Concrete Construction - Methods and Costs
by Halbert P. Gillette
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NOTE.—This table is to be used where cement is measured packed in the barrel, for the ordinary barrel holds 3.8 cu. ft.

It should be evident from the foregoing discussions that no table can be made, and no rule can be formulated that will yield accurate results unless the brand of cement is tested and the percentage of voids in the sand determined. This being so the sensible plan is to use the tables merely as a rough guide, and, where the quantity of cement to be used is very large, to make a few batches of mortar using the available brands of cement and sand in the proportions specified. Ten dollars spent in this way may save a thousand, even on a comparatively small job, by showing what cement and sand to select.

It will be seen that Tables XII and XIII can be condensed into the following rule:

Add together the number of parts and divide this sum into ten, the quotient will be approximately the number of barrels of cement per cubic yard.


(Sand voids, 40%; stone voids, 45%; Portland cement barrel yielding 3.65 cu. ft. of paste. Barrel specified to be 4.4 cu. ft.)

- Proportions by Volume. 1:2:4 1:2:5 1:2:6 1:2:5 1:2:6 1:3:4 - Bbls. cement per cu. yd. concr't 1.30 1.16 1.00 1.07 0.96 1.08 Cu. yds. sand " " 0.42 0.38 0.33 0.44 0.40 0.53 Cu. yds. stone " " 0.84 0.95 1.00 0.88 0.95 0.71 - Proportions by Volume. 1:3:5 1:3:6 1:3:7 1:4:7 1:4:8 1:4:9 - Bbls. cement per cu. yd. concr't 0.96 0.90 0.82 0.75 0.68 0.64 Cu. yds. sand " " 0.47 0.44 0.40 0.49 0.44 0.42 Cu. yds. stone " " 0.78 0.88 0.93 0.86 0.88 0.95 -

NOTE.—This table is to be used when the cement is measured loose, after dumping it into a box, for under such conditions a barrel of cement yields 4.4 cu. ft. of loose cement.

Thus for a 1:2:5 concrete, the sum of the parts is 1 + 2 + 5, which is 8; then 10 8 is 1.25 bbls., which is approximately equal to the 1.30 bbls. given in the table. Neither is this rule nor are the tables applicable if a different size of cement barrel is specified, or if the voids in the sand or stone differ materially from 40 per cent. to 45 per cent. respectively. There are such innumerable combinations of varying voids, and varying sizes of barrel, that the authors do not deem it worth while to give other tables. The following amounts of cement per cubic yard of mortar were determined by test:

Authority Neat. 1 to 1 1 to 2 1 to 3 1 to 4 1 to 5 1 to 6 1 to 7 1 to 8 - Bbls. Bbls. Bbls. Bbls. Bbls. Bbls. Bbls. Bbls. Bbls. Sabin 7.40 4.17 2.84 2.06 1.62 1.33 1.14 .... .... W. B. Fuller 8.02 4.58 3.09 2.30 1.80 1.48 1.23 1.11 1.00 H. P. Boardman. 7.40 4.50 3.18 2.35 .... .... .... .... ....

The proportions were by barrels of cement to barrels of sand, and Sabin called a 380-lb. barrel 3.65 cu. ft., whereas Fuller called a 380-lb. barrel 3.80 cu. ft.; and Boardman called a 380-lb. barrel 3.5 cu. ft. Sabin used a sand having 38 per cent. voids; Fuller used a sand having 45 per cent. voids; and Boardman used a sand having 38 per cent. voids. It will be seen that the cement used by Sabin yielded 3.65 cu. ft. of cement paste per bbl. (i. e. 27 7.4), whereas the (Atlas) cement used by Fuller yielded 3.4 cu. ft. of cement paste per bbl. Sabin found that a barrel of cement measured 4.37 cu. ft. when dumped and measured loose. Mr. Boardman states a barrel (380 lbs., net) of Lehigh Portland cement yields 3.65 cu. ft. of cement paste; and that a barrel (265 lbs., net) of Louisville natural cement yields 3.0 cu. ft. of cement paste.

Mr. J. J. R. Croes, M. Am. Soc. C. E., states that 1 bbl. of Rosendale cement and 2 bbl. of sand (8 cu. ft.) make 9.7 cu. ft. of mortar, the extreme variations from this average being 7 per cent.

Frequently concrete is made by mixing one volume of cement with a given number of volumes of pit gravel; no sand being used other than the sand that is found naturally mixed with the gravel. In such cases the cement rarely increases the bulk of the gravel, hence Table XIV will give the approximate amount of cement, assuming 1 cu. yd. of gravel per cubic yard of concrete.


-+ Spc. Vol. Barrels of Cement per Cubic Yard of Concrete for Mixtures of of bbl. + - - - - - - cu. ft. 1-5 1-6 1-7 1-8 1-9 1-10 1-12 - - - - - - - 3.8 1.41 1.18 1.01 0.874 0.789 0.71 0.59 4.4 1.25 1.02 0.875 0.766 0.681 0.61 0.51 - - - - - - -

PERCENTAGE OF WATER IN CONCRETE.—Tests show that dry mixtures when carefully deposited and well tamped produce the stronger concrete. This superiority of dry mixtures it must be observed presupposes careful deposition and thorough tamping, and these are tasks which are difficult to have accomplished properly in actual construction work and which, if accomplished properly, require time and labor. Wet mixtures readily flow into the corners and angles of the forms and between and around the reinforcing bars with only a small amount of puddling and slicing and are, therefore, nearly always used because of the time and labor saved in depositing and tamping. The following rule by which to determine the percentage of water by weight for any given mixture of mortar for wet concrete will be found satisfactory:

Multiply the parts of sand by 8, add 24 to the product, and divide the total by the sum of the parts of sand and cement.

For example if the percentage of water is required for a 1-3 mortar:

(3 8) + 24 —————— = 12. 4

Hence the water should be 12 per cent. of the combined weight of cement and sand. For a 1-1 mortar the rule gives 16 per cent.; for a 1-2 mortar it gives 13 per cent., and for a 1-6 mortar it gives 10.3 per cent.

To calculate the amount of water per cubic yard of 1-3-6 concrete for example the procedure would be as follows: By the above rule a 1-3 mortar requires

(3 8) + 24 —————— = 12 per cent. water. 4

A 1-3-6 concrete, according to Table XII, contains 1.05 bbls. cement and 0.44 cu. yd. sand. Cement weighs 380 lbs. per barrel, hence 1.05 bbls. would weigh 380 1.05 = 399 lbs. Sand weighs 2,700 lbs. per cu. yd., hence 0.44 cu. yd. of sand would weigh 2,700 0.44 = 1,188 lbs. The combined weight of the cement and sand would thus be 399 + 1,188 = 1,587 lbs. and 12 per cent. of 1.587 lbs. is 190 lbs. of water. Water weighs 8.355 lbs. per gallon, hence 190 8.355 = 23 gallons of water per cubic yard of 1-3-6 concrete.

METHODS OF MEASURING AND WEIGHING.—The cement, sand and aggregate for concrete mixtures are usually measured by hand, the measuring being done either in the charging buckets or in the barrows or other receptacles used to handle the material to the charging buckets. The process is simple in either case when once the units of measurement are definitely stated. This is not always the case. Some engineers require the contractor to measure the sand and stone in the same sized barrel that the cement comes in, in which case 1 part of sand or aggregate usually means 3.5 cu. ft. Other engineers permit both heads of the barrel to be knocked out for convenience in measuring the sand and stone, in which case a barrel means 3.75 cu. ft. Still other engineers permit the cement to be measured loose in a box, then a barrel usually means from 4 to 4.5 cu. ft. Cement is shipped either in barrels or in bags and the engineer should specify definitely the volume at which he will allow the original package to be counted, and also, if cement barrels are to be used in measuring the sand and stone, he should specify what a "barrel" is to be. When the concrete is to be mixed by hand the better practice is to measure the sand and stone in bottomless boxes of the general type shown by Fig. 10 and of known volume, and then specify that a bag of cement shall be called 1 cu. ft., 0.6 cu. ft., or such other fraction of a cubic foot as the engineer may choose. The contractor then has a definite basis on which to estimate the quantity of cement required for any specified mixture. The same is true if the measuring of the sand and stone be done in barrows or in the charging bucket. The volume of the bag or barrel of cement being specified the contractor has a definite and simple problem to solve in measuring his materials.

To avoid uncertainty and labor in measuring the cement, sand and stone or gravel various automatic measuring devices have been designed. A continuous mixer with automatic measuring and charging mechanism is described in Chapter XIV. Figure 11 shows the Trump automatic measuring device. It consists of a series of revolving cylinders, each opening onto a "table," which revolves with the cylinders, and of a set of fixed "knives," which, as the "tables" revolve, scrape off portions of the material discharged from each cylinder onto its "table." The illustration shows a set of two cylinders; for concrete work a third cylinder is added. The three tables are set one above the other, each with its storage cylinder, and being attached to the same spindle all revolve together. For each table there is a knife with its own adjusting mechanism. These knives may be adjusted at will to vary the percentage of material scraped off.

Automatic measuring devices are most used in connection with continuous mixers, but they may be easily adapted to batch mixers if desired. One point to be observed is that all of these automatic devices measure the cement loose and this must be allowed for in proportioning the mixture.



