At Madmix, all the ready-mix concrete which we produce at our Cambridgeshire base is accredited. But who by, and what does it mean? Here we explain the background to the system of accreditation – and why it means all our admixtures have to be of the same high quality.
What are Our Accreditations?
At Madmix, we have three accreditations – two for the concrete itself, and one for our management processes. These are as follows:
BS EN 206 – this relates to following best practice regarding the specification of the concrete we produce. This means it has to follow certain rules regarding its ingredients, and its resulting properties once these have been mixed together. BS EN 206 also covers other areas such as quality control and delivery. This certification is also recognised across Europe.
BS 8500-2 – This is a complementary standard to BS EN 206, covering much of the same ground, and applies to the UK only. It is in the process of being updated to accommodate admixtures which are more eco-friendly and help to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. For instance, it will allow the concrete to contain more SCMs (supplementary cementitious materials) such as fly ash instead of Portland cement.
ISO 90001 – This accreditation applies to our management systems. Our factory production control, including our plant, personnel and equipment, and production processes all meet required quality standards.
It’s An Ongoing Process
Possession of these accreditations mean that we are allowed to use the BSI kitemark; but we, and our admixtures, are constantly being independently tested to ensure that our standards don’t slip, and that we can still supply kitemarked concrete. Specifically, the equipment we use (such as our weighing scales) as well as the quality of our ingredients are regularly checked.
In relation to ISO 90001, our management processes are also carefully checked, so independent experts will monitor an order all the way through – from the initial phone call to final delivery. Our staff training and record-keeping are also analysed.
For more details of what happens during the various testing processes, check out our previous blog here. If we fail to meet these high standards, then we run the risk of losing our accreditations.
What This Means for Our Concrete
Possession of these accreditations mean you can be sure that all the concrete you get from us will be of a consistently high quality – whether you want waterproof concrete, reinforced concrete, or a pumpable admixture. Put simply, it means that you can rely on our concrete to be strong and durable, and you won’t have any structural issues with your concrete many years down the line. This applies whether you need a base for a garden shed or patio, or for a major commercial project such as a housing development.
There are legal reasons why it is important, too – the National House Building Council insist that any concrete used in the construction of new homes must be accredited and meet the appropriate BSI standards. This rule applies to new Government buildings too.
Accredited Concrete in Cambridge from Madmix
If you would like to know more about any of our accredited concrete admixtures, follow this link and fill in the online form. You can also call us on 01954 212212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concrete isn’t just for multi-storey car parks, dams, bridges and other large structures. It’s also widely used in paths, driveways, foundations and patio bases, as well as a host of other home improvement projects. Here Madmix, who offer domestic concrete delivery in Cambridge and the surrounding area, explain why you can rely on us for a high-quality, competitively-priced product if you need it for work in and around your home.
The Range of Admixtures
We have a range of different types of concrete suitable for all types of tasks. For instance, if you want something for a foundation or a floor, you can try our sulphate resistant concrete. This is because water can contain sulphates that react with the tricalcium aluminate in regular concrete, causing it to crack and spall over time. Sulphate resisting concrete, which we supply across Cambridgeshire, will lower the amount of tricalcium aluminate and hence reduce the amount of potential damage.
If it’s for a garage floor, you may need to up the amount of cement in the admixture, as this will help the concrete bear the weight of any vehicles. When it comes to home extensions and conservatories, the type we would recommend will depend on whether the addition to your home is single or double-storey.
Outside your home – for instance, for a driveway – you can consider using our fibre reinforced concrete. This is because it will not only bear the weight of vehicles, but also cope with the worst of the British weather. If the concrete is for a garden shed, then most of our customers choose our Gen 1 option, a low-grade admixture which provides a smooth even surface. However, if it’s a comparatively large structure, then you may need something a little stronger.
Whatever type of project you are undertaking, give us a call first because we’ll be able to advise you which is the best admixture for your specific needs.
The Size of the Order
Although we do fulfil large-scale commercial orders, we are equally happy to serve customers who don’t need as much concrete. You can order as little as one cubic metre of concrete from us – although you will probably need a bit more than that.
