Equipment for the production of foam concrete

When deciding to start a business, scale it up, or purchase an installation for private construction Buyer gets acquainted with gigabytes of material from various sources about what equipment is better, the technological process of production, payback, cost and much more. By reading this article the buyer will be able to delve deeper into the theme of choice of equipment and make a decision on what to save or on the contrary, where to pay extra, to protect your business from downtime, unnecessary costs.

In this article we will consider various aspects of design features of professional plants for foam concrete, and the Economy-Variant. There will not be any reviews of installations of different manufacturers, we will highlight only the main differences between the two segments.

Equipment for foam concrete, Economy class

So, if the Buyer wants to save money. Such workstations we will call the Economy variant, or simply Economy, and here are its main distinguishing features:

  1. The mixer drive is made with the use of a worm geared motor. Quite a simple solution, which allows the manufacturer to get away from the technical difficulties of transferring the rotation of the motor shaft to the mixer shaft. Often such foam mixers are not equipped with any coupling and a serious system of protection of the motor-reducer from the loads with which it undoubtedly faces in the process of work (stones in poorly sifted sand, large inclusions and lumps, jamming of the shaft).
  2. If you choose equipment with pneumatic discharge, and it does not have a pressure compensation chamber - this is it, the Economy unit. The pressure compensation chamber serves to ensure homogeneity of pressure both inside the mixer from which the foam concrete is squeezed out, and outside in the gland nodes and other seals. The absence of a compensation chamber leads to the fact that the grout under the influence of the pressure inside the mixer, which is fed to discharge the foam concrete, leaks into the gland nodes, various seals and other parts. This leads to rapid wear of glands, and as a consequence of frequent maintenance of gland assembly (packing unit).
  3. Foam generator of low capacity. Some manufacturers, in order to reduce the overall cost of the equipment, install a simplified foam generator in its basic package. In general, some users may be suitable for this simplified version, but you need to prepare for a significant loss of time to fill the mixer unit foam, as well as to its quality in the sense that to achieve homogeneity of the bubbles will not be easy. Often having such a setup Buyer, later, after studying a few megabytes of information in public sources, tries to finalize the foam generator by replacing the pump, experimenting with the filler, changing the taps and other elements.
  4. The small weight of the mini-mill. This figure can also tell a lot. We recommend you pay attention to the weight of the mixer or installation as a whole (without the compressor), as in the Economy version, the manufacturer tends to use thinner metal for its body, replace the full-body shaft (steel circle) for a hollow tube, and so on. For example, some manufacturers use a tube instead of a full-body shaft, to which they mount blades or an auger, and to the ends of the tube welded elements of a full-body shaft to install bearings, drive and other things. If you have an air-loaded unit in front of you, its small weight will also be indicative of a thin housing. As a rule, a thin body will soon "inflate" and the mixer will get barrel-shaped.
  5. Painting of the body, frame and shrouds. In the manufacture of Economy units, often manufacturers, in order to reduce the cost, use a universal paint, without using a primer. Referring to the fact that the installation after the first batch will be dirty and this is not the most important thing.
  6. Short warranty.

These 6 points are the main features of the equipment from the Economy segment, which can be seen with an unarmed eye. In practice, there are more. So some of the mixers are assembled with unreliable bearing unit, in some cases the mixer shaft is installed directly in the gearbox, etc.

Advantages of equipment for foam concrete Economy segment:

  1. Low price;

Disadvantages of equipment for foam concrete Economy segment:

  1. During operation, the gearmotor will take all loads from the shaft, as a result of which the gear wheel will wear out, resulting in jamming of the shaft. Repair of any gearmotor is expensive. At the same time equipment downtime causes losses due to lost profits.
  2. The absence of a pressure compensation chamber will require additional care and repair of the mixer. Repair is usually not expensive, but again fix the downtime.
  3. Using the built-in low-power foam generator leads to a decrease in productivity or the inability to produce a stable quality foam for foam concrete. Often such Manufacturers immediately or later offer a professional, powerful foam generator. To solve the problem it is necessary to independently refine the foam generator or buy a new, professional foam generator. Fixing the flow rate.
  4. Thin body, hollow shaft, mediocre bearing unit.
  5. Low liquidity in the secondary market, as the unit comes in a badly worn condition in a fairly short period of time.