The making and placing of concrete by hand is divided into the following operations: (1) Loading the barrows, buckets, carts or cars used to transport the cement, sand and stone to the mixing board; (2) Transporting and dumping the material; (3) Mixing the material by turning with shovels and hoes; (4) Loading the concrete by shovels into barrows, buckets, carts or cars; (5) Transporting the concrete to place; (6) Dumping and spreading; (7) Ramming.

LOADING INTO STOCK PILES.—Stock piles should always be provided unless there is some very good reason to the contrary. They prevent stoppage of work through irregularities in the delivery of the material, and they save foreman's time in watching that the material is delivered as promptly as needed for the work immediately in hand. The location of the stock piles should be as close to the work as possible without being in the way of construction; forethought both in locating the piles and in proportioning their size to the work will save the contractor money.

The stone and sand will ordinarily be delivered in wagons or cars. If delivered in cars, effort should be made to secure delivery in flat cars when the unloading is to be done by shoveling; this is more particularly necessary for the broken stone. Stone can be shoveled from hopper bottom cars only with difficulty as compared with shoveling from flat bottom cars; the ratio is about 14 cu. yds. per day per man from hopper bottom cars as compared with 20 cu. yds. per day per man from flat bottom cars. When the cars can be unloaded through a trestle, hopper bottom cars should by all means be secured for delivering the stone. If the amount of work will justify the expense, a trestle may be built; often there is a railway embankment which can be dug away for a short distance and the track carried on stringers to make a dumping place, from which the stone can be shoveled.

Sand can be dumped directly on the ground, but broken stone unless it is very small, -in. or less, should always be dumped on a well made plank floor. A good floor is made of 2-in. plank, nailed to 46-in. mud sills, spaced 3 ft. apart, and well bedded in the ground. Loose plank laid directly on the ground settle unevenly and thus the smooth shoveling surface which is sought is not obtained; the object of the floor is to provide an even surface, along which a square pointed shovel can be pushed; it is very difficult to force such a shovel into broken stone unless it is very fine. A spading fork is a better tool than a shovel, with which to load broken stone from piles. A man can load from 18 to 20 cu. yds. of broken stone into wheelbarrows or carts in 10 hours when shoveling from a good floor, but he can load only 12 to 14 cu. yds. per day when shoveling from a pile without such a floor. It is a common thing to see stone unloaded from cars directly onto the sloping side of a railway embankment. This makes very difficult shoveling and results in a waste of stone. Stone can usually be delivered by a steel lined chute directly to a flooring located at the foot of the embankment; coarse broken stone if given a start when cast from a shovel will slide on an iron chute having a slope as flat as 3 or 4 to 1; sand will not slide on a slope of 1 to 1. When chuting is not practicable it will pay often to shovel the stone into buckets handled by a stiff-leg derrick rather than to unload it onto the bank. Stock piles of ample storage capacity are essential when delivery is by rail, because of the uncertainty of rail shipments. When the contractor is taking the sand and stone direct from pit and quarry by wagon it is not necessary to have large stock piles.

LOADING FROM STOCK PILES.—In loading sand into wheelbarrows or carts with shovels a man will load 20 cu. yds. per 10-hour day if he is energetic and is working under a good foreman. Under opposite conditions 15 cu. yds. per man per day is all that it is safe to count on. A man shoveling from a good floor will load 20 cu. yds. of stone per 10-hour day; this is reduced to 15 cu. yds. per day if the stone is shoveled off the ground and to 12 cu. yds. per day if in addition the management is poor. There are ordinarily in a cubic yard of concrete about 1 cu. yd. of stone and 0.4 cu. yd. of sand, so that the cost of loading the materials into barrows or carts, with wages at 15 cts. per hour and assuming 15 cu. yds. to be a day's work, would be:

1 cu. yd. stone loaded for 10 cts. 0.4 cu. yd. sand loaded for 4 cts. ———- Total 14 cts.

To this is to be added the cost of loading the cement. This will cost not over 2 cts. per cu. yd. of concrete; the total cost of loading concrete materials into barrows or carts, therefore, does not often exceed 16 cts. per cu. yd. of concrete.

TRANSPORTING MATERIALS TO MIXING BOARDS—Carrying the sand and stone from stock piles to mixing board in shovels should never be practiced. It takes from 100 to 150 shovelfuls of stone to make 1 cu. yd.; it, therefore, costs 50 cts. per cu. yd. to carry it 100 ft. and return empty handed, for in walking short distances the men travel very slowly—about 150 ft. per minute. It costs more to walk a half dozen paces with stone carried in shovels than to wheel it in barrows.

The most common method of transporting materials from stock piles to mixing boards is in wheelbarrows. The usual wheelbarrow load on a level plank runway is 3 bags of cement (300 lbs) or 3 cu. ft. of sand or stone. If a steep rise must be overcome to reach the mixing platform the load will be reduced to 2 bags (200 lbs.) of cement or 2 cu. ft. of sand or stone. A man wheeling a barrow travels at a rate of 200 ft. per minute, going and coming, and loses minute each trip dumping the load, fixing run planks, etc. An active man will do 20 to 25 per cent. more work than this, while a very lazy man may do 20 per cent. less. With wages at 15 cts. per hour, the cost of wheeling materials for 1 cu. yd. of concrete may be obtained by the following rule:

To a fixed cost of 4 cts. (for lost time) add 1 ct. for every 20 ft. of distance away from the stock pile if there is a steep rise in the runway, but if the runway is level, add 1 ct. for every 30 ft. distance of haul.

Since loading the barrows, as given above, was 16 cts. per cu. yd., the total fixed cost is 16 + 4 = 20 cts. per cu. yd., to which is added 1 ct. for every 20 or 30 ft. haul depending on the grade of the runway.

The preceding figures assume the use of plank runways for the wheelbarrows. These should never be omitted, and the barrows wheeled over the ground. Even a hard packed earth path in dry weather is inferior to a plank runway and when the ground is soft or muddy the loss in efficiency of the men is serious. Where the runway must rise to the mixing board, give it a slope or grade seldom steeper than 1 in 8, and if possible flatter. Make a runway on a trestle at least 18 ins. wide, so that men will be in no danger of falling. See to it, also, that the planks are so well supported that they do not spring down when walked over, for a springy plank makes hard wheeling. If the planks are so long between the "horses" or "bents" used to support them, that they spring badly, it is usually a simple matter to nail a cleat across the underside of the planks and stand an upright strut underneath to support and stiffen the plank.

When two-wheeled carts of the type shown by Fig. 12 are used the runway requires two lines of planks.

Two-wheeled carts pushed by hand have been less used for handling concrete materials than for handling concrete, but for distances from 50 to 150 ft. from stock pile to mixing board such carts are probably cheaper for transporting materials than are wheelbarrows. These carts hold generally three wheelbarrow loads and they are handled by one man practically as rapidly and easily as is a wheelbarrow.

For all distances over 50 ft. from stock pile to mixing board, it is cheaper to haul materials in one-horse dump carts than it is in wheelbarrows. A cart should be loaded in 4 minutes and dumped in about 1 minute, making 5 minutes lost time each round trip. It should travel at a speed of not less than 200 ft. per minute, although it is not unusual to see variations of 15 or 20 per cent., one way or another, from this average, depending upon the management of the work. A one-horse cart will readily carry enough stone and sand to make cu. yd. of concrete, if the roads are fairly hard and level; and a horse can pull this load up a 10 per cent. (rise of 1 ft. in 10 ft.) planked roadway provided with cleats to give a foothold. If a horse, cart and driver can be hired for 30 cts. per hour, the cost of hauling the materials for 1 cu. yd. of concrete is given by the following rule:

To a fixed cost of 5 cts. (for lost time at both ends of haul) add 1 ct. for every 100 ft. of distance from stock pile to mixing board.

Where carts are used it is possible to locate the stock piles several hundred feet from the mixing boards without adding materially to the cost of the concrete. It is well, however, to have the stock piles in sight of the foreman at the mixing board, so as to insure promptness of delivery.

METHODS AND COST OF MIXING.—In mixing concrete by hand the materials are spread in superimposed layers on a mixing board and mixed together first dry and then with water by turning them with shovels or hoes. The number of turns, the relative arrangement of the layers, and the sequence of operations vary in practice with the notions of the engineer controlling the work. No one mode of procedure in hand mixing can, therefore, be specified for general application; the following are representative examples of practice in hand mixing:

Measure the stone in a bottomless box and spread it until its thickness in inches equals its parts by volume. Measure the sand in a bottomless box set on the stone and spread the sand evenly over the stone layer. Place the cement on the sand and spread evenly. Turn the material twice with a square pointed shovel and then turn it a third time while water is gently sprinkled on. A fourth turn is made to mix thoroughly the water and the concrete is then shoveled into barrows, giving it a fifth turn. Mr. Ernest McCullough, who gives this method, states that it is the cheapest way to mix concrete by hand and still secure a good quality of output.

In work done by Mr. H. P. Boardman the sand is measured in a bottomless box and over it is spread the cement in an even layer. The cement and sand are mixed dry with hoes, the water is added in pailfuls and the whole mixed to a uniform porridge-like consistency. Into this thin mortar all the stone for a batch is dumped, the measuring box is lifted and the mixture turned by shovels. A pair of shovelers, one on each side, is started at one end turning the material back and working toward the opposite end. A second pair of shovelers takes the turned material and turns it again. The concrete is then shoveled into the barrows by the wheelers themselves as fast as it is turned the second time. By this method a good gang of 20 to 25 men, using two boxes, will, Mr. Boardman states, mix and place 45 to 60 cu. yds. of concrete in 10 hours, depending on the wheelbarrow travel necessary. Assuming a gang of 25 men, this is a rate of 1.8 to 2.4 cu. yds. per man per 10-hour day, concrete mixed and placed.