We would always recommend ordering a little bit more than you think you might need. For that reason, we are happy to take away any excess at no extra cost. Again, talk to us about the size of your project first and remember our site has an inbuilt concrete calculator which should give you an idea of how much concrete you will need.
The Quality of the Concrete
We take just as much care with our smaller orders as we do with our larger ones. All our concrete meets both the BS EN 206 and BS 8500-2 standards. And our Quality Management System has also been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation.
Testing for these accreditations is a continuous process so we have to keep our standards consistently high to retain them. This means that the concrete you receive from us will always be of a very high standard, and, because it’s ready mixed, will always be of an even consistency.
The Delivery Options
We try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to delivering your order. You have the choice of Monday to Friday early morning deliveries, a same-day service (subject to the availability of mixers), and a Saturday morning option (for a small premium). This last option is likely to be particularly useful if you are away at work during the week.
Among the places we deliver to include St Ives, St Neots, Northstowe, Newmarket, Huntingdon and Ely. And, if your domestic project isn’t too large, you may be able to pick up your concrete yourself from our plant just outside Cambridge.
The Easy Payment Facilities
You can pay by BACS bank transfer or by debit or credit card. If you think you will be a regular customer, you can set up an account with us. We also offer a price-match guarantee if you have a written quote from any other provider.
Domestic Concrete Delivery in and Around Cambridge from Madmix
For more information about any of Madmix’s domestic concrete services, call Kay on 01954 212212 or email us at email@example.com. You can also follow this link and fill in the online contact form.
The Concrete Society’s annual awards, which took place in London this month, have shown that sustainability is a growing trend within the construction industry. As experts in concrete, it’s always fascinating to see how other companies around the country are utilising it in their construction projects.
The outright winner was 1 New Park Square, Edinburgh, an office building which promotes sustainable living. The net-zero complex includes a café/bakery, space for cycle storage, several different sports courts, as well as a conference space for 150 people and plenty of breakout areas.
Concrete has formed an integral part of the design & construction, particularly in the walls and soffits. Its excellent heat-retaining qualities mean that concrete minimises the cost of any heating or electricity bills (and the use of solar power throughout the structure means this is reduced even further). The concrete itself has been left exposed throughout the building, to compliment the various forms of decorative art and lighting used inside.
One of the shortlisted entries (which was highly commended by the judges) wasn’t even used in a building but in a flood protection barrier. The Newlyn Coastal Research and Development project in Penzance employed concrete blocks as part of a stone breakwater.
As well as guarding against flooding, and protecting the coastline, the blocks have also supported the local ecosystem. This is because they have already attracted substantial algae growth, helping the new concrete blocks to blend in with the rest of the barrier (which is dominated by natural stone and rocks).
The Full Roll of Honour
Outright Winner – 1 New Park Square, Edinburgh
- Newlyn Coastal Research and Development Project, Penzance
- Osier’s Road, Wandsworth, London – an apartment block which uses a striking precast concrete façade
- The Salvation Army New THQ, Denmark Hill, London – a new flagship office for the charity which uses exposed concrete ribbed slabs across all five storeys
- DAMAC Tower, Nine Elms, London (pictured above) – this 50-storey, 170metre high skyscraper in Vauxhall consists of 360 apartments, using high-strength concrete. It is sometimes known as the ‘Jenga’ tower because of its uneven structure.
Madmix – A Leading Concrete Company in Cambridgeshire
Just like the award-winners, Madmix also sets high standards in the concrete industry. All our concrete is fully accredited, meeting the BS EN 206 and BS 8500-2 standards. This also certifies that our Quality Management System has been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation.
We can supply a wide variety of different admixtures – including commercial and domestic concrete mixes – from our base on the outskirts of Cambridge. If you would like to know more about any of our products or services, follow this link and fill in the online form; you can also call us on 01954 212212.
Image: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/MATT BROWN
Improved health and safety measures, including an increase in the number of smoke alarms, mean that commercial fires are now much less frequent than they were a few years ago. However, government figures suggest there are still more than 22,000 fires in the workplace every year in the UK.
The risk of a commercial fire can be mitigated by using concrete as a primary construction material.
One of the most important advantages of concrete is its high levels of fire resistance. Here Madmix, who supply commercial ready mix concrete from our base in Cambridgeshire, look at the reasons behind this – and why it makes concrete such an excellent construction material.
