A concrete mixer for railways is nothing too extraordinary, it is just a machine that homogeneously mixes cement, gravels or sand and water to make concrete. A standard concrete mixer for railways uses a spinning drum to combine the components. A portable mixer is used for less volume of work so that the components can be combined at the site of construction, giving all the workers a sufficient amount of time to utilize the concrete before it gets hard.
History of concrete mixer
The first machine to be ever developed was by T.L. Smith in 1900 in Milwaukee. The machine already displayed the prevalent primary construction with a tilt-able cone-shaped drum (was double cone during that period) with blades. In1925, at least a couple of machines with serial number 37 and 82 that were built 25 years ago, were still in use. The Smith Mascot, in reality, has the identical structure of the small machines used now. The T.L. Smith Company constructed the world’s biggest concrete mixers in Milwaukee during the 1920s.
The concrete mixers of T.L. Smith Company were utilized for building the Wilson Dam, the Exchequer Dam, and Ohio State University’s first stadium.
Why is a concrete mixer needed for railways?
Concrete mixers are needed for railways to make the railroad tie, also called crosstie in American English or railway sleeper in British English.
A railway sleeper is a quadrilateral shaped block made of concrete for giving support to the rails in the railroad tracks.
They are usually laid perpendicularly on the railroad tracks, link the transfer parts with track ballast and the subgrade. Also, helps to hold the rails straight and keep them separated to the accurate gauge.
Railroad sleepers were originally made of timber. However, concrete is now widely used, especially in parts of Asia and Europe.
Ties made of steel are commonly seen in the UK on secondary lines.
Why concrete sleepers?
The concrete sleepers are easier to obtain than wood and are cheaper. Also, they are better when it comes to bear higher axle weights and support higher speeds. Their greater load ensures enhanced preservation of the track geometry, particularly when they are installed with the rail that is continuous-welded. Concrete sleepers have a more extended service life and they also require low maintenance than wood because of their weight. This helps them to stay in the correct position for a longer period. Most of the European railways also use concrete sleepers due to their extended service life and low cost.
Concrete mixer transport
When it comes to making the railroad sleepers the concrete for their construction is not made on the rail tracks. They are made in the factory or somewhere else and then transported to the rail tracks for turning them into the sleepers. The vehicles used to transport these concrete mixers are called transit mixers. The transit mixer constructor is generally in charge of the whole process.
The transit mixer constructor helps to transport the concrete to the place where the concrete needs to be used.