Understanding the Role of Valves in Concrete Pumps

If you are in the market for a concrete pump, you may have come across information describing the types of pumps based on their valves. These different valve influence the way the pumps operate. Knowing the roles of the different valves can help you make the right decision in either purchasing or renting a concrete pump.

Concrete Pumping Process

Before moving onto the role of valves, it is important to understand the basics of the pumping process. It begins with a discharge of the material into a hopper. An agilator located in the hopper ensures the concrete flows into the cylinders for pumping. Pistons located in the cylinders move in opposite directions so that one action draws in the concrete from the hopper while the opposite action pumps the concrete out into the discharge line. Valves contained in the cylinders direct the movement of the concrete into the discharge line.

Gate Valve

The gate valve is made of two valves that help to control movement from the hopper and into the discharge line. In this type of concrete pump, the forward stroke of the piston closes the gate connected to the hopper while simultaneously opening the gate connected to the discharge line. This allows the concrete to be pumped out.

Rock Valve

The rock valve is a single component with a strategic positioning of the intake and pressure cylinders. When the piston makes a return stroke, the valve switches to the intake cylinder. This cylinder is at a forward stroke, and this exposes it to the hopper. When the piston completes its stroke, the valve switches to the pressure cylinder and directs it to the discharge line.

Swing Tube

The swing tube comprises of a bent tube that directs the movement of concrete by its swinging action. When the piston is at its return stroke, the tube aligns the intake cylinder with the hopper. When the piston reverses, the tube swings and is aligned to the pressure cylinder.

Ball Valve

The ball valve can be operated in a hydraulic or mechanical-powered piston concrete pump. The hydraulic version is most common, and it uses two balls in the intake cylinder and two balls in the pressure cylinder. When the piston causes the intake cylinder to draw in concrete, the ball located at the opening of the cylinder is sucked in. This causes it to open and allow concrete in. This action simultaneously causes a suction effect, and the ball located at the discharge line is pushed to close the opening. When the piston reverses, the balls reverse their movements as well and the concrete is pumped out.

For more information about the options available to you and which one may work best for your needs, contact a local concrete pump supplier or rental company like Hunter Concrete Pump Hire