A method somewhat similar to the one just outlined is given by Mr. O. K. Morgan. A mixing board made of 7/8-in. matched boards nailed to 23-in. sills is used, with a mixing box about 8 ft. long, 4 ft. wide and 10 to 12 ins. deep. This box is set alongside the mixing board and in it the cement and sand are mixed first dry and then wet; a fairly wet mortar is made. Meanwhile the stone is spread in an even layer 6 ins. thick on the mixing board and thoroughly drenched with water. The mortar from the mixing box is cast by shovels in a fairly even layer over the stone and the whole is turned two or three times with shovels, generally two turns are enough. Six men are employed; two prepare the mortar, while four get the stone in readiness, then all hands finish the operation.

The following method is given by Mr. E. Sherman Gould: Spread the sand in a thin layer on the mixing board and over it spread the cement. Mix dry with shovels, using four men, one at each corner, turning outward and then working back again. Over the dry sand and cement mixture spread the broken stone which has been previously wetted and on top of the stone apply water evenly. The water will thus percolate through the stone without splashing and evenly wet the sand and cement. Finally turn the whole, using the same number of men and the same mode of procedure as were used in dry mixing the sand and cement. Mr. Gould states that by this method the contractor should average 2 cu. yds. of mixed concrete per man per 10-hour day.

A novel method of hand mixing and an unusual record of output is described by Maj. H. M. Chittenden, U. S. A., in connection with the construction of a concrete arch bridge. The mixing was done by hand on a single board 25 ft. long and sloping slightly from one end to the other. The materials were dumped together on the upper end of the board. Sixteen men were stationed along the board, eight on each side. The first two men turned the mixture dry. Next to them stood a man who applied the water after each shovelful. The next mixers kept turning the material along and another waterman assisted in wetting it further down the board. The men at the end of the board shoveled the concrete into the carts which took it to the work. Each batch contained 18 cu. ft., or 0.644 cu. yd., and the rate of mixing was 10 cu. yds. per hour, or 6.25 cu. yds. per man per 10-hour day. The work of getting the materials properly proportioned to the mixing board is not included in this figure, but the loading of the mixed concrete is included.

It is plain from the foregoing, that specifications for hand mixing should always state the method to be followed, and particularly the number of turns necessary. If these matters are not specified the contractor has to guess at the probable requirements of the engineer. The authors have known of inspectors demanding from 6 to 9 turns of the materials when specifications were ambiguous. It should also be made clear whether or not the final shoveling into the barrows or carts constitutes a turn, and whether any subsequent shoveling of the concrete into place constitutes a turn. Inspectors and foremen have frequent disputes over these questions.

Estimates of the cost of hand mixing may usually be figured upon the number of times that the materials are to be turned by shovels. A contractor is seldom required to turn the sand and cement more than three times dry and three times wet, and then turn the mortar and stone three times. A willing workman, under a good foreman, will turn over mortar at the rate of 30 cu. yds. in 10 hours, lifting each shovelful and casting it into a pile. With wages at $1.50 and six turns, this means a cost of 5 cts. per cubic yard of mortar for each turn; as there is seldom more than 0.4 cu. yd. of mortar in a cubic yard of concrete, we have a cost of 2 cts. per cubic yard of concrete for each turn that is given the mortar. So if the mortar is given six turns before the stone is added and then the stone and mortar are mixed by three turns we have: (2 cts. 6) + (5 cts. 3) = 12 + 15 = 27 cts. per cubic yard for mixing concrete. In pavement foundation work two turns of the mortar followed by two turns of the mortar and stone are considered sufficient. The cost of mixing per cubic yard of concrete is then (2 cts. 2) + (5 cts. 2) = 4 + 10 = 14 cts. per cubic yard of concrete. One specification known to the authors, requires six turns dry and three turns wet for the mortar; under such specifications the cost of mixing the mortar would be 50 per cent. higher than in the first example assumed. On the other hand, they have seen concrete mixed for street pavement foundation with only three turns before shoveling it into place. These costs of mixing apply to work done by diligent men; easy going men will make the cost 25 to 50 per cent greater.

LOADING AND HAULING MIXED CONCRETE.—Wheelbarrows and carts are employed to haul the mixed concrete to the work. The loading of these with mixed concrete by shoveling costs less than the loading of the materials separately before mixing. While the weight is greater because of the added water the volume of the concrete is much less than that of the ingredients before mixing. Again the shoveling is done off a smooth board with the added advantage of having the material lubricated and, finally, the foreman is usually at this point to crowd the work. A good worker will load 12 cu. yds. of concrete per 10-hour day, and with wages at $1.50 per day this would give a cost of 12 cts. per cu. yd. for loading.

Practically the same principles govern the transporting of concrete in barrows as govern the handling of the raw materials in them. The cost of wheeling concrete is practically the same as for wheeling the dry ingredients, so that the total cost of loading and wheeling may be estimated by the following rule:

To a fixed cost of 16 cts. for loading and lost time add 1 ct. for every 30 ft. of level haul.

Within a few years wheelbarrows have been supplanted to a considerable extent by hand carts of the general type shown by Fig. 12, which illustrates one made by the Ransome Concrete Machinery Co. The bowl of this cart has a capacity of 6 cu. ft. water measure. It is hung on a 1-in. steel axle; the wheels are 42 ins. in diameter with staggered spokes and 2-in. half oval tires. The top of the bowl is 29 ins. from the ground. Owing to the large diameter of the wheels and the fact that no weight comes on the wheeler, as with a wheelbarrow, this cart is handled by one man about as rapidly and easily as is a wheelbarrow. It will be noted that the two ends of the bowl differ in shape; the handle is removable and can be attached to either end of the bowl. With the handle attached as shown the bowl can be inverted for discharging onto a pavement or floor; with the handle transferred to the opposite end the bowl is fitted for dumping into narrow beam or wall forms. The maximum load of wet concrete for a wheelbarrow is 2 cu. ft., and this is a heavy load and one that is seldom averaged—1 to 1 cu. ft. is more nearly the general average. A cart of the above type will, therefore, carry from 3 to 5 wheelbarrow loads, and on good runways, which are essential, may be pushed and dumped about as rapidly as a wheelbarrow. In succeeding pages are given records of actual work with hand carts which should be studied in this connection.

Portland cement concrete can be hauled a considerable distance in a dump cart or wagon before it begins to harden; natural cement sets too quickly to permit of its being hauled far. Portland cement does not begin to set in less than 30 minutes. On a good road, with no long, steep hills a team will haul a loaded wagon at a speed of about 200 ft. per minute; it, therefore, takes 6 minutes to travel a quarter of a mile, 13 minutes to travel half a mile, and 26 minutes to travel a mile. Portland cement concrete can, therefore, be hauled a mile before it begins to set. The cost of hauling concrete in carts is about the same as the cost of hauling the raw materials as given in a preceding section.

When hand mixing is employed in building piers, abutments, walls, etc., the concrete often has to be hoisted as well as wheeled. A gallows frame or a mast with a pulley block at the top and a team of horses can often be used in such cases as described in Chapter XII for filling cylinder piers, or in the same chapter for constructing a bridge abutment. It is also possible often to locate the mixing board on high ground, perhaps at some little distance from the forms. If this can be done, the use of derricks may be avoided as above suggested or by building a light pole trestle from the mixing board to the forms. The concrete can then be wheeled in barrows and dumped into the forms. If the mixing board can be located on ground as high as the top of the concrete structure is to be, obviously a trestle will enable the men to wheel on a level runway. Such a trestle can be built very cheaply, especially where second-hand lumber, or lumber that can be used subsequently for forms is available. A pole trestle whose bents are made entirely of round sticks cut from the forest is a very cheap structure, if a foreman knows how to throw it together and up-end the bents after they are made. One of the authors has put up such trestles for 25 cts. per lineal foot of trestle, including all labor of cutting the round timber, erecting it, and placing a plank flooring 4 ft. wide on top. The stringers and flooring plank were used later for forms, and their cost is not included. A trestle 100 ft. long can thus be built at less cost than hauling, erecting and taking down a derrick; and once the trestle is up it saves the cost of operating a derrick.

In conclusion, it should be remarked that the comparative economy for concrete work of the different methods of haulage described, does not depend wholly on the comparative transportation costs; the effect of the method of haulage on the cost of dumping and spreading costs must be considered. For example, if carts deliver the material in such form that the cost of spreading is greatly increased over what it would be were the concrete delivered in wheelbarrows, the gain made by cart haulage may be easily wiped out or even turned into loss by the extra spreading charges. These matters are considered more at length in the succeeding section.

DUMPING, SPREADING AND RAMMING.—The cost of dumping wheelbarrows and carts is included in the rules of cost already given, excepting that in some cases it is necessary to add the wages of a man at the dump who assists the cart drivers or the barrow men. Thus in dumping concrete from barrows into a deep trench or pit, it is usually advisable to dump into a galvanized iron hopper provided with an iron pipe chute. One man can readily dump all the barrows that can be filled from a concrete mixer in a day, say 150 cu. yds. At this rate of output the cost of dumping would be only 1 ct. per cu. yd., but if one man were required to dump the output of a small gang of men, say 25 cu. yds., the cost of dumping would be 6 cts. per cu. yd.

