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Hustle and Flow

The old adage is that the block machine only runs as fast as the batched mix allows. There are several aspects to this, but we are going to focus on one — water demand. All of us are aware of the water-to-cement ratios that govern cement hydration and workability. As an example, I run a fine textured architectural mix with a water-to-cement ratio of 0.59. The cement only requires a .22 to .24 water to cement ratio to begin hydration, everything past that is water of convenience. Along with or without admixture, the water of convenience allows the batch mechanically move from sub-hopper to feed drawer to mold in relatively fluid motion. There is no standard water cement ratio. There are ranges which are utilized based on the mix gradation. Rule of thumb: the finer the mix, the higher the water cement ratio. Whereas, my Architectural Fine Texture mix requires a .59 water to cement ratio, my standard sand and gravel blend may only require a .51 water-to-cement ratio. For more information, Ask Mike.