The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology is planning to offer a special one-day course for concrete batchers and batch plant staff in the second half of 2020.
The dates for the training still have to be finalised but it will be done online through the school’s existing platform which has been supplemented by video conferencing for the practical sessions.
This applies to all the school’s courses during pandemic restrictions.
Batching – the process of measuring and combining concrete ingredients according to the predetermined mix design – is a “vital element of concrete production”, says School of Concrete Technology lecturer Matthews Magwaza.
“Batching ensures high and uniform quality of readymix concrete for each batch produced by a batching plant. The durability of a structure is highly dependent on the quality of the concrete used to build it. Therefore, it is essential to precisely and meticulously select the concrete ingredient, and this can only be achieved by a competent batcher.”
For example, it is important to maintain the water:cement ratio constantly at the set value, and a skilled batcher will be able to adapt his or her production to cater for the water content in the aggregate, Magwaza explains.
Further, he notes that adequate batching offers several benefits, such as low variability in plastic and hardened concrete properties, better plant efficiency and lower production costs, as well as higher client satisfaction and sales volumes.
The topics which will be covered in the course include batchers’ responsibilities; the concrete materials and their effect on the concrete mix; fresh properties of concrete and the tests to check it; the basics of mix design, including control of the water content; testing for the hardened properties of concrete; and the basic management of a batch plant, including the implementation of quality-control systems.
Magwaza highlights that the course will provide batchers and staff at a batch plant with the essential concrete education and theory to competently produce quality readymix concrete.
“The training will also benefit batch plant supervisors, laboratory staff, sales and even general labourers involved in batching,” he comments.