By Mark S. Kuhar
You need aggregates to make concrete, and the quality of concrete plays a vital role in the strength and durability of a structure. Hence it is important to ensure that the concrete is of the best quality using sound quality control measures. Once water is added to the mix, the chemical reaction starts the clock ticking on how much time is available to transport and deliver the concrete to the right job location.
There are multiple critical parameters for quality control testing of ready mixed concrete, which require taking a sample of the fresh mix to test:
- Workability: Ensuring batch consistency is correct in terms of slump or spread
- Temperature: Ensuring the concrete is delivered within standard or job-specific limits.
- Unit Weight, Yield, Air Content: To ensure correct volumes are delivered and the desired air content is achieved.
Visibility is needed into the properties of the fresh concrete from the time of loading through transport to placement at the job site in order to ensure top quality of the mixture. However, real-time visibility into the properties of the materials while in transport is often lacking, and has been impossible in the past. Oftentimes during the loading and delivery process, slump is adjusted visually, which can be a risky process.
This being said, once fresh concrete leaves the production facility you really have, in some sense, no control over what goes on with your product. No control. No measurements.
The means exists for collecting measurements – and if you can measure it, you can improve it.
“Resorting to overdesigning mixes, or the time intensive and somewhat risky processes of adjusting slump by eye throughout the delivery process, no longer has to be a reality. It’s exciting to know this pervasive guessing game is over,” said Dale Brownbridge, product owner of COMMANDassurance.
Command Alkon’s COMMANDassurance solution helps ready mixed producers and other members of the construction ecosystem gain visibility in real-time into the fresh concrete while in transit. A stainless-steel probe goes into the drum of the truck and integrates the data collected into other Command Alkon systems from Batch to Dispatch to Quality Assurance. Having this data assures quality and job specification requirements are met, while also providing significant safety improvement, material waste removal, and time-savings opportunities.
“COMMANDassurance allows for visibility between plant and pour, and with that,more than pays for itself by removing the costs of unnecessary truck time in yard and at the jobsite, mix overdesign, and material waste. Innovators in our customer base are finding COMMANDassurance a win-win across many dimensions,” said Monty Newport, senior vice president of customer success and account services.
COMMANDassurance is a newer product in Command Alkon’s lineup of solutions and is broadly available to the market.
Command Alkon, www.commandalkon.com/product/commandassurance