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Because it is a fluid, concrete can be pumped to where it is needed. Here, a concrete transport truck is feeding concrete to a concrete pumper, which is pumping it to where a slab is being poured.
Because it is a fluid, concrete can be pumped to where it is needed. Here, a concrete transport truck is feeding concrete to a concrete pumper, which is pumping it to where a slab is being poured.
Pumping concrete into aluminum concrete formwork in Mexico.
Pumping concrete into aluminum concrete formwork in Mexico.

A concrete pump is a machine used for transferring liquid concrete by pumping. There are different types of concrete pumps.

A common type of concrete pump for large scale construction projects is known as a boom concrete pump, because it uses a remote-controlled articulating robotic arm (called a boom) to place concrete accurately. It is attached to a truck or a semi-trailer, if particually long. Boom pumps are capable of pumping at very high volumes and are less labor intensive to operate when compared to line or other types of concrete pumps.

The second main type of concrete pump, commonly referred to as a "line pump" or trailer-mounted concrete pump, is either mounted on a truck or placed on a trailer. This pump requires steel or flexible concrete placing hoses to be manually attached to the outlet of the machine and feed the concrete to the place of application. The length of the hoses varies, typical are 10’, 12.5’, 25’ and 50’ long hoses, depending on the diameter. Due to their lower pump volume, line pumps are used for smaller volume concrete placing applications such as swimming pools, sidewalks, single family home concrete slabs and most ground slabs.

There are also skid mounted and rail mounted concrete pumps, but these are uncommon and only used on specialized jobsites such as mines and tunnels.


Until the early 20th century, concrete was mixed on the job site and transported from the cement mixer to the formwork, either in wheelbarrows or in buckets lifted by cranes. This required a lot of time and labor. In 1927, the German engineers Max Giese and Fritz Hull came upon the idea of pumping concrete through pipes. They pumped concrete to a height of 38 meters (125 ft) and a distance of 120 meters (130 yd). Shortly after, a concrete pump was patented in Holland in 1932 by Jacob Cornelius Kweimn (Jacobus Cornelius Kooijman). This patent incorporated the developer's previous German patent.[1]


Concrete pump designers face many challenges because concrete is heavy, viscous, abrasive, contains pieces of hard rock, and solidifies if not kept moving.

Operating principle of piston pump with seat valves

Usually, piston pumps are used, because they can produce hundreds of atmospheres of pressure. Such piston-style pumps can push cylinders of heterogenous concrete mixes (aggregate + cement). [2]

The pump below uses a transfer tube valve, and the one on the right uses seat valves.

Example of pump performance

To illustrate, below are data on a typical concrete sample pump BRF 42.14 H:

BRF 42.14 H pump
BRF 42.14 H pump
  • Vertical reach of boom: 41.9 meters (137 ft).
  • Horizontal reach of boom: 38.0 meters (124.7 ft)
  • Pumping rate: 30 cubic meters per hour (39 cuyd/h).
  • Concrete pressure: 112 bar (11,200 kPa; 1,624 psi).
  • Cylinder length: 2,100 mm (82.677 in).
  • Cylinder diameter: 210 mm (8.268 in).
  • Number of substitutions of strokes per minute: 27.
  • Number of outriggers legs: 4.
  • Maximum Head: .


See also


  1. ^ Illingworth J.R. (1972). Movement and Distribution of Concrete. McGraw-Hill. p. 132. ISBN 978-0070942363. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  2. ^ Intex Pool Pumps
This page was last edited on 1 May 2022, at 01:07
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