The Appliance of Science
Concrete is classified as an inert material, which means it is not chemically active and therefore doesn’t react easily with any other materials such as rain (and any acidity which may be present in it), oxygen, fire and water.
The cement and aggregates which, when chemically combined within the remaining elements of the admixture, remain inert to ensure that your concrete has little chance of being affected by environmental factors.
For more details on the key constituents of concrete, check out our page here.
This inertness gives concrete the following fire resistance properties:
- It is very difficult, if not impossible, to set it on fire i.e. it is classified as a non-combustible material;
- It is non-toxic;
- And it has low thermal conductivity.
What This Means
Not only is concrete highly unlikely to catch fire, its low thermal connectivity means it also acts as an excellent insulator, which can help your business potentially reduce your utility bills.
As well as preventing the fire from taking hold, the fundamental structure of the building is likely to remain intact so, in the event of a fire, there’s less risk of collapse and threat to human life (or to any surrounding buildings). The Concrete Society has pointed out that the concrete itself is only likely to be damaged at temperatures of 300C and above, as its compressive strength will be reduced, and the surface of the concrete may crack and spall. At 1000C most, if not all, of the strength of the concrete will be lost
Another benefit is that the concrete won’t give off any toxic fumes in the event of a fire and, even if there is fire damage, most concrete structures can be successfully repaired. As the Society points out, this is typically much cheaper than wholesale demolition and reconstruction.
There’s likely to be much more fire damage to any other materials used in the building – and they may not be as easy to repair.
Why Concrete is So Popular
Everything detailed above means that concrete is the ideal material to use in any commercial or industrial structures which are likely to be used by large numbers of people, as there’s little-to-no risk to life.
It also means that concrete is suitable for industrial locations which, because of their very nature, are likely to be subjected to high levels of heat – utilising tools such as furnaces, kilns, ovens, and any business that uses welding torches.
Ready Mix Commercial Concrete in Cambridgeshire from Madmix
Madmix can supply specialist concrete to meet all these needs, including sulphate resistant concrete, waterproof concrete and pumpable concrete, from our base on the edge of Cambridge.
You can be sure that all of our concrete is of uniformly high quality, as all our concrete is accredited, and has received the BSI kitemark, showing that our assured concrete has been tested and fully meets the BS EN 206 and BS 8500-2 standards.
If you’d like to know more about our admixtures, follow this link and fill in the online form; you can also call us on 01954 212212 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commercial concrete is a very different beast to its domestic counterpart. This is because it usually needs to be stronger, more durable and cope with heavier loads and overall usage. It could also be exposed to potentially harmful chemicals, higher temperatures, and water (particularly on bridges, dams and other major construction projects). It may also need to be fire-resistant as well.
At Madmix, we have many years of experience in delivering commercial ready-mix concrete to our business customers whenever and wherever it is needed in Cambridge, across the county and further afield. Here are five key reasons why you should choose us if you need any concrete for your commercial projects.
- The Size of the Order
You can order more than 5,000 cu metres from us all the way down to just 1 cu m, although we appreciate you will probably want a little more than the latter. Our website also has an inbuilt concrete calculator so you can estimate more precisely how much you need. If you do happen to get it wrong and order a bit too much, don’t worry, because we can always take away any excess at no extra cost.
- The Delivery Options
Just as you choose exactly how much you want to order, we can also tailor the delivery to suit you. We have a fleet of 8 and 6-cu metre lorries that will get your order to you as quickly as possible. We can deliver Mondays to Fridays, including early in the morning if necessary, as well as on Saturday mornings for a small premium. If possible, we will also deliver it on the same day as well. And, if you would rather pick it up from our base on the outskirts of Cambridge yourself, then you can do that too.
- The Quality of the Concrete
All our concrete is accredited, so its quality is guaranteed. We have received the BSI kitemark, which shows that our concrete has been tested and fully meets both the BS EN 206 and BS 8500-2 standards. Our Quality Management System has also been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation.
The tests for these accreditations are ongoing so we have to keep our standards consistently high to retain them. This means that the concrete you receive from us will always be of a very high standard.
