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Background and Identification
When concrete is poured, it can trap air bubbles inside. Sometimes the concrete can contain up to 20 percent air in the form of bubbles, which greatly reduces the strength and durability of the concrete. Using a concrete vibrator ‘consolidates’ the material, making the concrete more solid and reliable. When the concrete is not consolidated properly, a variety of internal bubbles and defects that would weaken the concrete can form, including “honeycombing, rock pockets, bugholes, sand streaks, pour lines and voids,” according to the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA).
Concrete vibrators can be either internal or external. Internal concrete vibrators put a vibrating tube into the freshly poured concrete, which forces bubbles in the concrete in the top. External concrete vibrators use a clamp to attach to a concrete form filled with freshly poured concrete, and uses vibration to accomplish the same thing.
Concrete vibrators come in a variety of sizes and power levels, depending on the size and type of concrete that they are intended to be used on. Concrete vibrators should only be used by a professional who knows how to properly follow safety instructions given by the manufacturer.