concrete you’ll need.

tools used to form and pour a concrete slab

step by step: how to pour a concrete pad

These are the basic steps I use form and pour concrete slabs. 

I also have a step by step video course with multiple training videos that teaches you all you need to know about how to install your own concrete slab: My Concrete Slab Course

step 1. prepare the area for concrete

how to pour concrete slab prep

Under your concrete slab there should be a compacted base of gravel. You can also use road base, crushed rock, or sand, as long as it’s well compacted.

You’ll probably have to remove some of the existing soil like in the picture above. We removed about 12 inches of the existing sod & loam and replaced it with 8″ of 3/4″ crushed gravel.

This area had a slight slope, so we had to remove more soil on one side than the other to get a level pad.

After installing the gravel, we raked it level (using my laser level) and ran a vibratory compactor over it to settle it and pack it very hard.

NOTE: You may need a permit to install a slab. Contact your local building code officer to see what they require for building a slab. You may also have to keep it a certain distance away from your property line.

PRO TIP: If you have a lot of soil to remove, you can rent a skid steer to do it much easier or hire an excavation contractor to prep the area for you.

BE SAFE: Some states require you to call Dig Safe (811) to check for any underground wires or utilities before you start digging. It’s state law. It’s a free service so be safe.

step 2. building the forms for a concrete slab

Lay out your forms. It’s better to have forms that are a little longer than the size of your slab.

Set up your leveling device. I’m using a self-leveling laser. You can use a 4′ level or a transit level. All 3 will get the job done.

My slab size is 14′ x 10′.

Starting on one side, measure the length of your slab and mark it on the form. (my mark was at 14′ on this side)

Mark each side the same way. (my next side was 10′)

You’ll use these marks to screw the forms together in the next step.

how to pour concrete slab
how to form a concrete slab

step 3. screw the forms together and square the slab

Use your marks to screw the forms together.

Align the inside of the form with your pencil mark. 

You can use a drill driver and deck screws like we do or you can use a hammer and nails to fasten the forms together.

I personally like to use screws, there’s less movement to the forms because you’re not banging on them with a hammer.

Screws are also easier to take out when you go to remove the forms.

After the forms are fastened together it’s time to square the slab.

I measure diagonally each way and slide the forms a little one way or the other until I get the exact same measurement for both diagonal measurements.

It usually takes a few times going back and forth checking until you get it exact.

When you have the slab square, you’re ready to stake it in place.

step 4. stake the forms and set them to grade

Use wooden stakes (or metal pins like me) to secure the forms in place. 

I like to stake each corner, about 8 – 12 inches from the corner, on both sides.

After my 4 corners are staked, I hammer in a stake about every 4′ on all the sides.

To make sure the forms are straight, I use a string line on top of the forms to check them as I stake the forms in place.

After pounding in all the stakes, I use my laser level to set all the forms perfectly level.

The receiver on my grade stick has a solid sounding “beep” when the form is at the pre-determined height. (5″ above my dirt grade)

Screw the form to the stake when it’s at the level you want.

Repeat for all 4 corners, then do the rest of the stakes and your forms will be level.

step 5. add the reinforcement 

wire mesh for a concrete slab

It’s time to install the reinforcement, I’m using wire mesh for this slab. The best way to cut wire mesh is with a pair of bolt cutters.

I buy the flat sheets of mesh, they measure 5′ x 10′. Some local lumber companies stock the flat wire. If not, they usually have the rolls of mesh (5′ x 150′ get these at HD and Lowe’s also)

Another good reinforcement to use for concrete slabs is 3/8 (#3) rebar or 1/2″ (#4) rebar. Rebar comes in 10′ or 20′ lengths and you cut it to the length you need.

Install rebar in 2′ or 3′ grids and tie it together using zip ties or a wire twister tool and wire ties.

If you use rebar and have to cut it, you can rent a rebar cutter at HD or a local tool rental store. Or you can buy a good rebar cutter / bender on Amazon.

10 x 10 concrete slab

After the wire mesh goes in, you’re ready to pour the concrete. If you’re using ready-mix concrete, choose a nice, dry day and call your local concrete supplier to schedule the pour.

Most likely you’ll have to give them about a weeks notice so don’t wait till the last minute to call.

If you’re using bags of concrete, use my concrete yardage calculator to see how many bags you’ll need.

Learn how to mix concrete by hand here.

step 6. how to pour the concrete

how to pour concrete for a slab

When the concrete arrives, ask the mixer driver for for a 6 inch slump. Slump is how dry or wet the concrete is mixed. A 6 slump is a good workable mix to pour with.

Start pulling the concrete around and filling in the forms. Pull up the wire mesh or rebar into the concrete as you pour. (or you can put small pieces of brick under it to hold it up)

Pour out as much as you’re comfortable with (maybe about half on something like this if you’re a beginner) before you screed it level.

how to pour concrete

If you’re mixing bagged concrete for your slab, it’s the same process. Just slower.

