Mixing in Existing Equipment
Ready-Mix UHPC, created by Kulish Design Co., LLC under it’s brand Steelike® UHPC, is one of very few UHPC mix designs that has repeatedly and successfully mixed in a Ready-Mix Truck. This included a 2% by volume dose of the needle-type metal fibers often required for structural applications. We did not experience neither fiber balling nor unmixed lumps of product as most others have historically. Recently, a Ready-Mix Truck was used for the placement of a FHWA project.
One of the most expensive aspects of using UHPC is having to mix it onsite. This requires a team of highly-skilled individuals, good weather and renting expensive equipment. In addition this mobilization cost is compounded by the amount of clean-up required. Traditionally, UHPC requires setting up what in essence is a mobile batching facility on location. The method for adding water, getting the material into the machine used for mixing, scales, transportation and placement all require very specific protocols and equipment. And a large team working in unison at all times. That is until today.
William Kulish of Kulish Design Co., LLC, working closely with Mathew Royce of ABC Technologies Inc., has created a way to eliminate all of the above by creating a Ready-Mix version of Steelike® UHPC.
A New Approach:
What if I told you that you can now have Steelike® delivered directly to your project, pre-mixed and ready to be placed? We have found a way to make this happen. At the moment the only restriction is that the project site needs to be within 1.5 hours from the plant mixing it. I will continue to increase this distance.
Are you doing this with retarders and if so won’t that hurt my early strength gain?
Absolutely not. In fact you could place Steelike® Ready-Mix as you normally would and there would be no change in initial set nor early strength gain. But now if something where to delay placement, you have the insurance that as long as you keep the mix moving, you have at least 1.5 hours to place it.
How will using Steelike® Ready-Mix UHPC benefit me as a contractor or agency?
- The time savings of not having to set up a mobile batching system will be dramatic.
- The weather’s impact will decrease because all mixing will be in a more controlled environment.
- Quality control and consistency will increase significantly.
- Less potential for onsite user error. Often when mixing onsite, people that have zero real-life experience in the mixing of UHPC decide to direct people that do and end up creating problems. I experienced this myself when an individual felt entitled to bypass my experience and advice as the manufacturer and change protocols which included, but was not limited to, the use of ice, the volume and the speed of which water needed to be introduced.
- The need for unique experience is decreased. Contractors can now focus on what they know how to do. Place concrete. Yes, UHPC acts differently, flows differently but placing it can be extrapolated from a contractor’s previous experience whereas mixing it can not.
- Time savings. Not having to bring and store material, specialized, unique equipment onsite will decrease both time and people that are normally required and allow you to “open up” to traffic much sooner.
- Cost go down significantly across the board making the use of UHPC more attractive to agencies, contractors, specifiers , architects, engineers and the end user.
Until the industry begins to take advantage of this Ready-Mix option, Steelike® UHPC is one of the very few mix designs that has repeatedly and successfully mixed in a Ready-Mix Truck. You can see this in these videos. I will immediately begin incorporating the break-through chemistry for onsite mixing as well. Whether it be a Ready-Mix Truck or other existing systems such as vertical shaft mixers.