The Main Components of a Concrete Pump
Posted On: 12/23/2022 | Posted by: DY Concrete Pumps
Construction is changing worldwide — urbanization has increased rapidly in recent years, meaning the need for efficient, practical construction is also on the rise. As ready-mixed concrete has become more accessible, its many advantages lead to the projection that the demand for concrete will increase in the future.
Construction requires efficiency and a high standard of work and the ability to pump concrete into hard-to-reach places and increase the project’s overall productivity is of paramount importance. The concrete pump and its components allow for faster and more consistent concrete distribution. Each of the essential components of a concrete pump leads to quality projects and repeat customers.
The Working Principle of a Concrete Pump
Concrete pumps transfer fresh-mixed concrete to the desired location using a combination of a valve system and hydraulics for increased efficiency. Once the concrete is mixed, it’s transferred into a hopper, which continues the churning process to prevent solidification. The concrete pump sucks the liquid concrete out of the hopper using a valve system, then transfers it to where it needs to be.
A typical concrete pump contains twin hydraulic cylinders. The two cylinders work in tandem, pushing and pulling the concrete. The continual hydraulic flow of the concrete causes the cylinders to alternate back and forth and plays a vital role in preventing the premature solidification of the concrete.
What Are the Main Parts of a Concrete Pump?
There are many concrete pump components, and each of these essential parts performs a vital role in effectively pumping the concrete. The main concrete boom pump components include the following:
1. The Main Pump Circuit
The primary pump circuit is one of the essential parts of a concrete boom pump. This circuit controls the parallel hydraulic drive cylinders and can be broken down into the following parts:
- Piston pump: The main hydraulic power pump gets its power from a variable displacement axial piston pump complete with a swashplate design. Adjusting the swashplate angle changes the stroke length of the pistons, and this process changes the concrete displacement. The more flow is generated, the larger the swashplate angle becomes. Operators can adjust the swashplate angle using the load sense feature and the volume control.
- Motor: The main hydraulic pump is powered by an engine or electric motor. When the engine is operating like usual, the pump is switched off, minimizing the pressure on the pump and providing enough power to keep the pump lubricated.
- Valve manifold: There’s a valve on the main circuit to facilitate flow control, the relief valve, the check valve and the pilot-operated directional valve.
- Throttle control: To energize the pump circuit, the operator sets the speed to maximum RPM using the throttle control.
- Cycling circuit: The cycling circuit is activated immediately as the pump is switched on. This circuit generates an electrical signal and activates the directional valves.
- Material cylinders: The two parallel cylinders alternately pump the concrete. Proximity sensors trigger the material pumping action, and the signal from the sensors is sent to the logic controller.
- Relief valve: This valve protects the primary pump circuit from extreme pressure. When the system pressure reaches the maximum allowed, the relief valve opens to let oil return to the tank.
2. The S-Tube Shift Circuit
This circuit controls the function for shifting the S-tube from one cylinder to the other during pumping. As there’s a single outlet for pumping material, there must be a method by which the concrete is transferred from the cylinder to the outlet and then onto the delivery line.
The hopper is fitted with an S-tube to ensure the task is completed. There’s one S-tube for two cylinders, so it must be easily shifted from one cylinder to another. This circuit can be further explained when considering each of the following components:
- Tandem pump: To meet pressure and flow requirements, a tandem pump is installed in a single section of the shift circuit. This pump is connected to and driven by the main hydraulic pump.
- Manifold block: Just like the main hydraulic circuit, there are manifold blocks in the shift circuit.
3. The Auxiliary Circuit
The hydraulic function of the agitator is designed and installed as part of the auxiliary unit. The circuit controls the operation of the agitator and other additional equipment.
The agitator rotates to mix the concrete in the hopper and feed the cylinders. The tandem pump on the main circuit serves the auxiliary circuit. A solenoid cartridge or dump valve is a safety mechanism to prevent flow to the auxiliary circuit when the operator activates the emergency stop circuit.
One of the most significant functions of the auxiliary circuit is to assist in pumping concrete high in the air and over long distances. The main components of this system include the following:
- Elbow with wear-detecting holes: These holes in the concrete pump elbows are made from quench casting material. They smooth the ready-mixed concrete flow and increase safety and durability.
- Outrigger: This component hangs at an oblique angle and widens the overhanging area for more significant stable movement.
- U-shaped bottom of the hopper: This part facilitates the initial movement of the liquid concrete from the hopper into the intake port. Cleaning is more accessible due to the efficient flow of the ready-mixed concrete, as it reduces the remaining volume.
- Power-operated vacuum pump: This pump was designed to minimize pulsation and discontinuity in the flow of the concrete and is equipped with a battery-powered vacuum pump. This component is a more homogeneous mixture.
4. The Spraying Arm
The spraying arm ensures the concrete flow is positioned at the correct location. Telescopic elevation platforms and scaffolding are unnecessary, as the component can spray for distances up to 56 feet. Concrete, elevators and air are mixed within the spraying head. The nozzle dimensions and overall design are vital for ensuring minimal rebound and that the concrete is incorporated correctly.
5. The Air Compressor
The air compressor gives the concrete the kinetic energy to spray and compact. A certain velocity is required for shotcrete to impact the site’s surface, achieved with the compressor’s airflow and the correct nozzle diameter.
6. The Additive Pump
The accelerator is used to meet the requirement for early strength development by speeding up the hardening of the concrete. The dosage must be based on the concrete flow at all times. A synchronized dosing device, combined with the concrete pump, performs this function.
7. The Motorized Chassis
The motorized chassis transports the concrete pump to the desired location. The design of the chassis is crucial, as it needs to be able to turn in relatively small spaces and operate on uneven terrain.
8. The Control Panel and Remote Control
The control panel allows for ease of operation and confirms the condition of the ready-mixed concrete inside the hopper. Operators can control the pumping speed based on the operation’s needs. The digital display indicates when to perform maintenance checks or replacements.
Operators can use a remote control to manage the spraying process on site. Remote controls can be wireless or work via a cable connection and organize all the concrete components from one convenient location.
Contact DY Concrete Pumps for Your Next Concrete Pump
If you’re looking to increase your efficiency on-site or upgrade your concrete pump, DY Concrete Pumps Inc. can provide you with all the information you need to make the best choice for your business. Whether you’re looking for concrete boom pumps or line pumps, our extensive inventory has the ideal concrete pump to suit your operational needs.
As leading manufacturers in the industry with over three decades of experience, we can help you provide innovative and effective solutions for our clients. Contact us so we can help you find the best solutions for your operation today.