Our ready-mixed concrete products consist of proportioned mixes we prepare and deliver in an unhardened plastic state for placement and shaping into designed forms at the job site. Selecting the optimum mix for a job entails determining not only the ingredients that will produce the desired permeability, strength, appearance and other properties of the concrete after it has hardened and cured, but also the ingredients necessary to achieve a workable consistency considering the weather and other conditions at the job site.
Concrete Mix Design
We produce ready mix concrete by combining the desired type of cement, other cementitious materials (described below), sand, gravel and crushed stone with water and, typically, one or more admixtures. These admixtures, such as chemicals, minerals and fibers, determine the usefulness of the product for particular applications.
We frequently use various mineral admixtures as supplements to cement, which we refer to as cementitious materials, to alter the permeability, strength and other properties of concrete. These materials include fly ash, ground granulated blast-furnace slag, silica fume and other natural pozzolans. These materials also reduce the amount of cement content used which results in a reduction in CO2 emissions.
We also use fibers, such as steel, glass, synthetic and carbon filaments, as additives in various formulations of concrete. Fibers help control shrinkage cracking, thus reducing permeability and improving abrasion resistance. In many applications, fibers can replace welded steel wire and reinforcing bars.
We believe we can achieve product differentiation for the mixes we offer because of the variety of mixes we can produce, our volume production capacity and our scheduling, delivery and placement reliability. Additionally, we believe our EF Technology ® initiative, which utilizes alternative materials and mix designs that result in lower CO2 emissions, helps differentiate us from our competitors. We also believe we distinguish ourselves with our value-added service approach that emphasizes reducing our customers’ overall construction costs by reducing the in-place cost of concrete and the time required for construction.
By carefully designing proper mixes and using advances in mixing technology, we can assist our customers in reducing the amount of reinforcing steel, time and labor they will require in various applications. We provide a variety of services in connection with our sale of ready-mixed concrete that can help reduce our customers’ in-place cost of concrete. These services include:
- Production of formulations and alternative product recommendations that reduce labor and materials costs.
- Quality control, through automated production and laboratory testing, that ensures consistent results and minimizes the need to correct completed work.
- Automated scheduling and tracking systems that ensure timely delivery and reduce the downtime incurred by the customer’s placing and finishing crews.