Why Use a Concrete Pump?
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 or longer units are on semi-trailers. It is known as a boom concrete pump because it uses a remote-controlled articulating robotic arm (called a boom) to place concrete accurately. 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 labor 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 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.
EXAMPLE OF CONCRETE 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.
Advantages of concrete pumping over lifting it up in skips via a crane:
• Much larger volume of concrete placed per hour. A crane would be doing well lift 12m³ per hour. A Schwing Static Pump can pump over 50m³ per hour to the top of today's tallest high rise buildings.
• Constant flow. Today's Schwing Concrete Pumps can pump concrete as quickly as a truck mixer can discharge into them. Even as fast as two truck mixers can discharge in many situations.
• Fewer wasted man hours. The people placing the concrete need to wait for the next batch while the skip is in motion or being refilled at the bottom. The people at the bottom are just waiting for the skip to come back down while it is in motion or discharging at the top. The continuous flow from a concrete pump means less waiting around.
• The crane can perform other tasks. Instead of lifting buckets of concrete up and down, the crane can be employed to deliver steelwork, scaffolding, formwork and all the other necessary building material to where it needs to be.
• Concrete placed straight where you want it. The placing hose can be moved around so that concrete can be placed wherever it is needed. A Separate Placing Boom can also be employed to position the end hose exactly where it is needed within a large area. Mobile concrete pumps come with their own dedicated placing boom.
• Lower Labor Costs. Because the concrete can be placed exactly where it is needed, only a minimum of people are required to distribute the concrete - unlike when a skip dumps a load and people are needed to then move the concrete to where it is needed.
• Quicker setup times. A mobile pump can arrive on site, extend its outriggers and boom and be pumping concrete many floors up within an hour. It can even do two or even three such jobs in a day.
The Rock Valve
As demand grew for concrete to be pumped further and higher, the flat gate valve in use at the time could no longer cope with the pressures required and in 1982, Schwing patented the revolutionary "Rock Valve". This was able to work with far higher pressures, allowing the heights and distances for concrete pumping to be greatly increased. The high pressure in the Rock Valve system helps seal the valve rather than working against it.
The wide mouth of the Rock Valve also helps keep the system stable and is extremely low wearing due to the low friction design. The abrasive concrete is only scraping against one side of the valve at any one time, nearly halving the amount of wear compared to other designs.
Placing the concrete
Pumping the concrete is one aspect of the overall task. Another is controlling where the concrete is placed. Whilst this can be done by manually positioning the end hose, a remote-controlled articulated placing boom is often used to position the placing hose exactly where the concrete is needed. The robotic arm is designed to unfold is a small area and be able to reach every spot within the length of the boom. Even if there are difficult barriers and constraints in the area. The pipe runs the length of the boom and a placing hose on the end can be positioned to place the concrete precisely where it is needed, quickly and easily.
1-800-CONCRETE has been offering its consulting services to ready mix concrete producers exclusively since 2000. We have developed a set of marketing tools to offer concrete producers a competitive advantage in their respective geographic market. We offer our set of marketing tools exclusively to one ready mix concrete producer in a particular market. Our customers include Aggregate Industries, Staker Parson an Oldcastle Co., Consumers Concrete, Standard Concrete, a Heidelberg Cement Co., Breckenridge Materials, Buckeye Ready Mix and Rahns Concrete just to name a few.
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