Pail-Sized Mixer/ Batcher For Continuous Production Of Concrete
The purpose is to free a concrete man or mason's hand from mixing work. While a person mixes mud at double the cost, automatic tools should reduce costs. A one-man, best seller batcher could be manufactured and probably has not been produced due to manufacturer-sector obsessions with wood tool products.. Consider the stellar investment in power tools for wood working and the near absence of equivalent power tools for small scale stone work. (Small power tools for concrete and varied composite materials are largely custom built). Cementitious trades are held back from competing strongly, due mostly to lack of power tools. Cementitious or bonded stone is many artforms the wider market should discoverThe goal of this page is to encourage introduction of a small scale, portable batcher. A light weight, compact size, semi automatic, dial a mix, high efficiency design , (producible at reasonable cost. Screw feeders turned by gear motors meter the mix components into a common pail at center. The ingredients are regulated by a timer switch which can quickly "dial up" milliseconds of feed time, (and accurately). Each screw feeder is near the bottom of a sheet metal bin.
The bins form a semi circle around the mixing pail. Several optional aggregates along with one bin for cement may feed the pail at center, even while mixing. Water may be metered similarly, or by old fashioned "measuring cup". A nearly automatic pail fill of cement should be possible and is highly desirable for a small scale operation. A well made bin could keep cement much longer than traditional cement bags, (which hungrily absorb atmospheric moisture).
The proposed mixer is a gear motor with impeller which swings or hinges down into the pail or up and out of the pail. The cork screw bit or impeller offers thorough mixing with low splatter, efficiency and less human attendance needed. Research continues with several sizes of impellers and buckets and holders. The spiral action has long been sold in a variety of configurations. Closest to the vertical corkscrew impeller is the bakers dough mixer-impeller.
Design variations are possible, all of which efficiently nest together for batch mixing use or easily come apart for transport, (even by one person). The whole system could fit in a small truck or trailer. Alloy metals and insitu cement pumping is also under consideration. Below are pictures of the author's humble efforts to prototype this design. First the pattern was optimized for cutting all pieces from a 4ft X 5ft sheet of 12 gauge sheet steel. Bids were taken from local shops but the best deal was to have the straight cuts sheared by vendor and cut the curves my self free hand. (Computerized cutting services still a bit expensive locally).
Initial bending was economical by vendor which gave a good start. Fine bending was finished with car jack, chains and channel steel, (melting snow in background). Next time, excess bending should be asked for. Over bending is much easier to correct for low budget prototyping.
Welding went very well with a new MIG welder (Winter 2003). Since then project has been put on hold. The gearmotors purchased from Surplus Center proved too weak to initiate screw turning. They have an impressive surplus selection but none just right for this. Brand new gear motors start at several hundred dollars. Time ran out and other commitments put batcher progress on hold. Non profit research can go very slowly. Since that time a more powerful, brand-new gearmotor has been purchased. Update will follow when time permits.
Note: These pages are placed in the public domain and are furnished "as is". The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the concepts in this series. All authorities should be satisfied first, as might be required, by relevant laws, before any building proceeds.
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