Concrete dumped through a chute requires very little work to spread it in 6-in. layers; and, in fact, concrete that can be dumped from wheelbarrows, which do not all dump in one place, can be spread very cheaply; for not more than half the pile dumped from the barrow needs to be moved, and then moved merely by pushing with a shovel. Since the spreader also rams the concrete, it is difficult to separate these two items. As nearly as the authors have been able to estimate this item of spreading "dry" concrete dumped from wheelbarrows in street paving work, the cost is 5 cts. per cu. yd. If, on the other hand, nearly all the concrete must be handled by the spreaders, as in spreading concrete dumped from carts, the cost is fully double, or 10 cts. per cu. yd. And if the spreader has to walk even 3 or 4 paces to place the concrete after shoveling it up, the cost of spreading will be 15 cts. per cu. yd. For this reason it is apparent that carts are not as economical as wheelbarrows for hauling concrete up to about 200 ft., due to the added cost of spreading material delivered by carts.

The preceding discussion of spreading is based upon the assumption that the concrete is not so wet that it will run. Obviously where concrete is made of small stones and contains an excess of water, it will run so readily as to require little or no spreading.

The cost of ramming concrete depends almost entirely upon its dryness and upon the number of cubic yards delivered to the rammers. Concrete that is mixed with very little water requires long and hard ramming to flush the water to the surface. The yardage delivered to the rammers is another factor, because if only a few men are engaged in mixing they will not be able to deliver enough concrete to keep the rammers properly busy, yet the rammers by slow though continuous pounding may be keeping up an appearance of working. Then, again, it has been noticed that the slower the concrete is delivered the more particular the average inspector becomes. Concrete made "sloppy" requires no ramming at all, and very little spading. The authors have had men do very thorough ramming of moderately dry concrete for 15 cts. per cu. yd., where the rammers had no spreading to do, the material being delivered in shovels. It is rare indeed that spreading and ramming can be made to cost more than 40 cts. per cu. yd., under the most foolish inspection, yet one instance is recorded which, because of its rarity, is worth noting: Mr. Herman Conrow is the authority for the data: 1 foreman, 9 men mixing, 1 ramming, averaged 15 cu. yds. a day, or only 1 cu. yds. per man per day, when laying wet concrete. When laying dry concrete the same gang averaged only 8 cu. yds. a day, there being 4 men ramming. With foreman at $2 and laborers at $1.50 a day, the cost was $2.12 per cu. yd. for labor on the dry concrete as against $1.13 per cu. yd. for the wet concrete. Three turnings of the stone with a wet mortar effected a better mixture than four turnings with a dry mortar. The ramming of the wet concrete cost 10 cts. per cu. yd., whereas the ramming of the dry concrete cost 75 cts. per cu. yd. The authors think this is the highest cost on record for ramming. It is evident, however, that the men were under a poor foreman, for an output of only 15 cu. yds. per day with 10 men is very low for ordinary conditions. Moreover, the expensive amount of ramming indicates either poor management or the most foolish inspection requirements.

In conclusion it may be noted that if engineers specify a dry concrete and "thorough ramming," they would do well also to specify what the word "thorough" is to mean, using language that can be expressed in cents per cubic yard. It is a common thing, for example, to see a sewer trench specification in which one tamper is required for each two men shoveling the back-fill into the trench; and some such specific requirement should be made in a concrete specification if close estimates from reliable contractors are desired. Surely no engineer will claim that this is too unimportant a matter for consideration when it is known that ramming can easily be made to cost as high as 40 cts. per cu. yd., depending largely upon the whim of the inspector.

THE COST OF SUPERINTENDENCE.—This item is obviously dependent upon the yardage of concrete handled under one foreman and the daily wages of the foreman. If a foreman receives $3 a day and is bossing a job where only 12 cu. yds. are placed daily, we have a cost of 25 cts. per cu. yd. for superintendence. If the same foreman is handling a gang of 20 men whose output is 50 cu. yds., the superintendence item is only 6 cts. per cu. yd. If the same foreman is handling a concrete-mixing plant having a daily output of 150 cu. yds., the cost of superintendence is but 2 cts. per cu. yd. These elementary examples have been given simply because figures are more impressive than generalities, and because it is so common a sight to see money wasted by running too small a gang of men under one foreman.

Of all classes of contract work, none is more readily estimated day by day than concrete work, not only because it is usually built in regular shapes whose volumes are easily ascertained at the end of each day, but because a record of the bags, or barrels, or batches gives a ready method of computing the output of each gang. For this reason small gangs of concrete workers need no foreman at all, provided one of the workers is given command and required to keep tally of the batches. If the efficiency of a gang of 6 men were to fall off, say, 15 per cent., by virtue of having no regular non-working foreman in charge, the loss would be only $1.35 a day—a loss that would be more than counterbalanced by the saving of a foreman's wages. Indeed, the efficiency of a gang of 6 men would have to fall off 25 per cent., or more, before it would pay to put a foreman in charge. In many cases the efficiency will not fall off at all, provided the gang knows that its daily progress is being recorded, and that prompt discharge will follow laziness. Indeed, one of the authors has more than once had the efficiency increased by leaving a small gang to themselves in command of one of the workers who was required to punch a hole in a card for every batch.

To reduce the cost of superintendence there is no surer method than to work two gangs of 18 to 20 men, side by side, each gang under a separate foreman who is striving to make a better showing than his competitor. This is done with marked advantage in street paving, and could be done elsewhere oftener than it is.

In addition to the cost of a foreman in direct charge of the laborers, there is always a percentage of the cost of general superintendence and office expenses to be added. In some cases a general superintendent is put in charge of one or two foremen; and, if he is a high-salaried man, the cost of superintendence becomes a very appreciable item.

SUMMARY OF COSTS.—Having thus analyzed the costs of making and placing concrete, we can understand why it is that printed records of costs vary so greatly. Moreover, we are enabled to estimate the labor cost with far more accuracy than we can guess it; for by studying the requirements of the specifications, and the local conditions governing the placing of stock piles, mixing boards, etc., we can estimate each item with considerable accuracy. The purpose, however, has not been solely to show how to predict the labor cost, but also to indicate to contractors and their foremen some of the many possibilities of reducing the cost of work once the contract has been secured. An analysis of costs, such as above given, is the most effective way of discovering unnecessary "leaks," and of opening one's eyes to the possibilities of effecting economies in any given case.

To indicate the method of summarizing the costs of making concrete by hand, let us assume that the concrete is to be put into a deep foundation requiring wheeling a distance of 30 ft.; that the stock piles are on plank 60 ft. distant from the mixing board; that the specifications call for 6 turns of gravel concrete thoroughly rammed in 6-in. layers; and that a good sized gang of, say, 16 men (at $1.50 a day each), is to work under a foreman receiving $2.70 a day. We then have the following summary by applying the rules already given:

Per cu. yd. concrete. Loading sand, stone and cement $ .17 Wheeling 60 ft. in barrows (4 + 2 cts.) .06 Mixing concrete, 6 turns at 5 cts. .30 Wheeling 30 ft. (4 + 1 ct.) .05 Dumping barrows (1 man helping barrowman) .05 Spreading and heavy ramming .15 ——— Total cost of labor $.90 Foreman, at $2.70 a day .10 ——— Grand total $1.00

To estimate the daily output of this gang of 16 laborers proceed thus: Divide the daily wages of all the 16 men, expressed in cents, by the labor cost of the concrete in cents, the quotient will be the cubic yards output of the gang. Thus, 2,400 90 is 27 cu. yds., in this case.

In street paving work where no man is needed to help dump the wheelbarrows, and where it is usually possible to shovel concrete direct from the mixing board into place, and where half as much ramming as above assumed is usually satisfactory, we see that the last four labor items instead of amounting to 12 + 5 + 5 + 15, or 37 cts., amount only to one-half of the last item, one-half of 15 cts., or 7 cts. This makes the total labor cost only 60 cts. instead of 90 cts. If we divide 2,400 cts. (the total day's wages of 16 men) by 60 cts. (the labor cost per cu. yd.), we have 40, which is the cubic yards output of the 16 men. This greater output of the 16 men reduces the cost of superintendence to 7 cts. per cu. yd.



The making and placing of concrete is virtually a manufacturing process. This process as performed by manual labor is discussed in the preceding chapter; it will be discussed here as it is performed by machinery. The objects sought in using machinery for making and placing concrete are: (1) The securing of a more perfectly mixed and uniform concrete, and (2) the securing of a cheaper cost of concrete in place. As in every other manufacturing process both objects cannot be obtained to the highest degree without co-ordinate and universal efficiency throughout in plant and methods. For example, the substitution of machine mixing for hand mixing will not alone ensure cheaper concrete. If all materials are delivered to the machine in wheelbarrows and if the concrete is conveyed away in wheelbarrows, the cost of making concrete even with machine mixers is high. On the other hand, where the materials are fed from bins by gravity into the mixer and when the mixed concrete is hauled away in cars, the cost of making the concrete may be very low. Making and placing concrete by machinery involves not one but several mechanical operations working in conjunction—in a word, a concrete making plant is required.

The mechanical equipment of a concrete making plant has four duties to perform. (1) It has to transport the raw materials from the cars or boats or pits and place them in the stock piles or storage bins; (2) it has to take the raw materials from stock and charge them to the mixer; (3) it has to mix the raw materials into concrete and discharge the mixture into transportable vehicles; and (4) it has to transport these vehicles from the mixer to the work and discharge them. As all these operations are interrelated component parts of one great process, it is plain why one operation cannot lag without causing all the other operations to slow up.

