Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Plants
We understand that not everyone is an expert on concrete plants or even thoroughly understand the basics of what a concrete plant is and how it works. The frequently asked questions below will hopefully be helpful to readers completely new to the industry or even researching the topic.
A concrete plant is a machine that makes concrete.
No. A concrete plant is a machine that makes concrete wet like you might have delivered to your home in a truck; or some concrete plants are used by factories that make things out of concrete, like support beams, sign bases, and other stuff.
A concrete plant is loaded with all of the ingredients used to make the exact mixture you're after. The concrete plant then dispenses each material needed in the portions requested by the concrete plant operator. Normally each material is weighed out in a large scale, then fed on a conveyor or dropped into a mixer or truck that will mix the ingredients into wet concrete ready to be used.
No. Most concrete plants weigh each material, but some use the volume of material. Some concrete plants drop materials into a scale until the weight is correct, while another type of concrete plant will dispense material from a scale until the weight is right. Some concrete plants have all the materials stored above the point of discharge and other plants convey materials using conveyors, augers or another method to the point of discharge. There are lots of different types of concrete plants.
The short answer is sand, rock, water and cement. The long answer is it depends on the properties you expect the concrete to have. For example, some concrete needs to be very strong and harden very fast, while other concrete needs to stay soft longer because it needs to be trucked a long way, or maybe the concrete needs to be able to be pumped into a wall or high in the air. Not only does each type of concrete use its own specific type and size of materials, most concrete plant owners have their own specific blend of materials.
Usually with a front end loader. Some people will build a tall ramp to fill their concrete plant directly with the front-end loader and other will use a feed system to feed the concrete plant. Normally if a concrete plant has a feed system they will still have a front end loader filling the feed systems, but some plants use a drive over grizzlies and trucks delivered directly into a pit where the material can be conveyed to the concrete plant automatically without the need for a front end loader.
Ready-mix companies operate a concrete plant exclusively for the purpose of selling their concrete for profit to people and companies that need it. Construction companies buy concrete plants to save money and get better delivery than offered by the companies that sell concrete in their areas. Precast companies buy concrete plants because they use concrete every day and it is cheaper and more efficient to make the concrete they need with a concrete plant than try to do it by hand or buy it from another company.