Concrete pump

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Because it is a fluid, concrete can be pumped to where it is needed. Here, a concrete transport truck is feeding concrete to a concrete pumper, which is pumping it to where a slab is being poured.
Pumping concrete into aluminum concrete formwork in Mexico.

A concrete pump is a machine used for transferring liquid concrete by pumping. There are two types of concrete pumps.

The first type of concrete pump is attached to a truck. It is known as a trailer-mounted boom concrete pump because it uses a remote-controlled articulating robotic arm (called a boom) to place concrete with pinpoint accuracy. Boom pumps are used on most of the larger construction projects as they are capable of pumping at very high volumes and because of the labour saving nature of the placing boom. They are a revolutionary alternative to truck-mounted concrete pumps.

The second main type of concrete pump is either mounted on a truck and known as a truck-mounted concrete pump or placed on a trailer, and it is commonly referred to as a line pump or trailer-mounted concrete pump. This pump requires steel or flexible concrete placing hoses to be manually attached to the outlet of the machine. Those hoses are linked together and lead to wherever the concrete needs to be placed. Line pumps normally pump concrete at lower volumes than boom pumps and are used for smaller volume concrete placing applications such as swimming pools, sidewalks, and single family home concrete slabs and most ground slabs.

There are also skid mounted and rail mounted concrete pumps, but these are uncommon and only used on specialized jobsites such as mines and tunnels.

Mechanism[edit]

Concrete pump designers face many challenges because concrete is heavy, viscous, abrasive, contains pieces of hard rock, and solidifies if not kept moving.

Operating principle of piston pump with seat valves

Usually, piston pumps are used, because they can produce hundreds of atmospheres of pressure. Such piston-style pumps can push cylinders of heterogenous concrete mixes (aggregate plus cement).

The pump below uses a transfer tube valve, and the one on the right uses seat valves.

Example of pump performance[edit]

To illustrate, below are data on a typical concrete sample pump BRF 42.14 H:

BRF 42.14 H pump
  • Vertical reach of boom: 41.9 meters (137 ft).
  • Horizontal reach of boom: 38.0 meters (124.7 ft)
  • Pumping rate: 140 cubic meters per hour (180 cuyd/h).
  • Concrete pressure: 70 bar (7,000 kPa; 1,015 psi).
  • Cylinder length: 2,100 mm (82.677 in).
  • Cylinder diameter: 210 mm (8.268 in).
  • Number of substitutions of strokes per minute: 27.
  • Number of outriggers legs: 4.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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