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About Concrete Pumps and Concrete Pumping
Concrete Pumping is accomplished by the use of a machine called a concrete pump that transfers liquid concrete. Concrete pumps are either a trailer-mounted line pump or a remote-controlled robotic arm (called a boom) which is attached to a truck.
Larger construction projects usually use booms since they can pump at very high volumes saving labour costs.
Truck-mounted concrete pumps, or trailer pumps, are used for smaller volume concrete projects such as single family home concrete slabs, driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, and most ground slabs. These are also referred to as line pumps since steel or flexible concrete placing hoses are manually attached to the concrete pump’s outlet. The hoses, which can be linked, are used to pump the liquid concrete from the concrete truck to the location of the concrete construction project.
When the German engineers Giese and Hull came up with the idea of using pipes to pump liquid concrete in 1927, it was a revolutionary idea which saved much time and labor. Before this, the concrete had to be mixed on the job site and then transported from the cement mixer in wheelbarrows or in buckets which were lifted by cranes.
Concrete pump designers face challenges because of the nature of concrete. It contains pieces of hard rock and is very heavy, viscous, abrasive. If not kept moving, it will solidify. Usually, piston pumps are used, produce hundreds of atmospheres of pressure to keep the concrete moving through the pipes.