Cement clustering is a problem that can seriously hamper construction and building efforts, and it’s often difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s causing the problem until it’s too late.
A common issue is too much air in the concrete mix, which is usually only be detected a minimum of a month after the mix has been laid and put to use, by which time the project will have already commenced. By this point, the resultant poor compression strength will have started to cause problems, and little can be done to remedy it without incurring heavy costs.
This is why it’s critical to use the right batching plant in the mixing phase to prevent clustering from occurring.
- PREVENTING AIR VOIDS
A concrete mix is considered to have an unfavourably high air content when that air content exceeds six percent of its total volume. With every percentage increase in air content, you lose five percent of strength in your mix.
This can have grave consequences on your building or construction project as it will reduce the strength of the bonds in the aggregate which, in the long term will decrease compressive strength, leading to concrete surface deterioration, scaling, cracking, shrinkage and corrosion, as well as freezing and thawing damage, in certain weather conditions.
Eliminating air voids in an aggregate mix is often done when the materials and mix are combined during batching. This makes the process of batching easier and reduces the margin for error, while limiting clustering, creating a stronger and more uniform mix, releasing less emissions and improving cube strength.
- REDUCING CLUSTERING IN THE MIX PROCESS
The easiest way to reduce cement clustering and air voids is to ensure that all ingredients used during batching are correctly proportioned, with complete control over the amount, size and type of aggregates being used. The correct ingredients should be sequenced in the proper order and the load size, mixing speed and mixing time of batching should be respected, without over or undermixing occurring.
A batching plant that allows you to programme in certain formulas is your best defence against air voids and cement clustering. All that needs to be done is to provide the correct aggregate materials, then the machine does the rest, guaranteeing a long-lasting, strong final product.
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