- The Different Admixtures
We appreciate that our business customers may want different properties in their concrete. For example, if it’s going to be in an external position, or in contact with rain or water on a regular basis, you may need our waterproof concrete. If the site is in a relatively inaccessible location, or at height, then we can provide a pumpable admixture as well.
In turn, you may need reinforced concrete if it’s on a farm (to withstand the weight of the agricultural vehicles) or being used in buildings and construction. In such cases, we supply reinforced concrete with polypropylene fibres to customers across Cambridgeshire and beyond.
- The Customer Service
Our concrete is also competitively priced, and we always try to match any of our competitors’ quotes. We also offer a range of easy payment options, including Bacs and credit and debit card accounts.
We pride ourselves on our quality of service and we are also highly experienced in knowing the type and amount of concrete you will need. Don’t just take our word for it – you can check out our testimonials from customers here.
Commercial Ready Mix Concrete in Cambridgeshire from Madmix
If you would like to know more about any of our products and services, follow this link, or email us on email@example.com. You can also call Kay directly on 01954 212212.
Many home DIY projects take place either in the summer or over a Bank Holiday weekend when the days are longer, the weather is warmer and homeowners are likely to have some time off work. However, if you are using any concrete, then very high temperatures have the potential to create some issues with the admixture.
Here Madmix, who supply domestic concrete across Cambridgeshire, provide some top tips which should ensure everything goes smoothly and the quality of your concrete is unaffected.
The Application of Science
Water is one of the principal ingredients of concrete (along with cement and ground granulated blast furnace slag, or GGBS for short). When these three elements are mixed together, the hydration process begins. This is where the concrete begins to set and develop its strength.
Concrete has ‘set’ if it can absorb pressure without suffering any damage – so if you walk on it, you won’t leave a footprint behind. In hot weather, the setting time is greatly reduced, meaning that you don’t have as long to smooth it out and finish it. And the faster the concrete sets, the more likely it is to crack in the future.
It’s not just the concrete setting time which could be an issue in hot weather, but the curing process as well. All admixtures need to go through this process to reach their maximum strength, and to do so evenly, the concrete needs to maintain its moisture. Evaporation should be avoided, as premature curing will weaken the concrete.
What Can You Do?
There are a number of steps you can take to minimise the effects of hot weather. These include:
Prepare the Site – if you are expecting a delivery of ready-mix concrete, make sure the vehicle can reach the site easily. Make sure any vehicles won’t impede access to homes or driveways, including your neighbours’. Also, make sure to clear away any debris and unwanted items from the site itself. If the pour site is relatively inaccessible, then it may be worth using a pumpable admixture and hiring a pump.
Madmix supply pumpable concrete to customers as far afield as Royston, Newmarket, St Ives and St Neots and we recommend Boxfast Plant Concrete Pumping Specialists for the actual pumping – their contact details can be found here.
Keep Everything Moist – before your concrete arrives, you can use water to dampen any sub-base as well as the timber framework. You should also erect some sunshades and screens to keep the work area out of direct sunlight. Keep all equipment in the shade for as long as possible. All of this helps to keep the site cool, aiding the hydration process during the pour. It will also ensure that the concrete is properly cured.
Choose the Right Delivery Time – generally, the temperature peaks at around 12noon and in the early afternoon, so try to avoid these times if you are working on a concrete project.
The early morning is probably the best time for a delivery. At Madmix, the slots we offer are Monday to Friday – early morning, next day or sometimes same-day delivery service, subject to the availability of mixers – or Saturday morning deliveries (for a small premium).
Look After Yourself – it’s not just concrete which is affected by hot weather; humans are as well. So, if you are working on a domestic concrete project and the temperatures are soaring, make sure you apply plenty of sun cream, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and make sure there’s a regular supply of cold drinks at hand. You should also use a wheelbarrow rather than try to carry anything yourself.
Buy Accredited Concrete – you have the confidence in knowing that all of your concrete is of a consistently high quality, and less likely to suffer from any of the problems listed above. Madmix has received the BSI kitemark, showing that our assured concrete has been tested and fully meets the BS EN 206 and BS 8500-2 standards. Our Quality Management System has been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation.
