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Concrete mixer sent to Siberia

With temperatures often plummeting below zero, Uchta in Siberia has placed a special demand on concrete deliveries and construction for the city’s first shopping and entertainment complex.

Over the past 12 months Merseyside-based Nurock, designers and manufacturers of specialist volumetric concrete mixers, have launched their products into the Russian market, particularly the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine, and are working with two new distributors, Beton Technologies of Russia and UAB Betono Zona of Lithuania.

The company’s volumetric mixers carry all the unmixed ingredients in separate compartments before mixing the exact quantity required on site, thereby providing cost and environmental benefits through the reduction of waste and reducing pollutants both in transportation and production. The concrete-mix design can be changed on-site for any requirement, including admixtures, fibre-enhanced, foamed and pigmented concrete.

As the concrete is mixed fresh every time, volumetric mixers are particularly suitable for applications requiring specialist and recycled concretes, where there is intermittent demand, or in urban areas where congestion issues may lead to a reduction in the quality of pre-mixed concrete.

As hydration or segmentation do not occur during transit, they are also suitable for use in remote locations and extreme environments. The sale of this mixer to the city of Uchta in the Kommi Republic, Siberia, could not be a better example of a remote location with its own set of harsh environmental conditions. As Uchta’s temperatures can dip to –40ºC, companies only have a three-month window for construction each year, which puts the Nurock mixer ahead of traditional methods due to its on-site batching capabilities.

The mixer chosen was the NUVM7 (7m3) static version powered by a Hatz donkey engine. Nurock also developed a Russian language version of their on-board computer system for the market.

The customer also chose the newly launched touch screen ‘Advanced mixer system’ that stores up to 50 preset concrete designs and monitors all the ingredients of concrete but displays a live reading of the actual water/cement ratio. The water/cement ratio reading was initially developed to meet the needs of the UK Ministry of Defence as it was using a rapid-setting cement where the water/cement ratio became critical; a difference of 7 litres of water per cubic metre was affecting the results by up to 50%.

The problem was solved with the live water/cement ratio display, which satisfied the army’s requirements and is now proving a hit commercially as companies strive for greater accuracies and efficiency from volumetric mixers. This, coupled with a patented variable cement system, allows for a highly flexible and accurate offering that meets the needs of the customer.

The developer in Uchta is building the city’s first shopping centre and cinema complex with a requirement for some 7,500m3 of concrete. A key issue was the cost per cubic metre of concrete; the client was paying up to US$250/m3 for concrete that often varied in quality, as did the levels of service.

After analysing various solutions, the customer opted for a static Nurock volumetric mixer that allowed it to be in control of the concrete quality and the level of service, while reducing costs to some $50/m3 in raw materials.

Cement was brought in by train in 1,000kg bags, which were loaded directly into the Nurock mixer. The customer also had issues with varying quality of aggregate in the region, specifically the sand. To solve this, cement enhancer Kalmatron KF-A was used to provide a concrete with higher performance that would withstand the harsh climatic conditions and allow for ease of placement. In repeated tests, the concrete quality met and indeed exceeded requirements. The mixer was used to load the company’s Russian Kamaz drum mixer that placed the concrete where required on-site.

Nurock Ltd, Unit 4, Nexus Randles Road, Knowsley Business Park, Knowsley, Merseyside L34 9HX; tel: (0151) 548 4422.

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