How to select a Concrete Pump? | How does a Concrete Pump work?

Different types of pumps are used all over the world for different applications. There are multiple types of pumps, and a concrete pump is one of them. It is also known as a cement pump. The concrete pumps are used to liquid concrete from one location to other. This article mainly describes the concrete pump working and types.

What is a Concrete Pump?

A concrete pump is a mechanical equipment used to transfer mixed liquid concrete from one place to another. In simple words, a concrete pump is a machine with which freshly mixed liquid concrete is pumped to the desired locations on construction sites.

concrete pump

These types of pumps are the most commonly used equipment on construction sites to increase the efficiency of construction projects, particularly when there is a need to transfer mixed concrete on a very high floor.

Before the invention of concrete pumps, different contractors used cranes to lift concrete buckets. However, now they use concrete pumps to transfer concrete onto the top floors of the buildings.

Working Principle of Concrete Pump

The basic concrete pump was originally designed as a two-cylinder hydraulic pump. The principle of this pump is that one piston pulls the liquid concrete out of the concrete source (hopper), and another piston pushes it into the discharge pipe.

A valve controls the opening of the cylinders in the discharge pipe and in the concrete source. With the improvement in technology, the capacity of this pump has been improved up to such a high level that it can transfer concrete up to different heights with high pressure.

Working of Concrete Pump

The concrete pump works on the basic principle of hydraulics. It operates by using valves. As the liquid concrete is mixed, it has poured into the hopper. The pump sucks the liquid concrete via a valve system and transfers it into the desired area.

concrete pump working

Maximum concrete pumps contain a two-cylinder hydraulic system consisting of two parallel cylinders. The 1st cylinder is called the material cylinder. It sucks the hopper concrete. The second cylinder is a delivery cylinder that transfers the concrete out from the pumps into the desired location.

Types of Concrete Pumps

The concrete pump has the following major types:

  1. Line Concrete Pumps
  2. Boom Concrete Pumps
  3. Specialized usage pump

1) Boom Concrete Pump

It is a stationary pump. It remains stationary in a certain position during the whole concrete transfer process. These types of pumps have a large size and are placed on the floor. It has a boom at its front. The length of this boom varies according to the requirements.  

Boom Concrete Pump

They use to transfer concrete on different heights or floors of the construction site. They permit the pipeline to move up and down. Therefore, these pumps can also mold in narrow spaces. This pump can easily overcome obstacles in the concrete casting paths.

These types of concrete pumps are often most commonly used on large construction projects because they have the capability to pump large amounts of concrete in a short amount of time. They also help to save substantial labor.

Read Also: Different types of Pumps

2) Line Concrete Pump

These pumps are employed for small construction applications. They have a compact design. It contains a line pump connected to the trailer or at the truck’s back. Therefore, this arrangement is also known as a trailer concrete pump or truck-mounted pump.

It needs a rubber or steel hose to be connected with the machine outlet. It can’t transfer liquid concrete up to too much height as a boom pump.

Line Concrete Pump

These pumps transfer concrete at a slower rate than boom pumps. These pumps are used for applications that need small-volume pumping like sidewalks and swimming pools.

Read Also: Different types of Hydraulic Pumps

3) Specialized Usage Pump

They are specially manufactured for special construction projects like mines and tunnels. There are also skid and truck-mounted concrete pumps, but they are not widely utilized because of their high cost and the involvement of advanced operations.

Specialized Usage Pump

Read Also: How to pump a Septic Tank?

How to Choose a Concrete Pump?

The selection of the best concrete pumps is the toughest and most important work. Follow the following steps to select a best suitable concrete pump:

  1. Manufacturer of the concrete pump
  2. The purpose of the pump
  3. The complexity of construction projects in terms of casting
  4. Price and economic factors
1) Manufacturer of Concrete Pump

The manufacturing material is the most important factor that you must consider for the selection of your pump.

  • Choose the best manufacturers of concrete pumps in your area. To do this, ask your region contractor for help and search for a well-known manufacturer.
  • You can also choose and buy pumps online. There are multiple platforms like Amazon that are selling their pumps online. These online services also mentioned the features and ratings of each pump. So, read the features and choose a pump according to your requirements.

A concrete pumping process performs under high pressure. An excellent pump has the capability to resist this high pressure over the long term. If your pump has below-average quality, it leads to failure and loss of the construction project.

Read Also: Best Small Pumps for 2023

2) Purpose of Concrete Pump 

Concrete pumps must fully meet the requirements for which it is purchased. Therefore, buy a pump that fulfills your requirements.

