Precast concrete blocks are favourable in construction because they are strong and durable. This is because they are cured in a controlled environment as opposed to the outdoors in harsh weather. Moreover, you choose to create a unique look for your concrete surface by choosing different types of moulds. If you are interested in DIY casting of blocks, you should purchase a vibrating table from a company like VSS - Vibration Systems & Solutions (Australia). The equipment is designed to improve the densification of concrete through the vibration motion.
In simple terms, the shaking movement will improve the intrinsic strength of the blocks because there will be no air spaces to weaken the structure. This method also provides a better finish compared to the use of a handheld vibrator. The vibrating table can be used in the construction of paver moulds, plaques, landscape ornaments and even bird-bath tops. Here are some simple guidelines to help you make durable and beautiful concrete blocks.
Prepare the Table
The vibrating table should be bolted to the floor surface to prevent excessive movement of the equipment. In addition, if the table is not firmly settled on the floor, some of the vibratory force will be transmitted and lost. This loss is inefficient in terms of energy because the densification process will take longer. You will need fibreglass, plastic or metal moulds to contain the concrete. You can purchase these from local or online construction stores. Also, obtain mould release oil; this should be applied on the mould's interior surface to prevent the concrete from sticking.
Pour the Concrete
Prepare your concrete mixture from a commercial ready-made mix according to the manufacturer's instructions. Switch on the vibrating table when you are satisfied with the concrete. Start by filling the mould from one part of the containment and pour the material slowly. The vibrating movement will allow the concrete to spread evenly across the mould. Leave the concrete material on the table to allow the air bubbles to escape from the block. The time required for the process to be complete will depend on the exact motion of the table. Therefore, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Level the exposed surface of the concrete block with a trowel. This will ensure that the base of the block will be smooth, consistent and professional. When you are pleased with the finish, leave it to set properly. You should add any necessary accessories such as tubing and hooks at this stage.
If you are concerned about the vibratory noise, you can glue carpet fabric to the table-top before placing the mould.