Domestic Concrete in Cambridgeshire from Madmix
If you would like to know any more about the different types of admixtures we can offer for domestic concrete projects, follow this link. You can also call us on 01954 212212, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to give advice on what you need.
A delivery of fresh, ready-mix concrete for a new garden path, driveway or foundation can go without a hitch, provided you follow a few simple steps. Madmix, who supply domestic concrete to customers in Cambridge and the surrounding area, provide some top tips to make sure your project proceeds as planned.
Prepare the Site
First and foremost, make sure everything is as flat and level as possible. This includes any sub-bases that have already been laid. You also need to make sure that the site is clear of any obstructions and that there is no debris that could get in the way.
As a courtesy, tell your neighbours. Not only will this prevent any possible issues with access, they may be able to help by moving their own vehicles.
At Madmix, we have a fleet of 6 and 8 cubic metre barrel truck mixer lorries operating out of our Cambridgeshire headquarters. These have a reach of up to 2.4m at right angles to the site, although this is almost halved if the vehicle can only draw alongside the job. It is also worth noting that we need a 3.2m gap for our vehicles to go through a gateway or entrance.
And Your Own Resources
Bear in mind that the concrete will only be workable for a certain amount of time, so make sure you have the manpower to do the job within that period (particularly if it’s a bigger project).
For this reason, be sure to have all the tools you will need to smooth out the concrete, such as wheelbarrows for transportation, rakes and shovels to roughly level the concrete, a flat piece of timber for a more precise finish, and a spirit level to check it’s flat afterwards. And, have tarpaulins and sheeting to hand as well, for reasons to be explained below.
Coping with The Perils of Rain…
If the weather forecast is for rain, make sure the site, and any frame or formwork, is covered effectively with plastic sheets. (These are a good idea even if it isn’t raining). This is because sheets will stop moisture from escaping too quickly and will ensure that the concrete is properly cured and can reach its maximum strength.
It is also important to ensure that the ground is level because you don’t want any water-filled cavities as the concrete will absorb the extra moisture and also become compromised. Your admixture already contains a certain amount of water – adding more will mean it is at increased risk of cracking later on.
If it rains while you are working with your concrete, don’t panic. Cover the site up, if you haven’t already, then brush off any excess water with a garden hose or something similar.
…and Extremes of Temperature
Try to avoid laying concrete down if it’s below freezing, otherwise the concrete could be at risk of spalling because the water may expand and contract. Blankets may be necessary if the temperature is low.
And, even if it’s above freezing (0C), but below 5C, then the admixture may take longer to develop its strength after it’s been laid down. Warm temperatures can create problems, too, because anything on or above 30C may reduce its strength later on.
Domestic Concrete in Cambridge from Madmix
If you are worried about preparations and temperatures, give us a call on 01954 212212, and we will be happy to advise you. We may be able to reschedule your delivery to a more convenient time when the weather forecast is better.
We supply accredited concrete, so it’s guaranteed to be of high quality and should be less vulnerable to the vagaries of the British climate. It also meets the European standard EN 206 and its complementary UK measure, BS 8500. This means that its temperature is guaranteed to stay above 5C, meaning it should remain workable for longer. And you don’t need to worry about having too much concrete as we will take away any excess from your site at no extra cost.
If you’d like to know more about any of our concretes and associated services, follow this link and fill in the online contact form.
Although concrete is one of the most durable materials used in the construction industry, there are occasions when it can start showing signs of wear and tear much earlier than expected. Madmix, who supply accredited concrete to businesses and households in Huntingdon, Royston, St Ives and around Cambridgeshire, identify some of the key factors that affect how concrete will last.
The Quality of Raw Materials
Concrete consists of a mixture of cement, aggregates and water. Cement is usually Portland cement, which is created from limestone. Aggregates include gravel, sand and stone. Water is the third and last key ingredient.
You need all of these to be of good quality for the concrete to be durable. For example, if the water is full of oils, acids, alkalis and other chemical impurities, the concrete won’t last as long as it should.
Ideally, aggregate particles should also be angular and round. If they are flaky and elongated, they could make the final mixture more porous and less workable – again, affecting the final mixture’s durability.
