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8 Typical Mixing Errors and How to Prevent Them

Mixing jobs are a big part of the daily work on construction sites and improperly mixed concrete can create unacceptable or substandard results. This often leads to construction damages and/or additional costs. It's the right mixture that matters. The question is: How can you avoid these mixing errors? 

dirty mixing paddles
Heavily soiled mixing paddles
◊ Mixing Error No. 1: Using the wrong mixing paddle or using one mixing paddle for every application

Are you using only one mixing paddle for every mixing material? Different building materials have different mixing requirements. By using the wrong mixing paddle your material is not properly homogenized. It often creates strong lump formations in your mixture. For example: self-leveling compounds need a very special mixing paddle with high shear forces, like the Collomix KR series. Using an ordinary mortar mixing paddle with self-leveling compounds will exceed the paddles mixing limit. 

◊ Mixing Error No. 2: Too large or too small mixing bucket

The right size bucket can also hinder mixing results. When choosing a mixing bucket you should take into consideration the entire mixing quantity. If you select too small of a mixing bucket, the material may splash out of the bucket during mixing. This will unnecessarily pollute your working environment and it also leads to unnecessary material loss. To recognize the right mixing bucket size, make sure the basket of the mixing paddle is completely covered by the mixing material in the bucket. 

◊ Mixing Error No. 3: Wrong mixing technology – Unsuitable mixing tools

Many building materials need a specialized mixing technology and/or a specialized mixing tool. Before mixing you need to consider the specifications of your material.

For example, if you mix two component reaction resin mortars with nothing but a standard power drill and a standard mixing paddle, you can possibly cause considerable construction damages. When mixing 2 component materials, the right mixing technology must be chosen with great care. Otherwise problems like sticky spots may occur after the material has hardened. Therefore, it is recommended to pre-mix both components (resin & hardener) in separate mixing buckets, before the final homogenization of both materials. And if adding quartz sand into the mixture, you should consider using a special compulsory mixer

Mixing error: Fillers
Mixing error: Fillers
◊ Mixing Error No. 4: Wrong mixing action

The correct mixing action is very important for perfect results. Before you begin mixing, you’ll need to consider if the material will be mixed from bottom to top or if you’ll be mixing from the top to the bottom. Mixing incorrectly not only makes your mixing jobs much more difficult, it also can also ruin your mixed materials.

For example, when you mix screed or mortar with the wrong mixing action, you can cause material residues on the bottom of your mixing bucket. By using an incorrect paddle and mixing action, your mixing jobs become much more difficult or the material will not be suitable for the job.

◊ Mixing Error No. 5: Too short mixing times / incomplete mixing results

Mixing under time pressure isn’t a good idea. Errors during mixing may compromise the performance of your product. If a too short mixing time is selected or mix intensity is insufficient the dispersion of all components cannot be guaranteed. The consequence: Time-consuming repair work e.g. lack of adhesion, cavities or pop-outs, etc.

◊ Mixing Error No. 6: Heavily soiled mixing paddles

And now hand on heart. How often are you cleaning your mixing paddle? Directly after every mixing job? – If your answer is no, then you should do this much more often in the future. Dried material residues may come off and contaminate your new material with foreign particles. Even worse, several material layers can make your mixing paddle useless. In addition, extremely dirty mixing paddles must be replaced much more often, which can quickly become expensive.

Mixing error: Lumps
Mixing error: Lumps
◊ Mixing Error No. 7: Mixer with insufficient speed

It is very important to choose the correct speed when mixing. If the speed of your mixer is too weak, the components of your mixing material (Liquid & Powder) will not be mixed together. For example, the spread properties of self-leveling-compounds will very quickly become substandard. Consequently more work and a higher material requirement will be necessary, not to mention unnecessary working hours and additional mixing material costs your money and frayed nerves.