Conclusion about the equipment for foam concrete from the Economy segment.

Installations Economy - can be recommended to Buyers who have one goal: to build a house personally (garage, bath, house block, etc.) with minimal equipment costs. At the same time be prepared for possible downtime, technical difficulties to achieve quality foam, and in the final version of high-quality foam concrete. Count on the long service life of the Economy equipment - do not.  

Professional equipment for the production of foam concrete

Professional foam concrete machines are not always much more expensive than the Economy. Often Manufacturers of Economy equalize prices and "on the shelf" in front of the Buyer almost at the same price lies both machines.

So, below we will consider the main features of the Professional equipment with a high margin of strength and durability:

  1. The drive is made with a belt drive. In cases with a mixer over 200-300 liters a separate gearbox is used. The drive itself has a number of protective measures against heavy loads, protection against seizure of the shaft.
  2. Productive foam generator. Equipment does not require an additional foam generator, as it is equipped with a foam generator capable of producing high-quality stable foam, with high productivity (depending on the volume of the mixer from 30 seconds to 2.5 minutes). Foam generator can be integrated or a separate unit.
  3. If you are considering installation with pneumovyvkruzheniyu foam concrete (low air pressure in the mixer), the professional mini-mills and mixers are necessarily equipped with a pressure compensation chamber.
  4. The shaft of the mixer is made from wear-resistant steel, a robust housing bearing unit. As a rule, the combination of these parts gives the ready-made product weight exceeding 1.5-2 times the weight of the Economy class equipment.
  5. Quality coloring of products, the availability of lifting wheels (with a safety margin for the load of the mixer and its full load of foam concrete).
  6. Long warranty.

The main feature of the professional equipment is that the manufacturer has laid extra margin of safety in the nodes and units of the installation in compliance with the norms and rules of construction machinery design. This allows the machine to work without frequent preventive maintenance to replace consumables, to be protected from unintentional ingress of a coarse fraction of the aggregate into the mixer, to be protected from jamming of the shaft and the failure of the workstation.

Advantages of professional equipment for the production of foam concrete:

  1. Long service life. Considering the drive design with belts, separate motor and gearbox, couplings, bearings, we can confidently summarize the wear resistance of the machine and readiness for heavy loads. This indicator allows the machine to operate without downtime.
  2. Professional foam generator quickly fills the mixer with quality foam, thanks to which the foam concrete is produced with uniform quality (without foam sagging, with the same bubble). Foam generator of professional equipment is enough to set up once, and then once a shift to check the weight of the foam. Does not require frequent adjustments, it allows the user of the installation to concentrate on the rules of preparation of foam concrete, raw materials, etc.
  3. Protection of consumables. Such care saves the buyer money not because of the cost of consumables, they are quite inexpensive, but because of the lack of downtime installation and frequent repairs. In the conditions of construction of an object or when getting a large order in different cases it will help to save tens and in some cases hundreds of thousands of rubles (it depends on the object and the customer).
  4. The warranty period of more than 18 months, often 24 months, high-quality coloring of the product, the availability of convenient controls is certainly an advantage of any professional equipment.

Disadvantages of professional equipment for the production of foam concrete:

  1. If you compare with the Economy segment, the professional equipment will be somewhat more expensive. However, more and more often it is possible to observe the offers of mobile plants for foam concrete of both segments with similar price. Often technical incompetence of the Buyers is used by some Manufacturers selling and positioning their equipment in the Professional segment, making additional profit.

Conclusion about the professional equipment for foam concrete.
By choosing professional equipment Buyer insures himself, his business and production from unforeseen failures and downtime. There is no need for constant adjustment of the foam generator and foam quality. Automated elements of the machines exclude operator's error, and leads to a stable quality of the final product. The manufacturer knows that the Buyer relies on his equipment expecting to get the maximum return. Because the machine is a real tool, a machine, - which gives its owner a stable income without unforeseen costs.