Concrete Pumps - Types and advantages

Concrete Pumps Types – Applications and advantages

Concrete pumps are devices that convey concrete from a concrete source to a casting location. In this blog, I will show you the basic theory, forms, and selection of concrete pumps.

In a concrete pump, the concrete is drawn from the hopper (concrete source) by one piston and then pushes into the discharge outlet pipe by the other piston. A valve controls cylinders which must be opened to the hopper and the discharge pipe

Variations of this design were developed later. The designs helped for high-pressure pumping which were used when the concrete had to be pumped at various heights and lengths. This innovation is in high demand for the rapid construction of high-rise buildings.

Let’s see the types of Concrete Pump.

Types of Concrete Pumps

Different concrete pumps have been designed based on pumping pressure, ease of use, concrete placing height or vertical head etc. Concrete pumps are classified as follows:

  1. Boom Concrete Pump
  2. Line Concrete Pump/ Stationary pump

Boom Concrete Pumps

  • Boom pumps has a remote control operated hydraulic arm mounted on a truck. The concrete is fed through a hopper attached to the truck. The main benefit is that the arms are prefixed.
  • They can be operated remotely and the truck can be moved like and ordinary truck.
  • Boom concrete pumps are designed to pump concrete to any heights. They are mostly used in the construction of high rise buildings, chimneys, silos, industrial structures etc .
  • The flexibility of movement of pipe line in all directions and their ability to access and pour in congested locations make them a very preferred option over other methods
  • Compared to conventional method, concreting using boom pump is very fast. It also generates less wastage and maintains construction quality.
  • Due to prefixed arms, labour involvement is less in boom placer.
  • Boom placer can optimise construction schedules and mainly preferred for fast track projects.
Boom concrete pump
Boom concrete pump/placer

Line Concrete Pumps/Stationary concrete pump

  • It is a concrete pumping device that can only be fixed on one point till the concrete pour ends with a hopper to receive concrete from source
  • The pipe line is fixed at site. It consists of 1 Meter, 2 Meter pieces and long and shot bends.
  • There will be a hose fixed at the end of pipe line which is 2 Meter in length
  • Pump will be in one position. Only pipe lines can be extended as per requirements
  • In this method, labour involvement is very high due to fixing of pipe lines at site . These pumps are used for mass concrete and in areas where there is minimal location changes.
  • One major drawback with Line Concrete pump are chances of pipe line getting choked due to concrete consistency or extreme weather conditions. In that case the pipe lines has to be removed, cleaned and refitted to restart the concrete. This process generates huge wastage and chances of rejection of concrete.
Concrete Pump
Concrete pump

How to Choose a Concrete Pump?

The concrete pump is chosen based on the construction project’s specifications. The following criteria are used to determine a successful and appropriate concrete pump:

  • The Concrete Pump’s manufacturer
  • Concrete Pump’s Function
  • Construction Projects’ Schedule
  • Price and economic factors

Concrete Pump’s manufacturer:

The following are important considerations to consider when choosing a successful concrete pump manufacturer:

  • Choose the best concrete pump manufacturer in the region. For this, consult local contractors and seek assistance from any recognised manufacturers.
  • A wide range of options are now available online. Check out the top-rated concrete pumps and the feedback they’ve received.
  • Under high pressure, the concrete pumping procedure is carried out. This long-term pressure must be able to withstand a strong concrete pump. 
  • If the concrete pump’s output is below average, building projects can break down and suffer losses.

Price and economic factors

The concrete pump chosen must be practical and work at the rate for which it was purchased. Avoid the risk of paying a high price for an underperforming concrete pump. Often choose a concrete pump based on its efficiency and cost. Compare the price and the results.

Concrete Pump Selection Based on Work

When the concrete pump is chosen on the basis of work, two basic factors are considered:

  1. Volumetric Concrete Output
  2. The Pumping Pressure

The work determines the maximum volumetric concrete output required per hour for concrete construction. The pump’s pressure is specified based on this. This pressure is the criterion for choosing a concrete pump. 

The strength of the concrete pump’s driving unit is determined by the desired concrete output (Q) and the pumping pressure (P). Then the  hydraulic output (H) is given by:

H = Q x P 

The concrete pump described above can be chosen based on the various construction projects.

  • For the building of large road and highway projects, a boom or truck-mounted concrete pump is ideal.
  • A boom concrete pump is the best option for concrete pouring at various altitudes and where there is a small area for concrete pouring.
  • Boom concrete pumps can mount two or three robotic pump lines that function as a multi-purpose robotic arm, reducing the number of workers needed.
  • For the building of sidewalks or slabs, a line concrete pump or a stationary concrete pump is used. The stationary pump is used if only a small amount of concrete needs to be pumped.

Concrete Pumps Advantages

  • Ability to position concrete in difficult-to-reach areas of a site, especially at heights.
  • The ability to alter the pouring spot location.
  • Regular concrete in small quantities is needed at different locations in some projects such as bridges and dams.
  • There is a very low reliance on labourers.
  • Concrete is transported quickly from the output point (transit mixer/mixing m/c) to the pouring point.
  • Where other concrete carrying mechanisms, such as a crane or a trolley, are impractical.
  • The pump does not require light for service, while other methods of moving concrete to placement points, such as cranes or trolleys, do.
  • The potential for placement is adaptable.

Concrete Pumps Disadvantages

The disadvantages of using concrete pumps in building projects are as follows:

  • The net cost would be higher.
  • Due to the huge initial cost, these pumps are not feasible for structures with minor concrete volume.

That’s it about concrete pumps. Let us know in comments if you found this insightful.

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