The mechanical devices which may be used for each of these operations are various, and they may be combined in various ways to make the complete train of machinery necessary to the complete process. In this chapter we shall describe the character and qualities of each type of devices separately. The practicable ways of combining them to form a complete concrete making plant are best illustrated by descriptions and records of work of actual plants, and such descriptions and records for each class of structure considered in this book are given in the following chapters and may be found by consulting the index. In describing the various machines and devices we have made one classification for those used in handling raw materials and mixed concrete, for the reason that nearly all of them are suitable for either purpose.

UNLOADING WITH GRAB BUCKETS.—The orange-peel or clam-shell bucket is an excellent device for unloading sand or stone from cars or barges. The cost of unloading, including cleaning up the portions not reached by the bucket, is not more than from 2 to 5 cts. per cu. yd. A grab bucket of either of these types can be applied to any derrick. In unloading broken stone from barges at Ossining, N. Y., a Hayward clam-shell on a stiff-leg derrick unloaded 100 cu. yds. of broken stone per day from barge into wagons, with one engineman and one helper. In addition to the bucket work there was 24 hours' labor cleaning on each 500-cu. yd. barge load. The labor cost of unloading a 500-cu. yd. barge was as follows:

Per Cu. Yd. One engineman, at $2.50 2.5 cts. One helper, at $1.50 1.5 cts. Labor cleaning, at $1.50 0.7 cts. ———— Total cost per cubic yard 4.7 cts.

INCLINES.—Inclines to reach the tops of mixer and storage bins and the level of concrete work can be operated on about the following grades: For teams hauling wagons or cars, 2 per cent. maximum grade. A single heavy team will haul a 5-cu. yd. car, with ordinary bearings, weighing 2 tons empty and 12 tons loaded, with ease on a 1 per cent. grade, and with some difficulty on a 2 per cent. grade. A locomotive will handle cars on a grade of from 4 to 5 per cent. For team haulage 20-lb. rails may be used, and for locomotives 30-lb. rails. Grades steeper than about 5 per cent. require cable haulage.

TRESTLE AND CAR PLANTS.—Trestle and car plants for handling both concrete materials and mixed concrete have a wide range of application and numerous examples of such plants are described in succeeding chapters, and are noted in the index at the end of the book. The following estimates of the cost of a trestle and car plant are given by Mr. Wm. G. Fargo. The work is assumed to cover an area of 100200 ft. and to have three-fourths of its bulk below the economical elevation of the mixer, which stands within 50 ft. of the near side of the work. If the work is under 3,000 cu. yds. in bulk and there is a reasonable time limit for completion one mixer of 200 cu. yds. capacity per 10-hour day is assumed to be sufficient. The items of car plant cost will be about as follows:

150 ft. trestle, at $1.50 $225 5 split switches with spring bridles, at $18 90 2 iron turntables, at $30 60 3-2/3 cu. yd. steel cars with roller bearings 190 ——— Total $565

The trestle assumed is double 24-in. gage track, 6 ft. on centers; stringers 68 ins.22 to 24 ft.; ties 26 ins., 2 ft. on centers; running boards 212 ins. for each track, and 12-lb. rails; trestle legs, average length 30 ft., of green poles at 5 cts. per foot. This outfit with repairs and renewals amounting to 10 per cent., is considered good for five season's work and the timber work for several jobs if not too far apart. The yearly rental on the basis of five seasons' work would be $124.30, or $1 per working day for a season of five months. Three cars delivering cu. yd. batches can deliver 200 cu. yds. of concrete, an average of 100 ft. from the mixer in 10 hours. Five men, including a man tending switches and turntable and one man to help dump, can operate the plant. With wages at $1.75 per day the labor cost of handling 200 cu. yds. of concrete would be 4-1/8 cts. per cu. yd.

CABLEWAYS.—Cableways arranged to span the work and if the area is wide to travel across the work at right angles to the span will handle concrete, concrete materials, forms, steel and supplies with great economy. They are particularly suitable for bridge and dam work, filter and reservoir work, building foundations and low buildings. The arrangement of a cableway plant for bridge work is described in Chapter XVII. A cableway of 800 ft. clear span on fixed towers 45 ft. high will cost complete from $4,500 to $5,000, and will handle 200 cu. yds. of concrete per 10-hour day. To put the cableway on traveling towers will cost about $1,000 more. In constructing the Pittsburg filtration work four traveling cableways from 250 to 600 ft. span were used. The towers were from 50 to 60 ft. in height and each traveled on a 5-rail track. The cableways were self-propelling. With conditions favorable each cableway delivered 300 cu. yds. of concrete per day. A cableway plant for heavy fortification work is described in Chapter XI.

BELT CONVEYORS.—Belt conveyors may be used successfully for handling both concrete materials and mixed concrete. For handling wet concrete the slope must be quite flat, and the belt must be provided with some means of cleaning off the sticky mortar paste. In several cases rotating brushes stationed at the end of the belt, where it turns over the tail pulley, have worked successfully; these brushes sweep the belt clean. Except for the cleaning device the ordinary arrangement of belt conveyor for dry materials serves for concrete.

In constructing a large gas works at Astoria, Long Island, near New York city, belt conveyors were used to handle both the sand, gravel and cement bags and the mixed concrete. The belt for handling sand and gravel is shown by Fig. 13. A derrick operating a clam-shell unloaded the sand and gravel into a small hopper, discharging into dump cars operated by a "dinky" up an incline, passing over sand and gravel storage bins. A 20-in. belt conveyor ran horizontally 105 ft. under the bins, then up an incline of 3.4 ft. in 125 ft. to feeding hoppers over the mixers. This conveyor received alternately sand and gravel by chute from the storage bins and bags of cement loaded by hand, and carried them to the feeding bins and mixer platform. The speed of the belt was 350 ft. per minute, and it required 6 h.p. to operate it when carrying 100 tons per hour. The mixing was done in two Smith mixers, which turned out 70 cu. yds. or 35 cu. yds. each per hour. The mixed concrete was delivered onto a 50-ft. 24-in. belt conveyor traveling at a speed of 400 ft. per minute and dumping through a chute into cars. Only 1 h.p. was required to run the concrete conveyor. A rotating brush was used to keep the belt clean at the dumping end. It will be noted that only a small amount of power is required for operation.

CHUTES.—Chutes of wood or iron are among the simplest and most efficient means of moving the cement, sand and stone and the mixed concrete when the ground levels permit such devices.

Bags of cement if given a start in casting will slide down a steel or very smooth wooden chute with a slope of 1 ft. in 5 or 6 ft. A wooden trough 12 ins. deep and 24 ins. wide with boards dressed on the inside may be used. When the inclination is steep and the fall is great, some device is necessary to diminish the velocity of descent; the following is an example of such a device which was successfully employed in a chute of the above dimensions, 400 ft. long and having a drop of 110 ft. This chute had a maximum inclination of 45 and its lower end curved to a horizontal tangent, running into the storehouse. Near the bottom of the chute a horizontal strip was nailed across the upper edges and to it was nailed the upper end of a 20 ft., 112-in. board, the lower end of which rested on the bottom of the chute. Several pieces of timber spiked to the upper side loaded the lower end of this board. The cement bag in descending wedged itself into the angle between the chute and the board and lifted the latter, the spring of the board and the weight at the lower end offering enough resistance to cut down the velocity. After the chute had been in use for some time and had worn smooth it was found necessary to add two more brakes to check the bags.

Broken stone will slide down a steel or steel lined chute with a slope of 1 in 3 or 4 ft. if given a start in casting. Damp sand will not slide down a chute with a slope of 1 in 1.

A wet cement grout will flow down a smooth plank chute, with a slope of 1 in 4 ft., and wet concrete will move on the same slope; comparatively dry concrete requires a slope of nearly 1 in 1, or 45, to secure free movement. Mr. W. J. Douglas gives the following examples of conveying concrete by chute, prefaced by the statement that his experience indicates that concrete can thus be conveyed considerable distances without material injury if proper precautions are taken.

In the first case a semi-circular steel trough about 2 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep and 15 ft. long set on a slope of 45 was used. A lift gate of sheet steel was set in the chute about 2 ft. from the upper end. The concrete was allowed to accumulate behind this gate until a wheelbarrow load was had, when the batch was let loose by lifting the gate and was discharged into barrows at the bottom. In another case a vertical chute 15 ft. long, consisting of a 15-in. square box with a canvas end, was used. The concrete was dumped into the chute in batches of about 8 cu. ft.; two men at the bottom "cut down" the pile with hoes to keep it from coning and causing separation of the stone. In a third case a continuous mixer fed into a sheet iron lined rectangular chute about 2 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep, with a vertical drop of 60 ft. on a slope of 1 in 1, or 45. A gate was fixed in the chute 2 ft. from the top and at the bottom the chute fed into a pyramidal hopper 3 ft. square at the top, 1 ft. square at the bottom and 4 ft. deep. This hopper was provided with a bottom gate and was set on legs so that its top was about 10 ft. above ground. As the concrete filled in the hopper was raised and the chute cut off. The hopper was kept full all the time and was discharged by bottom gate and spout into wheelbarrows. In a fourth case the apparatus shown by the sketch, Fig. 14, was used. The continuous mixer discharged onto an 18-in. rubber conveyor belt on conical rollers and 18 ft. long. The inner end of the conveyor frame was carried on the ground at the edge of the pit and the outer end was supported by ropes from the top of a gallows frame standing on the pit bottom. The belt discharged over end into a vertical steel chute 12 ins. in diameter and 8 ft. long; this chute was fastened to the conveyor frame. Encircling and overlapping the 12-in. chute was a second slightly larger chute suspended by means of two ropes from the gallows frame. The bottom of this second chute was kept about 6 ins. below the top edges of a pyramidal hopper like the one described above. In operation the chutes and the hopper were kept filled with concrete so that the only drop of the concrete was 3 ft. from the conveyor belt into the topmost chute.

