There are typically two types of pumps; a boom concrete pump and a line pump. Boom pumps are large machines with a boom arm that holds the length of rubberized tubing through which the cement flows to where required on the construction site. Boom concrete pumps can pump concrete at a vertical reach of up to 65 meters and a horizontal reach of around 300 meters. The length of the boom determines how far away the truck will be placed from where the concrete is to be pumped. This makes them particularly useful for pouring concrete in multi-storey buildings and other high-rise construction jobs.
A trailer-mounted boom concrete pump uses an articulating Austin Concrete arm, or placing boom to pour concrete exactly where it is required. The Chimera Trailer Boom Pump has a 14m 3-section fold boom, which, if additional pipeline is added, can pump concrete at a vertical reach of 65m and a horizontal reach of 300m at rates of 46m3 per hour. These boom pumps offer a value for money alternative to traditional truck-mounted pumps, which are more costly to run and can encounter problems on jobs where there are access or weight restrictions. 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 labour saving nature of the placing boom. They are a revolutionary alternative to truck-mounted concrete pumps.
Truck-mounted concrete pumps are also available in a wide range of sizes with boom lengths ranging from 21- 66 metres and concrete outputs of up to 185m3/hour at pressures of up to 80 bars. They have either a 3, 4 or 5 section placing boom with the option of ‘z’ fold, ‘roll’ fold or ‘multi-z’ fold opening, making them easy to manoeuvre and suited to all types of concrete placing work, even where space is restricted. Telescopic booms can be added to concrete pumps to reach the most isolated spaces. Most pumps on the larger concrete pump trucks are operated by the truck’s engine in a power-takeoff (PTO) configuration. Some pumps, however, especially on smaller concrete pump trucks, are powered with their own engine. Diesel engines are used for this type of heavy-duty work because of their economical, yet powerful mechanical dynamics.
Concrete line pumps are used for smaller construction projects than boom pumps. They are versatile, portable units used to pump not only structural concrete, but also grout, wet screeds, mortar, foamed concrete, and sludge. Line pumps typically use a ball-valve-type pumping system. They are used for structural concrete and shotcreting (concrete placed via a high pressure hose and compacted at the same time) where low-volume output is suitable. Some hydraulically driven models can pump structural concrete at outputs exceeding 137 m3 per hour.
Line pumps normally pump concrete at lower volumes than boom pumps and are used for smaller volume concrete placing projects such as swimming pools, sidewalks, and single family home concrete slabs and ground slabs.