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What aggregates can be adopted by concrete pump

                                                           
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Green Brown, operations manager for Daswell, says the best concrete for a job and the best concrete for a pumping operation are sometimes diametrically opposed. “The easiest concrete mix to pump has a high water-cement ratio with as much Portland cement as possible. Water-cement ratios of 0.45 or more are the easiest to pump and using a super plasticizer to achieve higher placing slump doesn't help much. Pozzolans, however, can be helpful as a Portland cement replacement.” But the best concrete for a project may require a low water-cement ratio and cementitious amounts calculated to increase compressive strength and reduce shrinkage.

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Aggregate is an important consideration in the design of a pump line. The pipe or hose diameter for a project should be at least three times larger than the diameter of the largest aggregate. So for instance, if the largest aggregate in a mix is 1 inch, the minimum diameter for the line is 3 inches. Brown says the aggregate gradation of a concrete mix is also a concern. Gap-graded mixes are more difficult to pump and wear out pump lines (and pumps) faster than well-graded mixes.

The amount of aggregate in a mix also affects pump ability. According to Brown concrete mixers, a pea gravel mix consisting of 1100 pounds of coarse aggregate is about all that a pump with a 2-inch line can handle. If a 1-inch top size aggregate mix is used the approximate total weight of aggregate shouldn't exceed 1800 pounds/cubic yard—aggregate source is an important factor here.

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