Concrete may be handled in long flat chutes by stationing men along the chute with shovels which they work like paddles to keep the mixture moving. In one case concrete was so handled in a chute 200 ft. long having a slope of 1 in 10 ft. The chute was a V-shaped trough made of 112-in. boards in sections 16 ft. long. The men paddling were stationed 10 ft. apart, so that with wages at $1.50 per day the cost would be 1 cts. per cu. yd. for every 10 ft. the concrete was conveyed. In connection with this particular work we are informed that a Eureka continuous mixer was used. The gravel was dumped near the mixer and a team hitched to a drag scraper delivered the gravel alongside the mixer. Four men shoveled the gravel into the measuring hopper, but only two men worked at a time, shoveling for a period of 15 minutes and then resting for a corresponding period while the other two men worked. In this manner the four men shoveled enough gravel to make 100 cu. yds. of concrete per day. A fifth man opened the cement bags and kept the cement hopper filled.

METHODS OF CHARGING MIXERS.—By charging is meant the process of delivering raw materials from stock into the mixer. Several methods are practiced and will be considered in the following order: (1) By gravity from overhead bins; (2) by wheelbarrow or hand cart (a) to charging chute and (b) to elevating charging hoppers; (3) by charging cars operated by cable or other means; (4) by shoveling directly into mixer; (5) by derricks or other hoists.

Charging by Gravity from Overhead Bins.—Chuting the sand and stone from overhead bins to the charging hopper is a simple, rapid and economical method of charging mixers. The bottoms of the bins should always be high enough above the charging floor to give ample head room for men to move about erect, and the length of chute may be anything reasonable more than this that conditions such as the side hill delivery of material may necessitate. When the mixer is located to one side of the bins the slope of the chute will have to be watched. Broken stone or pebbles will move on a comparatively flat slope but sand, particularly if damp, requires a steep chute. The measuring hopper is best kept entirely independent of the mixer so that it can be filled with a new charge while the mixer is turning and discharging the preceding batch. One man can attend the sand and cement chutes if they be conveniently arranged, and one man can open and empty the cement bags if they be stacked close at hand. A third man will level off the sand and stone in the measuring hopper and help in the chuting. A gang of this size will easily measure up a charge every 2 minutes when no delays occur.

A number of plants charging by gravity from overhead bins are described in succeeding chapters and are referenced in the index. As a general example a side hill plant of conventional construction is shown by Fig. 15. The trestle work was made of 1212-in. timbers and was approximately 40 ft. in height. Three tracks occupy the top platform. Under each track was a material bin; one on each side for gravel and a middle bin for sand. The sand bin was divided by a partition into two compartments. These bins discharged into two measuring hoppers one gravel bin and one compartment of the sand bin into each hopper. Two cement chutes from the top platform provided for the delivery of the cement to the mixers, either directly from cars or from the cement storage house. The mixing was done in two Smith No. 5 mixers, one under each measuring hopper, and these mixers discharged by chutes into buckets on flat cars. Thus the concrete materials brought directly from a siding in car load lots to the top of the platform were handled entirely by gravity to the cars delivering the mixed concrete to the work. The gang operating the mixing plant, with the wages paid, was composed as follows: 1 foreman and engineer at $3 per day, 1 fireman at $2 per day and 15 laborers at $1.50 per day. With this gang the two mixers turned out 400 cu. yds. of concrete per day and, frequently, 800 cu. yds. in 24 hours. Taking these figures the labor cost from raw materials in cars on the platform to mixed concrete in cars on the delivery track was as follows:

1 foreman and engineer at $3 $ 3.00 1 fireman at $2 2.00 15 laborers at $1.50 22.50 ——- Total labor $27.50

Assuming 400 cu. yds. output, this gives a cost of $27.50 400 = 6.875 cts. per cu. yd.

Charging with Wheelbarrows.—The economics of wheelbarrow haulage are discussed in some detail in Chapter III. For machine mixer work the problem of loading, transporting and dumping is complicated by the greater rapidity with which the mixing is done and by the necessity, usually, of using inclines to reach the charging hopper level. The incline cuts down the output of the wheelers or in other words makes necessary a larger gang to handle the same amount of material. Conditions being the same, the height of the charging chute of the mixer determines the height of incline and the size of the charging gang, so that a mixer with a high charging level costs more to charge with wheelbarrows than does one with a low charging level. Exact figures of the increased cost of a few feet extra elevation of the wheelbarrow incline are not available, but some idea may be had from a brief calculation. The materials for a cubic yard of concrete will weigh about 3,700 lbs., so that to raise the materials for 100 cu. yds. of concrete, including weight of barrows, 1 ft. calls for about 400,000 ft. lbs. of work. A man will do about 800,000 ft. lbs. of useful work in a day, so that each foot of additional height of incline means an additional half-day's work for one man.

Wheeling to elevating charging hoppers obviates the use of inclines. Figure 19 shows a mixer equipped with such a hopper, and the arrangement provided for other makes of mixer is much similar. When the hopper is lowered ready to receive its load its top edge over which the wheelbarrows are dumped is from 12 to 14 ins. above ground level. The wheeling is all done on the level. The elevating bucket is operated by the mixer engine and is usually detachable. Where mixers have to be moved frequently, requiring the erection and moving of the incline each time, an elevating charging hopper is particularly useful; it can be hoisted clear of the ground and moved with the mixer, so that it is ready to use the moment that the mixer is set at its new station.

While the ordinary wheelbarrow is generally used for charging, better work can be done under some conditions by using special charging barrows of larger capacity and dumping from the end and ahead of the wheel. Two forms of charging barrow are shown by Figs. 16 and 17. The Acme barrow will hold 4 cu. ft. and the Ransome barrow is made in 3 to 6 cu. ft. capacities. Where inclines are necessary these barrows can often be hauled up the incline by power. A sprocket chain in the plane of the incline and operated by the mixer engine is an excellent arrangement. A prong riveted to the rear face of the barrow and projecting downward is "caught into" the chain, which pulls the barrow to the top, the man following to dump and return for another load.

Charging with Cars.—Cars moved by cable, team or hand are a particularly economic charging device when the mixer is located a little distance from the stock piles or bins. Either separate cars for cement, sand and stone, each holding the proper amount of its material for a batch, can be used, or a single car containing enough of all three materials for a batch. The last arrangement is ordinarily more economical in time and labor, and in plant required. In either case the car serves as the measuring hopper, there being no further proportioning of the materials after they have been loaded into the car, and it must be arranged for measuring. Usually all that is necessary, where one car is used, is to mark the levels on the sides to which it is to be filled with sand and then stone; the car is run to the sand stock and filled to the level marked for sand and then to the stone stock and filled to the level marked for stone. The cement may be added to the charge either before or after it is run to the mixer as convenience in storing the cement stock dictates. Instead of having marks to show the proper proportions of sand and stone, the car is sometimes divided into two compartments, one for each material and each holding the proper proportion of its material when level full. This arrangement makes proper proportioning somewhat more certain, since the men charging the car cannot over-run the marks. In case separate cars are used for each material, they are simply filled level full or to mark, and dumped in succession into the feeding hopper. Trestle and car plant construction and costs are given in a preceding section.

Charging by Shoveling.—Charging by shoveling directly into the mixer is seldom practiced except in street work with continuous mixers or in charging gravity mixers of the trough type. Shoveling is not an economic method of handling materials where the work involves carrying in shovels, and it is only in a few classes of concrete work or in isolated, exceptional cases that charging with shovels does not involve carrying. The amount of material that men will load with shovels is given in Chapter III, and the reader who wishes a full discussion of the subject is referred to Gillette and Hauer, "Earth Excavation and Embankments; Methods and Cost."

In charging continuous mixers with shovels the usual practice for mixers without automatic feed devices is to work from a continuous stock pile of sand, stone and cement spread in layers in the proper proportions. The shoveling is done in such a manner that each shovelful contains a mixture of cement, sand and stone, and so that the rate of delivery to the mixer is as uniform as possible. In charging mixers having automatic feed devices the sand and stone are simply shoveled into the sand and stone hoppers, whence they are fed automatically to the mixer. In charging gravity mixers by shoveling the method is essentially the same; the cement, sand and stone properly proportioned are spread in layers on the shoveling board at the head of the mixer and the mixture then shoveled into the mixer. In both of these cases mixing is performed to a certain extent by the shoveling, and in both the provision of the combination stock pile from which the men work involves labor which comes within the meaning of the term charging as we have used it here. Examples of street work in which the mixers were charged by shoveling are given in Chapter XIV.

