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Tips for using hand-mixed concrete

Small concrete jobs are subject to the same strength and quality requirements as those using pre-mixed concrete. However, there is a lack of knowledge about how to estimate the raw materials for small volumes of hand-mixed concrete. This can result in a loss of quality – strength, in particular – in the finished product. Use the tables below for working out what quantities are required.

Required quantities for hand-mixed concrete

When purchasing pre-mixed concrete there is a great emphasis on the quality of the mix. The concrete is ordered and delivered according to a set of desired criteria, being concrete type, strength and workability. The requirements for smaller concrete jobs remain the same. 

The table below, courtesy of Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia, outlines the quantities required to hand-mix small concrete volumes.

Table 1 - General Purpose Concrete

Ingredients Volume of concrete (m3)
0.2
0.4  0.6  0.8 1.0
Sand (m3) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Coarse aggregate (m3) 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0

Water (Litres) 50 to 60  70 to 80 145 to 150 180 to 200  200 to 220
Cement (20kg bags)  4 6 10 14 16

All-in-aggregate mix (m3) 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.3

 Notes to Table 1:

  1. The mix ratio is approximately 1:2:4
  2. The water /cement ratio is approximately 0.6 to 0. 7
  3. The proportions equate approximately to a 20 mPa mix.

Table 2 - Higher Strength Concrete

Ingredients Volume of concrete (m3)
0.2
0.4  0.6  0.8 1.0
Sand (m3) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Coarse aggregate (m3) 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.8

Water (Litres) 50 to 60  70 to 80 145 to 150 180 to 200  200 to 220
Cement (20kg bags)  4 8 12 16 18

All-in-aggregate mix (m3) 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.3


Notes to Table 2:

  1. The mix ratio is approximately 1:2:4
  2. The water /cement ratio is approximately 0.6 to 0. 7
  3. The proportions equate approximately to a 20 mPa mix.

To find out more, contact HIA’s Building Services team.

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