Mix enough concrete until you have enough of the forms filled to screed the concrete.

I like to use ready mix myself. It’s just faster and more convenient for me since we do multiple pours like this in a day. Either way is good. Ready mix will be more expensive on a smaller slab vs bag mix.

See how many bags of concrete come on a pallet and what they cost.

how to pour concrete

Screed the concrete level using a magnesium screed board like us or a straight 2 x 4. Use short pulling strokes and tip the screed slightly on the back edge.

Put pressure down on the screed as you pull it to make sure it rides on top of the forms. Let your helpers push concrete (to fill low spots) and pull concrete back (if it’s high) as you screed.

The concrete rakes (kumalongs) we use make moving the concrete around a lot easier.

how to bull float concrete

After you screed the concrete, use a bull float to smooth the surface.

A bull float pushes down the aggregate on the surface and brings up some cement paste (creme).

Tip up the front edge and slowly push it from one side to the other. When you reach the opposite side, stop, tip up the back edge and slowly pull it back to you.

It might take multiple passes in the same spot to get it nice and smooth (usually 1 – 3 times).

After you’ve done the entire slab this way, you’re almost done with the pour.

step 7. installing anchor bolts in concrete (optional)

how to install anchor bolts in a slab

If you’re using anchor bolts, now is the time to put them in the concrete. Measure out where you want them and make a mark in the concrete.

Push the anchor bolt into the concrete to the desired level you want. I usually leave about 2 inches sticking up out of the concrete.

PRO TIP: Once you push it into the concrete a few inches, slightly jiggle it up and down to consolidate the concrete around the bolt as you set it to your finished level.

Now you’re done pouring the concrete.

Learn how to pour and finish concrete in my private training academy The Concrete Underground.

watch and i’ll show you how to pour a concrete slab

If you’re thinking of doing a broom finish, smooth trowel finish, or a textured finish on the concrete, I can show you how to finish the concrete HERE.

Another very important step is to “cure” the concrete. Click on CONCRETE SEALER to learn about this.

You can remove the forms the next day. 

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Jan 2, How To Mix Concrete – The Most In Depth Guide On The Internet

Learn how to mix concrete by hand using a wheelbarrow, concrete mixing machine, bucket or a tub. Detailed instructions and a video shows you how mix concrete.

Republished by Plato



diy how to mix concrete at home

I’ll teach you my method of how to mix concrete: to get the proper firmness, texture, and strength.

tools you need for mixing concrete

Warning: Always wear safety gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask when working with concrete.

Materials used for mixing concrete

  1. Concrete bag mix
  2. Water
  3. Portland cement – sand – gravel – optional if you’re mixing concrete from scratch.

Video: shows you how mix concrete by hand using quikrete

Owner Mike Day of Day’s Concrete Floors shows you how to properly mix concrete to repair a broken section of pool deck.

step by step: how to mix concrete

step 1. set up your mixing area

If you’re mixing multiple bags of concrete it’s a lot easier and faster if you have your mixing area organized.

If you’re only mixing one or two bags (like in the video) then all you need is your bag(s) of concrete, wheelbarrow, water, hoe.

On bigger projects it’s important to get all your bags in order and have plenty of water on hand. Having 2 people mixing and one spreading and smoothing the concrete makes the work go a lot faster.

How to mix concrete

step 2. measure the proper amount of water

I like to pre-measure the amount of water needed per bag and add it to the wheelbarrow first. 

I feel putting the water in first, then adding the dry concrete ingredients, makes the mixing process easier and faster.

how much mixing water to mix concrete

The water table below shows you how much water to use per bag. 

Depending on the bag size, there’s a range of water you can add for mixing.

For and 80 lb. bag of Quikrete, you can use 6 pints to 9 pints (3 – 4.5 quarts) of water to mix each bag.

I like to add the minimum amount to the wheelbarrow first, then add more water up to the maximum if I feel it needs it to get a good workable mixture.

If you use more water than the maximum amount recommended, then your concrete mix will not be as strong as advertised on the bag. 

mixing water for Quikrete

step 3. add the bag mix to your wheelbarrow (tub, bucket, or mixer)

how to mix Quikrete

Add about 1/2 to 2/3’s of the bag mix into the wheelbarrow. Mix that amount with the water until all the dry ingredients are saturated. 

Add the rest of the bag and keep mixing. Use this same technique if you’re mixing in a bucket or a tub.

If you’re mixing in an electric concrete mixer machine, then you can add the whole bag at one time.

how to mix bags of concreteMix half to two-thirds of the bag first then add the rest

step 4. mix the concrete to a workable consistency

Add the remainder of the bag and continue to mix the concrete. Move the hoe back and forth completely mixing the dry concrete mix with the water.

how to mix concrete by handToo dry – add more water and keep mixing

Add more water (up to the maximum amount) until you get your desired consistency.