Charging with Derricks.—When the stock piles are located close to the mixer and the plant is fixed or is not frequently moved derricks can be used economically for charging, particularly if the mixer be elevated so that inclines become expensive. The following mode of operation will be found to work well: Set the derrick so that its boom "covers" the sand and stone piles and the mixer, and provide it with three buckets so that there will always be one bucket at the stone pile and another at the sand pile while the third is being handled. The derrick swinging from the mixer, where it has discharged a bucket, drops the empty bucket at the stone pile and picks up the bucket standing there, which has received its proper charge of stone, and swings it to the sand pile and drops it to get its charge of sand. Here it picks up the bucket standing at the sand pile and which has its charges of both stone and sand, and swings it to the mixer. By this arrangement the work of the derrick and of the men filling the buckets is practically continuous. The buckets can be provided with marks on the inside to show the proper points to which to fill the stone and the sand or a partition may be riveted in making a compartment for sand and another for stone. A special charging-bucket that is arranged with a wheel and detachable handles which permit it to be handled like a wheelbarrow is shown by Fig. 18. This bucket can be used to advantage where the stock piles are too far from the mixer for the derrick to reach both, the bucket being loaded and wheeled to within reach of the derrick.

TYPES OF MIXERS.—There are two types of concrete mixing machines or concrete mixers as they are more commonly called: (1) Batch mixers and (2) continuous mixers. In mixers of the first type a charge of cement, sand, aggregate and water is put into the machine which mixes and discharges the batch before taking in another charge; charging, mixing and discharging is done in batches. In continuous mixers the cement sand, stone and water are charged into the machine in a continuous stream and the mixed concrete is discharged in another continuous stream. While all concrete mixers are either batch or continuous mixers, it is common practice because of their distinctive character to separate gravity mixers, whether batch or continuous, into a third type. In gravity mixers the concrete materials are made to mingle by falling through specially constructed troughs, or tubes, or hoppers. We shall describe mixers in this chapter as (1) batch mixers, (2) continuous mixers, and (3) gravity mixers. No attempt will be made, however, to describe all or even all the leading mixers of each type; a representative mixer or two of each type will be described, enough to give an indication of the range of practice, and the reader referred to manufacturers' literature for further information.

Batch Mixers.—Batch mixers are made in two principal forms which may be designated as tilting and non-tilting mixers. In the first form the mixer drum is tilted as one would tilt a bucket of water to discharge the batch. In non-tilting mixers the mixer drum remains in one position, the batch being discharged by special mechanism which dips it out a portion at a time. In both forms the charge is put into the mixer as a unit and kept confined as a unit during the time of mixing, which may be any period wished by the operator.

Chicago Improved Cube Tilting Mixer.—Figure 19 shows the improved cube mixer made by the Municipal Engineering & Contracting Co., Chicago, Ill. The drum consists of a cubical box with rounded corners and edges. This box has hollow gudgeons at two diagonally opposite corners and these gudgeons are open as shown to provide for charging and discharging. The box is rotated by gears meshing with a circumferential rack midway between gudgeons and another set of gears operate to tilt the mixer. The inside of the box is smooth, there being no deflectors, as its shape is such as to fold the batch repeatedly and thus accomplish the mixing.

Ransome Non-Tilting Mixer.—Figure 20 shows a representative non-tilting mixer made by the Ransome Concrete Machinery Co., Dunellen, N. J. It consists of a cylindrical drum riding on rollers and rotated by a train of gears meshing with circumferential racks on the drum. The drum has a circular opening at each end; a charging chute enters one opening and a tilting discharge chute may be thrown into or out of the opposite opening. The cylindrical shell of the drum is provided inside with steel plate deflectors, which plow through and pick up and drop the concrete mixture as the drum revolves. The shape and arrangement of the deflectors are such that the batch is shifted back and forth axially across the mixer. To discharge the batch the discharge chute is tilted so that its end projects into the mixer, in which position the material picked up by the deflectors drops back onto the chute and runs out. The discharge chute being independent of the mixing drum it can be thrown into and out of discharge position at will without stopping the rotation of the drum, and so can discharge any part or all of the batch at once. The top edge of the charging chute ranges from 30 to 38 ins. in height above the top of the frame, varying with the size of the mixer.

Smith Tilting Mixer.—Figure 21 shows a tilting mixer, known as the Smith mixer, made by the Contractors' Supply & Equipment Co., Chicago, Ill. The drum consists of two truncated cones with their large ends fastened together and their small ends open for receiving the charge and discharge of the batch. The drum is operated by a train of gears meshing into a rack at mid-length where the cones join. In addition there is another set of gears which tilt the drum to make the concrete flow out of the discharge end. The inside of the drum is provided with steel plate deflectors, which plow through and pick and drop the concrete mixture shifting it back and forth axially in the process.

Continuous Mixers.—Continuous mixers are those in which the cement, sand and stone are fed to the charging hopper in a continuous stream and the mixed concrete is discharged in another continuous stream. They are built in two principal forms. In one form the cement, sand and stone properly proportioned are shoveled directly into the mixing drum. In the other form these materials are dumped into separate charging hoppers and are automatically fed into the mixing drum in any relative proportions desired. One form of continuous mixer with automatic feed is described in the succeeding paragraph and another form is described in Chapter XIV. The continuous mixer without automatic feed consists simply of a trough with a rotating paddle shaft and its driving mechanism. The charging, the mixing and the discharging are done in what is virtually a succession of very small batches.

Eureka Automatic Feed Mixer.—Figure 22 shows the construction of the continuous mixer built by the Eureka Machine Co., Lansing, Mich. The cement bin and feeder is the small one in the foreground. There is a pocketed cylinder revolving between concave plates, opening into the hopper above, from which the pockets in the feeder are filled, and discharging directly into the mixing trough below. Back of this is shown the feeder for sand or gravel up to 2-in. screen size. This is a pocketed cylinder similar to that used in the cement feeder, except that it is larger, and instead of being provided on the discharge side with a concave plate, is surmounted by a roller, held by springs. This serves to cut off the excessive flow of material, but provides sufficient flexibility to allow the rough coarse material to be fed through the machine without its catching. The feeder for crushed stone is a similar construction on larger lines, to handle material up to 3-in. size. These several feeders can be set to give any desired mixture. On any material fit to be used in concrete, they will measure with an error of less than 5 per cent., an agitator being provided in the sand bin to prevent damp sand from bridging over the feeder, and preventing its action. The mixer consists of a trough, with a square shaft, on which are mounted 37 mixing paddles, which are slipped on in rotation, so as to form practically a continuous conveyor, but as each paddle is distinct, and is shaped like the mold board of a plow, the material, as it passes from one to the next, is turned over and stirred. Water is sprayed into the mass at the center of the trough. The result is a dry mix, followed by a wet mix. The mixing trough is made of heavy gage steel, well reinforced, and practically indestructible. To take care of the discharge of material while changing wheelbarrows, a hood is provided on the discharge end of the machine, which can be lowered, and will hold about a wheelbarrow load.

Gravity Mixers.—Gravity mixers are constructed in two general forms. The first form is a trough whose bottom or sides or both are provided with pegs, deflectors or other devices for giving the material a zig-zag motion as it flows down the trough. The second form consists of a series of hoppers set one above the other so that the batch is spilled from one into the next and is thus mixed.

The chief advantage claimed for gravity mixers is that no power is required to operate them. This is obviously so only in the sense that gravity mixers have no power-operated moving mechanism, and the fact should not be overestimated. The cost of power used in the actual performance of mixing is a very small item. The distance between feed and discharge levels is always greater for gravity mixers than for machine mixers, and the power required to raise the concrete materials the excess height may easily be greater than the power required to operate a machine mixer. On the other hand the simplicity of the gravity mixer insures low maintenance costs.

Gilbreth Trough Mixer.—Figure 23 shows the construction of one of the best known makes of gravity mixers of the trough form. In operation the cement, sand and stone in the proper proportions are spread in superimposed layers on a shoveling board at hopper level and are then shoveled as evenly as possible into the hopper. From the hopper the materials flow down the trough, receiving the water about half way down, and are mixed by being cut and turned by the pins and deflectors. The trough of the mixer is about 10 ft. long.

Hains Gravity Mixer.—The form of gravity mixer made by the Hains Concrete Mixer Co., Washington, D. C., is shown by Figs. 24 and 25. The charge passes through the hoppers in succession. Considering first the stationary plant, shown by Fig. 24, the four hoppers at the top have a combined capacity of one of the lower hoppers. Each top hopper is charged with cement, sand and stone in the order named and in the proper proportions. Water is then dashed over the tops of the filled hoppers and they are dumped simultaneously into the hopper next below. This hopper is then discharged into the next and so on to the bottom. Meanwhile the four top hoppers have been charged with materials for another batch. It will be observed that (1) the concrete is mixed in separate batches and (2) the ingredients making a batch are accurately proportioned and begin to be mixed for the whole batch at once. The best arrangement is to have the top of the hopper tower carry sand and stone bins which chute directly into the top hoppers. In the telescopic mixer shown by Fig. 25 the purpose has been to provide a mixer which, hung from a derrick or cableway, will receive a charge of raw materials at stock pile and deliver a batch of mixed concrete to the work, the operation of mixing being performed during the hoist to the work. By providing two mixers so that one can be charged while the other is being hoisted continuous operation is secured. The following are records of operation of stationary gravity mixers of this type.