The Proportions of the Mixture
Even if all of the ingredients are of top quality, if they aren’t mixed in the right proportions, the quality and durability of the finished concrete will suffer. For instance, if there is too much water, although it will be more workable, it will also shrink too much when it dries, increasing the chance of cracking. On the other hand, if there’s too much cement, it won’t bond properly with the aggregate, again affecting strength and durability.
The Weather and Temperature
It is essential that concrete is not poured or laid in temperatures which are either too hot or too cold. If it’s too hot, then the concrete will dry out too quickly, making it more vulnerable to cracking, surface erosion and other forms of wear and tear, which will shorten its lifespan.
Even if the concrete has set, you still need to be careful because there is still moisture present, and the concrete needs to fully dry out in a controlled way (a process known as ‘curing’). For instance, if the concrete has been laid in winter, you may need to put some polythene sheets over it for up to 10 days (or seven days in summer).
There is also the freeze/thaw problem in more northern or colder climates. When water freezes, it expands, putting pressure on the concrete, which can rupture over time, particularly if the cycle repeats itself.
There is also the problem of rainfall and moisture. If concrete is being poured or laid during heavy rain, some of the cement in the concrete can be washed away. So if it has to be laid in such conditions, have tarpaulins and covers at the ready.
The Presence of Other Chemicals
A number of chemicals which aren’t naturally occurring can also affect the composition of the concrete and cause it to deteriorate before it should. This particularly applies to concrete used in storage facilities which house chemicals such as fertilisers, acids and any form of bio-waste.
Chlorides and sulphates (which can be present in water and soil can damage the cement in the concrete) as well as other reactive substances all pose a threat to the durability of the finished product.
Accredited Concrete in Huntingdon from Madmix
At Madmix, we supply accredited concrete to domestic and commercial customers from our base on the outskirts of Cambridge.
We have been given the BSI kitemark, which is only awarded to companies whose concrete meets the BS EN 206 and BS 8500-2 standards. This means it is guaranteed to be of high quality and not just in the ingredients used, but how it is mixed together.
We also supply a number of specific admixtures which get around some of the problems outlined above, such as waterproof concrete, which lets in less moisture. We also supply sulphate resistant concrete to our customers in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Royston and beyond, which is particularly useful for sewers, sewage works, water storage areas and bridges.
If you would like to know more about any of our admixtures, call us on 01954 212212 or click here for our full contact details and online contact form.
You might feel that, for a small domestic project such as a garden shed or garage base, you don’t need to call in the experts, and you can mix the concrete yourself. However, this is usually a false economy. Here Madmix, a leading ready mix concrete company based in Cambridgeshire, explain why.
You really need to make sure that you get all the various ingredients right and in their correct proportions for the concrete to be durable and long-lasting. This means you have to have your own cement, sand and aggregates, and the right proportions of each – it is very easy to get it wrong.
This is particularly true when it comes to allowing air into the mix, known as air entrainment. This creates areas for water in the admixture to expand into when the concrete freezes in cold weather, something that is almost impossible to achieve with DIY concrete.
At Madmix, we have been mixing concrete for many years, and all our concrete is accredited, which means that it is of a high quality and subject to ongoing testing.
Some areas will inevitably be slightly wetter or drier than others, however much care you take. Not only will this affect the physical properties of the concrete, it will also affect the look (for example, being slightly lighter or darker in colour).
This is an issue where the concrete will be readily visible such as on paths and drives rather than floors and sub-bases, because everyone will know that the work has not been done by a professional.
You may think you are saving money by doing it yourself. This could be true when talking purely about the cost of the concrete, but there are a lot of other factors that come into play as well.
You may need to hire a cement mixer (for larger domestic projects) as well as some tools, all of which will cost money. If you do it yourself, the concrete surface may need replacing more quickly or more often because of the quality issues. There is also a time factor, particularly if you have to take days off work to complete the job. You may also need to buy individual bags and have some left over at the end of the job.
At Madmix, not only do we have a concrete calculator on our website that will help you to order the amount you need, but we also will take back any excess at no additional cost.
There’s also the physical problem of getting your mix where you want it.
At Madmix, we have a fleet of 8 cu metre and 6 cu metre barrel truck mixers, so we should be able to deliver all your concrete in one go if it’s a small project. (Note – our mixers will need to go on hard-standing ground.)
