Pumpable Concrete: Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know

pumpable concrete

Conventional methods for delivering concrete not fitting your project? Are there hard to reach areas for the regular wheelbarrow to bring?

You might want to consider a faster and safer solution for transporting concrete.

The solution is pumpable concrete. This easy and fast solution is well sought for by various construction projects. In fact, even this Crossrail project made use of pumped concrete.

While that is more of a massive infrastructure project, it is hard to deny the capabilities of using pumpable concrete for small businesses and personal projects, too.

Not sure what those benefits are? Uncertain about the properties or amazing feats you can accomplish with this material?

Here are some details that you need to know about this construction method:

1. What is Pumpable Concrete?

Transporting concrete comes in various ways. This ranges from the use of the wheelbarrow or through a truck mixer. The latter being the way for larger quantities of concrete.

In bringing concrete towards elevated areas, such as those in buildings, workers resorted to using cranes.

There’s also the other method of pumping concrete through pipelines using a concrete pump. It is a method ideal for use with high rise buildings and areas where the normal means of delivery is not possible.

The type of concrete used with this method is different from conventional concrete. It has a different mix and consistency that ensures it flows through the pipes with ease. More of that later on.

2. Types of Concrete Pumps

What pushes the concrete through the pipes is the concrete pump. There are two types of pumps used in sending the mix into the pipes.

Direct Acting Concrete Pumps

The majority of the concrete pumps used are of this variety. A direct-acting, horizontal piston-type pump with semi-rotary valves.

First, the concrete gets fed into the pump using gravity and a bit from the suction effect of the pump. This is partly due to the piston’s action and the alternating of the two valves. Under favourable conditions, there should be a suction pressure of 0.08 N/mm2.

After the suction, the valves switch as the inlet valve closes. With the outlet valve open, the piston pushes the concrete through. This process continues as it runs.

With modern pumps, the output pressure tends to ride up to 60 m3/h while sent through a 220-mm diameter concrete pump pipe.

Squeeze-Type Concrete Pumps

Compared to the Direct Acting pumps, these pumps are a smaller, portable peristaltic type. The pumping process is different because it uses a rotating mechanism instead of a piston.

It starts with the concrete coming from the hopper. Rotating blades then pull in the concrete and feed the mix into a flexible pipe. This connects to the pumping chamber.

Most pumping chambers feature a vacuum of 0.08 N/mm2.

The purpose of the vacuum is to ensure the shape of the flexible pipe maintains its cylindrical form. This guarantees a constant flow of the material through the pipe.

Meanwhile, the other half of the pump holds a set of rotating rollers placed on top of planetary drives. These squeeze the flexible pipe to push the mix into the delivery pipe in progression. The squeeze pumps are capable of achieving outputs of up to 20 m3/h using 75-mm diameter pipes.

3. Requirements of Pumpable Concrete

In using concrete pumps, the conventional concrete mix may not suffice. There are some specifications that you should take note to avoid any problems.

Here are the following requirements to keep a note of:

Recommended Slump Value between 50-150 mm

The Slump Value is the measure of how consistent freshly-made concrete should be. With this range for the concrete’s slump value, it allows medium workability for the concrete. This means the concrete is easier to shape and change as required.

Water-Cement Ratio Should Not Be Too High

If the ratio for the water and the cement is too high, it would cause problems. If the water content in the mix is too high, it will end up with the water moving faster along the pipe. This results in clogging of the pipes, a common problem encountered with using concrete pumping pipes.

Concrete Must Not be Too Wet or Too Dry

The concrete needs to be in the right mix and consistency to pass through the pipes with ease. Another property to mention is to make sure the concrete pumped is not sticky.

4. Advantages of Pumpable Concrete

There are clear advantages of using pumpable concrete for a construction project. Here are reasons why you should use it:

First, transporting the mix through a concrete pumping pipe is less labour intensive. It is easier to manage and there are fewer steps to undertake. Also, you can work with fewer people on the project.

Another reason is that concrete pump piping is also quieter. This is thanks to less machinery, like large vibrating parts, for concrete compaction.

Fewer parts that move and break make it easier to use and is much safer compared to conventional methods. Creating a safer workplace should be one of your company’s primary missions, and this tool helps you achieve this goal.

It is also far more convenient with your construction budget.

In essence, you also ensure that the project reaches completion at a faster time. Pumpable concrete is easier and faster to place compared to conventional concrete. The quality of the material is also top-notch, sought for by major construction projects.

These clear advantages make this option sit at the top of the list.

Get Started with Pumpable Concrete Today!

It is easy to see that pumpable concrete is a helpful option. With its quality, ease of use, and fast implementation, your construction project can benefit from this advanced method.

Don’t stop here! There is more to learn and discover regarding better construction practices and equipment for the trade.

When it comes to flowing concrete, we have the means to help you get started. Visit us now if you want to discover more guides or avail of some of our services. To know more about what we offer, feel free to contact us today.