In building a dock at Baltimore, Md., a plant consisting of two large hoppers and four charging hoppers with sand and stone bins above was used. One man at each large conical hopper tending the gates and two men charging the four pyramidal hoppers composed the mixer gang. A scow load of sand and another of stone were moored alongside the work and a clam-shell bucket dredge loaded the material from these barges into the mixer bins. Each batch was 25 cu. ft. of 1-2-5 concrete rammed in place. The men at the upper hoppers would empty a sack of cement in each, and then by opening gates in the bottom of the bins above, allow the necessary amounts of sand and stone to flow in, marks having been previously made on the sides of the hoppers to show the correct proportion of each of the ingredients. The amount of water found by experience to be necessary, would then be dashed into the hoppers, and the charges allowed to run into the first cone hopper below. Refilling would begin at the top while the men were caring for the first charge in the lower hoppers. The process was thus continuous. The concrete was chuted directly into place from the bottom hopper. The record of output was 110 batches per 10-hour day. Wages of common labor were $1.50 per day. The labor cost per cubic yard of concrete in place was 35 cts.

In constructing the Cedar Grove reservoir at Newark, N. J., a Hains mixer made the following records of output:

Cu. yds. Best output per 10-hour day 403 Average daily output for best month 302 Average daily output for whole job 225

The stone, sand and cement were all raised by bucket elevators to the top of the high wooden tower that supported the bins and mixer. There were 10 men operating the mixer so that (exclusive of power, interest and depreciation) the labor cost of mixing averaged only 7 cts. per cu. yd.; during one month it was as low as 5 cts. per cu. yd. This does not include delivering the materials to the men at the mixer, nor does it include conveying the concrete away and placing it. The work was done by contract.

OUTPUT OF MIXERS.—With a good mixer the output depends upon the methods of conveying the materials to and from the mixer. Most makers of mixers publish capacities of their machines in batches or cubic yards output per hour; these figures may generally be taken as stating nearly the maximum output possible. Considering batch mixers, as being the type most commonly used, it may be assumed that where the work is well organized and no delay occurs in delivering the materials to the mixer that a batch every 2 minutes, or 300 batches in 10 hours, will be averaged, and there are a few records of a batch every 1 minutes.

To illustrate to how great an extent the output of a mixer depends on the methods adopted in handling the materials to and from the mixer we compare two actual cases that came under the authors' observation. The mixers used were of the same size and make. In one case the stone was shoveled into the charging hopper by four men and the sand and cement were delivered in barrows by four other men; six men took the concrete away in wheelbarrows. The output of the mixer was one batch every 5 minutes, or 120 batches, or 60 cu. yds., in 10 hours. In the other case the sand and the stone were chuted directly into the charging hopper from overhead bins and the mixer discharged into one-batch buckets on cars. The output of the mixer was one batch every 2 minutes, or 300 batches in 10 hours. In the first case the capacity of the mixer was limited by the ability of a gang of workable size to get the raw materials to and the mixed concrete away from the mixer. In the second case the capacity was limited only by the amount of mixing deemed necessary.

While the necessity of rapid charging of a mixer to secure its best output is generally realized it is often forgotten that the rapidity of discharge is also a factor of importance. The size of the conveyor by which the concrete is removed affects the time of discharge. By timing a string of wheelbarrows in line the authors have found that it takes about 7 seconds to fill each barrow; as a rule slight delays will increase this time to 10 seconds. With a load of 1 cu. ft. per barrow it requires 13 barrow loads to take away a cu. yd. batch. This makes the time of discharging a batch 130 seconds, or say 2 minutes. The same mixer discharging into a batch size bucket will discharge in 15 to 20 seconds, saving at least 1 minutes in discharging each batch.

MIXER EFFICIENCY.—Various attempts have been made to rate the efficiency of concrete mixers. In all cases a percentage basis of comparison has been adopted; arbitrary values are assigned to the several functions of a mixer, such as 40 per cent. for perfect mixing, 10 per cent. for time of mixing and 25 per cent. for control of water, the total being 100 per cent., and each mixer analyzed and given a rating according as it is considered to approach the full value of any function. Such percentage ratings are unscientific and misleading; they present definite figures for what are mere arbitrary determinations. The values assigned to the several functions are purely arbitrary in the first place, and in the second place the decision as to how near those values any mixer approaches are matters of personal judgment.

The most efficient mixer is the one that gives the maximum product of standard quality at the least cost for production.

This rule recognizes the fact that in practical construction different standards of quality are accepted for different kinds of work. No engineer demands, for example, the same quality of mixture for a pavement base that he does for a reinforced concrete girder. If mixer A turns out concrete of a quality suitable for pavement base cheaper than does mixer B, then it is the more efficient mixer for the purpose, even though mixer B will make the superior quality of concrete required for a reinforced girder while mixer A will not. This method of determining efficiency holds accurate for any standard of quality that may be demanded.



Mixed concrete if emptied loose and allowed to sink through water is destroyed; the cement paste is washed away and the sand and stone settle onto the bottom more or less segregated and practically without cementing value. In fact, if concrete is deposited with the utmost care in closed buckets and there is any current to speak of a considerable portion of cement is certain to wash out of the deposited mass. Even in almost still water some of the cement will rise to the surface and appear as a sort of milky scum, commonly called laitance. Placing concrete under water, therefore, involves the distinctive task of providing means to prevent the washing action of the water. It is also distinguished from work done in air by the fact that it cannot be compacted by ramming, but the main problem is that of preventing wash during and after placing.

DEPOSITING IN CLOSED BUCKETS.—Special buckets for depositing concrete under water are made by several manufacturers of concrete buckets. These buckets vary in detail but are all similar in having doors to close the concrete away from the water and, generally, in being bottom dumping.

The bucket shown by Fig. 26 was designed by Mr. John F. O'Rourke, and is built by the Cockburn Barrow & Machine Co., of Jersey City, N. J. This bucket was used in depositing the concrete for the City Island Bridge foundations described in Chapter XII and also in a number of other works. It consists of a nearly cubical shell of steel open at top and bottom, and having heavy timbers rivetted around the bottom edges. The open top has two flat flap doors. Two similar doors hinged about midway of the sides close to form a V-shaped hopper bottom inside the shell and serve when open, to close the openings in the sides of the shell. In loading the bucket the bottom doors are drawn inward and upward by the chains and held by a temporary key. The loaded bucket is then lifted by the bail and the key removed, since when suspended the pull on the bail holds the chains taut and the doors closed. As soon as the bucket rests on the bottom the pull of the concrete on the doors slides the bail down and the doors swing downward and back discharging the concrete. The timbers around the bottom edges keep the bucket from sinking into the deposited concrete, and the doors and shell exclude all water from the batch until it is finally in place.

The subaqueous concrete bucket shown by Figs. 27 and 28 is made by the Cyclopean Iron Works Co., Jersey City, N. J. Fig. 27 shows the bucket suspended full ready for lowering; the cover is closed and latched and the bail is held vertical by the tag line catch A. Other points to be noted are the eccentric pivoting of the bail, the latch unlocking lever and roller B and C, and the stop D. In the position shown the bucket is lowered through the water and when at the proper depth just above bottom the tag line is given a sharp pull, uncatching the bail. The body of the bucket turns bottom side up, revolving on the bail pivots, and just as the revolution is completed the bail engages the roller C on the latch unlocking lever and swings the lever enough to unlatch the top and allow it to swing down as shown by Fig. 28 and release the concrete. The stop D keeps the body of the bucket from swinging beyond the vertical in dumping.

Figures 29 and 30 show the subaqueous concrete bucket made by the G. L. Stuebner Iron Works, Long Island City, N. Y., essentially the same bucket, omitting the cover and with a peaked bail, is used for work in air. For subaqueous work the safety hooks A are lifted from the angles B and wired to the bail in the position shown by the dotted lines, and a tag line is attached to the handle bar C. The bucket being filled and the cover placed is lowered through the water to the bottom and then discharged by a pull on the tag line.

DEPOSITING IN BAGS.—Two methods of depositing concrete in bags are available to the engineer; one method is to employ a bag of heavy tight woven material, from which the concrete is emptied at the bottom, the bag serving like the buckets previously described simply as means of conveyance, and the other method is to use bags of paper or loose woven gunnysack which are left in the work, the idea being that the paper will soften or the cement will ooze out through the openings in the cloth sufficiently to bond the separate bagfuls into a practically solid mass.

The bag shown by Fig. 31 was used to deposit concrete for leveling up a rough rock bottom and so provide a footing for a concrete block pier constructed in 1902 at Peterhead, N. B., by Mr. William Shield, M. Inst. C. E. Careful longitudinal profiles were taken of the rock bottom one at each edge of the footing. Side forms were then made in 20-ft. sections as shown by Fig. 32; the lagging boards being cut to fit the determined profile and the top of the longitudinal piece being flush with the top of the proposed footing. The concrete was filled in between the side forms and leveled off by the T-rail straight-edge. In placing the side forms the longitudinal pieces were placed by divers who were given the proper elevations by level rods having 10 to 15-ft. extension pieces to raise the targets above the water surface. When leveled the side pieces were anchor-bolted as shown to the rock, the anchor-bolts being wedged into the holes to permit future removal. The concrete was then lowered in the bag shown by Fig. 31, the divers assisting in guiding the bag to position. The mouth of the bag being tied by one turn of a line having loops through which a wooden key is slipped to hold the line tight, a sharp tug on the tripping rope loosens the key and empties the bag. The bags used on this work had a capacity of 2 cu. ft. To permit the removal of the side forms after the concrete had hardened, a strip of jute sacking was spread against the lagging boards with a flap extending 15 to 18 ins. under the concrete. The forms were removed by divers who loosened the anchor bolt wedges.

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