You have the choice of Monday to Friday early morning, next day or sometimes a same-day delivery service, subject to the availability of mixers or Saturday morning deliveries (at a small premium). We also offer a pumpable admixture, so there isn’t a problem even if you need it pouring into an inaccessible area.
Although we are a ready mix concrete company based in Cambridgeshire, we also deliver further afield as well. We offer regular domestic concrete deliveries to Newmarket in Suffolk, and Royston in Hertfordshire, and many other towns and villages. For a fuller list, click here.
Kinder to Your Neighbours and the Environment
If you are having your concrete delivered, then your neighbours won’t have to worry about noisy cement mixers, particularly if they are off work or at home at the same time as you are. Yes there will be a delivery lorry, but it won’t be there for long.
Not only is noise pollution reduced, but professionally produced concrete means less waste and less damage to the environment. It also means less dust pollution too, as ready mixed concrete uses bulk rather than bagged cement.
Madmix – A Ready Mix Concrete Company from Cambridgeshire
If you would like to know more about our ready mix concrete, follow this link or call Kay on 01954 212212.
One of the most important features of ready-mix concrete is its workability. Here Madmix, a leading concrete company in Cambridgeshire, examine what the term means, how it is achieved, and how we can supply an admixture which meets your needs.
‘Workability’ is defined as ‘how easily freshly mixed concrete can be placed, consolidated and finished with minimal loss of homogeneity or consistency’. There are five main factors that affect how workable concrete is:
- The Ratio of Water to Cement. Broadly speaking, the higher the percentage of water, the more workable the concrete will be, but there could be some trade-offs. Concrete with a higher percentage of water is more prone to shrinkage, cracking, and will lose some of its overall strength over time.
- The Aggregates. This refers to the size and shape of the stones and sand used in the admixture. As the surface area of aggregates increases, the more cement paste is needed to cover their surface. So, concrete mixes with smaller aggregates will typically be less workable compared to larger sizes.
- The Admixtures. These can be used not just to improve the strength of the concrete (once set), but also to improve its workability. Examples include plasticisers (that help with consistency), air entrainers (to improve freeze/thaw resistance), and internal curing (which helps reduce any cracking and loss of strength).
- Temperature. The warmer or hotter the weather, then the more quickly the water in the concrete will evaporate when it is poured or laid down, making it less workable.
- Time. The longer you leave the concrete, whatever the weather, type of admixture, or size of the pour, it will become less workable it will become (particularly in warmer weather, as outlined above).
Where is Workability Important?
You need your concrete to be workable in a number of scenarios. First and foremost, when the pour is a large one (usually in construction projects), where the extra working time is needed because of the sheer volume of concrete involved.
Secondly, where the concrete needs to be pumped from some distance away (including from a lower height). For example, many multi-storey buildings (such as car parks) and locations that are generally inaccessible to delivery vehicles.
At Madmix, we provide pumpable concrete for both commercial and domestic use in St Ives, St Neots, Ely, Huntingdon, Newmarket and across Cambridgeshire. If your projects needs concrete to be pumped we recommend Boxfast Plant Concrete Pumping Specialists for pump hire.
Workability is also important where effective compaction of concrete isn’t possible. Compaction is the process which expels air from freshly placed concrete and packs the aggregate particles together to increase the concrete’s density.
Where is it Not so Important?
There are some types of projects where you don’t need such a high degree of workability. For example, concrete used in road making is usually very dry and is laid down by power-operated machines. This means it should be level and not require much additional work.
The same can be said for domestic projects such as shed bases and driveways which cover a small area; working with, and smoothing out, the admixture shouldn’t take very long.
Ready Mix Concrete from Madmix, a Concrete Company in Cambridgeshire
At Madmix we supply a range of admixtures, one of which is sure to fit your individual needs.
As well as pumpable concrete, we also supply waterproof concrete (which is ideal for bridges and dams), concrete reinforced with polypropylene fibres (which will give extra strength), and domestic admixtures which are suitable for paths and driveways.
If you’re not sure which type of concrete to choose, give us a call on 01954 212212 and we’ll advise you on the best type for your needs, as well as how long it’s likely to be workable for. You can also contact us by clicking on this link and filling in the online form.