Concrete pavers have been used to build outdoor flooring since World War 2. Let’s take a look at the process they go through before they make their way to your patio!
1. First, a conveyer belt delivers concrete sand to a weight belt that weighs the sand.
2. In a nearby belt, small 1/8” stone chips are weighed as well.
3. The sand and stones move along their respective belts, and then combine in a large bucket on rails called a “skip hoist.”
How much of each material is used? The ratio of sand to stone used depends on the type of paver that is being created.
4. Sand and stone mixture is then lifted above and dropped into a giant mixer.
5. 6 steel paddles inside mix and rotate the sand and stone over and over.
6. Cement is then added through nozzles on the sides of the mixer.
7. Water is added until the consistency is just right.
How much water? Similar to baking cookies, the right amount of liquid is needed to form the perfect consistency.
8. The nozzles then shoot pigment into the cement mixture to tint it and add color.
9. Another machine then spreads the mix over a steel mold containing paver-shaped cavities.
10. The steel mold press head provides about 11 tons of vibrating pressure as the pulsating force compacts the concrete and removes air pockets.
Air pockets are important to remove because if present, they weaken the pavers.
11. Hydraulic cylinders then lift the mold leaving the pavers on a press board. In about 10 seconds, one batch of the concrete mixture is molded, compacted, and released.
12. A moving wagon picks up these boards and moves them to a curing kiln. Through the chemical reaction of combining cement and water, the pavers generate heat up to 100 degrees, and will cure for about 12 hours.
At this point, the pavers are 70% cured.
13. The pavers are then left to harden for about 28 days, after which they are lifted and piled into cubes of 9-10 layers of pavers.
14. Once cubed, they are shipped in bundles to your local Maryland patio contractor where they will be stored until you begin your new patio project!
Having a licensed patio contractor install your pavers ensures that your patio will look professionally built and you’ll be left with a paved outdoor living space that will last for many, many years. Contact North American Deck and Patio today to request a free consultation for your new patio project!