Your concrete mix should look similar to the concrete below when it’s mixed properly.

It took me about 3 minutes to measure and add the water, then mix the 1 bag of concrete to this texture. 

Be careful not to get the mix too wet or it’s more likely to crack and won’t be as strong.

If you feel the concrete mix is too runny (wet) just add some more concrete mix from another bag until you feel it looks like the picture below.

PRO TIP: Always have an extra bag of concrete on hand just in case your project takes more concrete than you expected it to.

how to mix concrete in a wheelbarrowThis is what a good workable consistency looks like

step 5. place the mixed concrete where you need it

A good thing about mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow is you can wheel the concrete right where you need it.

Dump the concrete out of the wheelbarrow or shovel it out, like I’m doing on this job.

how to mix concrete

One way you can tell if you mixed the concrete properly is if you can move the concrete in place using a mag float and float it smooth going back and forth over it a few times.

how to mix concrete by hand

step 6. clean the concrete off your tools as soon as possible

Clean the wheelbarrow, hoe, and shovel with water as soon as you finish. The concrete mix will dry on them very quickly. 

PRO TIP: If the concrete mixture dries on your tools, use a margin trowel to scrape it off first, then rinse and scrub with water.

If you have a water hose and a stiff bristle brush nearby, rinse off the bulk of the concrete first, scrub the remaining cement paste, and rinse clean.

Do this in an area you don’t have to clean up the washed off concrete afterwards. Never wash off concrete onto your driveway or garage floor, it could permanently stain it.

how to mix concrete in a bucket

how to mix concrete with a drill

When I mix concrete in a  bucket, I like to have an over-sized bucket like this 18 gallon bucket in the picture. (best place to buy this is on Amazon)

I also like to use a mixing drill to mix my bags of concrete. A mixing drill like this one makes the mixing process very fast and is really the only way to mix concrete using a bucket.

The mixing process is the same as above: Add your water first, add 1/2 bag and mix, add remainder of bag and mix, add water up to the max. amount if needed. 

how to mix concrete in a mixer

If you’re using an electric concrete mixer machine it’ll speed up the mixing process because you can mix 2 – 3 bags of concrete at one time. (depending on the size of your mixer)

How to mix concrete in a mixer

The Mixing Process Goes Like This:

  1. Pre-measure your water and add it to the mixer first.
  2. Turn on the mixer before you add the first bag of concrete
  3. Add the first bag and let it mix for a minute (2 minutes if you’re only mixing one bag)
  4. Add the second bag and continue to mix for 2 – 3 minutes
  5. If the mix looks too dry add a little water as it’s mixing (only add water up to the max. amount)
how to mix concrete in an electric mixer

When the concrete looks mixed to the right consistency, dump it out of the mixer and into a wheelbarrow.

You can buy a really good portable electric concrete mixer machine on Amazon for $200 to $300 dollars.

what is the ratio for mixing concrete?

How do you mix your own concrete? 

If you’re using Portland cement, sand, and gravel to make your own concrete, you can use the 1-2-3 mixing ratio.

This concrete mixing ratio is done by mixing 1 shovel of cement with 2 shovels of sand and 3 shovels of gravel. (or some other accurate way to measure your ingredients)

Add the dry ingredients into a wheelbarrow or the electric mixer before you start adding water.

When you add more dry material to the mix, keep the 1:2:3 ratio of cement to sand to gravel the same for consistency and strength.

The amount of water you add to the mix will be based on how the mix feels while you’re mixing it. Use the wheelbarrow method above to judge how the final mix should look.

For more examples of proper concrete mix proportions check out my concrete mixing ratios for mixing concrete from cement, sand, gravel, and water. 

Learn how many bags of concrete it takes to make a cubic yard.

what’s the best type of concrete mix to use for:

1. Best concrete mix for a driveway is:

2. Best concrete mix for concrete countertops

3. Best concrete mix for fence posts

4. Best concrete mix for a patio

5. Best concrete mix for sidewalks

6. Best concrete mix for footings

7. Best concrete mix for slabs

Quikrete 5000 or Quikrete Crack Resistant Mix

Quikrete 5000 (add 2 cups cement)

Quikrete Regular or Fast Setting Mix

Quikrete Crack Resistant Mix

Quikrete Crack Resistant Mix

Quikrete Regular Mix

Quikrete 5000, Crack Resistant, or Regular

This list is my opinion only based off my experience using Quikrete Concrete mixes for my jobs.

Sometimes I’ll mix 1/2 a bag of Quikrete 5000 with one of the other bag mixes because it has a higher ratio of cement in it. This makes the overall mixture a little easier to finish.

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