◊ Mixing Error No. 8:  Ignore the specified sequence of the mixing instructions

Do you always follow the mixing instructions of the material manufacturer? First add water, then mixing material, or vice versa? Or do you not care about the instructions? Unfortunately this practice may cause problems like strong lump formations or a complicated processing. The consequence of this is a high need for expensive reworking. Sometimes the mixture will become useless and must be discarded – which also cost unnecessary money.

Recognize mixing errors – Prevent mixing errors: Saves your time and money on every site. 

Are you still mixing with an ordinary power drill?

Mixing jobs are part of the daily routine on any construction site. But professional mixing machines and mixing tools are often nowhere to be found. Many craftsmen continue to struggle with a simple power drill for complex mixing jobs instead of using a special hand-held mixer.

A power drill can certainly be adequate for mixing small volumes of mainly liquid materials at a low rpm, but when materials with higher viscosity or large mixing volumes have to be mixed a power drill should not be your first choice. Because a power drill is designed to drill in short bursts and not mix for long periods of time, they tend to quickly overheat and burnout. Also when using a power drill, the mixing time will increase with a higher physical strain on the user.

So why make mixing jobs more difficult?

collomix advantages mixing drill

In comparison with ordinary drills, Collomix hand-held paddle mixers are specially designed for heavy loads generated during mixing. The drive elements supply enough power and sufficient cooling for the motor even under the heaviest of loads, and the special gear units guarantee a long life and optimum performance.

Collomix hand-held mixers also give you many more advantages.

Because Collomix hand-held paddle mixers are all designed ergonomically, the comfortable holding position and body posture make your work easier. The special machine power and rotational speed are in optimal balance for top-class mixing results and minimum physical strain on the user.

Collomix hand-held paddle mixers also convert power into mixing action. The gear system and finely adjustable electronics of the Collomix hand-held paddle mixers provide maximum power at all time. Moreover the ON/OFF switch has a safeguard for preventing unintentional start-up, while the speed is finely controlled by speed electronics.

Collomix hand-held mixers are powerful and wear-resistant with maximum power utilization and long service life - Count on it!

As a rule of thumb: the larger the mixing volume, the higher the viscosity of the mixing material, the lower the rpm and, as a consequence, the higher the drive power required.

Don’t sabotage your mixing job by using only an ordinary power drill – Make your work easier by using a hand-held mixer from Collomix

Matching the Correct Mixing Paddle with the Correct Material

Collomix mixing paddles

With so many different materials being used these days for building purposes, users are becoming increasingly aware of how important it is to prepare the materials correctly. The wrong choice of mixing paddle for mixing materials can later result in expensive repairs to buildings, or at least longer mixing times and unnecessary physical strain. Collomix offers a wide range of professional mixing paddles where you are certain to find exactly the help you need.

For optimum mixing results it is very important to choose the right mixing paddle. Your decision should be based on two factors: Mixing volume and type of material. Mixing volume will determine the diameter (size) of the mixing paddle, while the kind of material will determine its geometry, i.e. the mixing method or mixing action.

Below are three categories of mixing actions:

collomix mixing paddles
From the bottom up (positive action)

The material is conveyed upwards through the middle of the mixing paddle from the bottom of the bucket and flows down again at the sides. This method should be used for powdery and dry mixtures such as mortar, plaster, grout, cement, and quartz- and pebble-filled materials. The mixing paddle works into the mixing material easily.

Collomix mixing paddles
From the top down (negative action)

The material is forced down from the top and then flows back up again at the sides. Any lumps are broken up by the high force generated by the drive and the user, without splashing. This method is ideal for thin-bodied materials such as paints, dispersions, materials containing fibers, and gypsum plaster. It involves greater strain on the drive unit and user.

collomix mixing paddles
3. Parallel mixing action

The material is swirled on a single plane, the components only flow up or down when the mixing tool is moved accordingly. The suction effect results in optimal mixing results, according to the consistency of the material. This method is ideal for fillers. Fewer air inclusions in the material and, as a rule, higher shear forces, prevent the formation of lumps.

Notice: Only the right mixing tool delivers convincing mixing results

Video: mixing actions