For example, you buy a pump to transfer liquid concrete on the fourth floor of the construction project, but it doesn’t have the capacity to transfer concrete on the fourth floor. In such conditions, the purchased pump is considered useless on a construction project. Therefore, you should check whether the purchased concrete pump is versatile and has excellent properties.

3) Price and Economic Factors 

Price is another big factor that must be kept in mind for the selection of the concrete pump. You should choose an appropriate pump that can work within the scope of the purchase price.

Don’t buy low-powered pumps at very high costs. Always choose a pump based on performance and cost.

Concrete Pump Selection Based on Work

The following are two major parameters that you must be considered for the selection of concrete pumps: 

  1. Pumping Pressure
  2. Volumetric Concrete Output

The maximum concrete production per hour required for the concrete work is concluded for the order. The pump pressure is specified according to the work or project requirements. This pressure is used for the selection of an appropriate pump.

The pumping pressure (P) and the required concrete delivery rate (Q) determine the power of the pump’s driving device. After this, the hydraulic power (H) can be calculated by the following equation:

                                                                H = Q x P                         

The choice of the above-given concrete pump varies according to the demands of the applications and construction project.  

  1. Truck or boom concrete pumps are ideal for highway construction and huge road
  2. They are most suitable for the injection of concrete at different heights where the concrete injection area is limited.
  3. The boom pump may install with 2 or 3 rows of robotic pumps that work as a multipurpose robotic arm when there is a deficiency of labor.
  4. Use stationary or line concrete pumps to build sidewalks and floors. The stationary pump is best suitable when you need to transfer a small amount of concrete.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Concrete Pumps

The concrete pump has the following advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of Concrete Pump

  • These pumps are safe to use than other methods.
  • These pumps have the capacity to transfer concrete at a faster rate.
  • Concrete pumps have the capability to transfer concrete easily.
  • These types of pumps lower the need for labor.
  • They save overhead costs, energy, and manpower.
  • They have high reliability and excellent performance.
  • This is one of the best methods to complete a project.
  • The use of these pumps reduces labor costs.

Disadvantages of Concrete Pumps

  • Concrete pumps always have the possibility to break down.
  • There is always the risk of damage to the construction property and injury to workers.

Concrete Pump Specifications

Boom Specifications

Outrigger Length15’ 4” (4.7m)
Outrigger Width, Rear7’ 3” (2.2m)
Outrigger Width, Front12’ 8” (3.8m)
Pipeline Diameter5″ (125mm)
Outrigger Soil Pressure w/ Dunnage (front/rear)38/15 psi           2.6/1 bar
Outrigger Soil Pressure w/o Dunnage (front/rear)279/112 psi       19.2/7.7 bar
Outrigger Type – RearHydraulic Jacking
Outrigger Type – FrontManual Extension, Hydraulic Jacking
Unfolding Height16’4” (5m)
Boom Rotation370 degrees
Boom-Type/SectionsFull Articulation, Roll & Fold/3
Below Grade Reach w/Tip Hose28′ 3″ (8.6m)
Horizontal reach43′ 9″ (13.4m)
Vertical reach55′ 2″ (16.8m)
Pump Specifications
Valve TypeM Rock
Hydraulic Circuitry TypeSC
Maximum Oil Flow3 gal/min (11.4 l/m)
Differential Cylinder Diameter4.3 in (110mm)
Material Cylinder Stroke79 in (2006mm)
Max Aggregate Size2.5 in (63.5mm)
Max Strokes Per Minute19
Max Pressure on Concrete1095 psi (76 bar)
Theor. Concrete Output124 cu yds/h (95 cu m/h)

FAQ Section

How much does it cost to rent a concrete pump?

The rental cost of the concrete pumps varies according to the area where you live and the service type. The average rental cost of a concrete pump truck is up to $5,100 per day. In contrast, the average rental cost of a concrete pump truck is up to $110 per hour and $1100 for the first 5 hours. Some companies charge according to per cubic meter. The rental cost per cubic meter varies from $3 to $11.

What does a concrete pump do?

The main purpose of the concrete pump is to pump concrete from one area to another area on the construction site.

What are the best concrete pumps?

The following are the best concrete pump manufacturers:

  • Schwing Stetter
  • Liebherr
  • Sany
  • Putzmeister

How far can a concrete pump truck reachte?

A concrete pump has the capability to pump up to 300 m or more in the horizontal direction. A ground line pump can pump up to 150 m or more, and a boom pump can pump up to 72 m

What is the concrete pump used for?

Concrete pumps are used to transfer liquid concrete from one area to other. They are most commonly used for transportation, electric power, municipal construction, high-rise buildings, and many other industrial applications. They are specially used for the construction of narrow sites.

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