Understanding Concrete Reclaiming: a Three Part Tour of an Installation at a Ready Mix Plant, Pt. 1

Part 1: It All Starts Here

I'm standing at the truck wash out area where we can have up to three trucks simultaneously discharge. Down here is one of three buttons, which, when pressed will discharge a specific amount of grey water into the trucks at each one of the truck stations. If you look up above you'll see one of three discharge pipes and these three discharge pipes put grey water into the trucks. Yes we use grey water; we use that for a couple of reasons. Number one to conserve fresh water or potable water, number two, grey water is actually a great way to clean out a truck, why? There are suspended solids in the grey water and it actually causes friction on the inside of the barrel and it removes more of the cementicious product that the truck is coming back with to wash out into the trough with. This trough, of course, funnels all of the returned concrete into the chamber, the first chamber which is called the buffer, of the BIBKO 4000, which we'll see in a couple minutes when we go inside. This is one of two screws that were installed as an option for this particular producer. It's called a pump discharge conveyor or PDC for short and it's named as it exactly implies. It's used to clean out pumps or pump trucks that have a lower discharge height and need to have something at ground level. It's a large 88x78 opening; you can back up dumps into this if you have RCC, you need to clean out the truck from there or you have a pump truck and you want to wash it out into here. This discharge screw is designed to take the material and move it up into the trough where it's handled just like any returned concrete from a ready mix truck. Now, what makes this screw unusual and very unique, BIBKO exclusive here, is this urethane blanket underneath it. The reason they use a urethane blanket is because it has much, much less wear and you have very close tolerances so you can get water up this screw. You don't want water to pool down here; you want to get all your material to this trough and these flights as they wear, and they all do, can be adjusted to maintain that tight tolerance or clearance to make sure you can get all your material up it. Standing at the material discharge area; to my left is sand and to my right is stone. The screen above the sand pile here, of course, separates the sand and the stone. And above that screen is the screw which of course takes all the material coming out of the BIBKO 4000 and deposits it onto the screen. We've got a really nice sand product here, very low cementicious product here as you can see, really clean, very nice stuff. The producer will take the material, blend it back in with their fresh sand and then, of course, use all of it to make fresh concrete. If you come around to the other pile here with me, we'll take a look at the stone. This stone will go from this bin here and will go right into the material handling system where it will be used to make new concrete.