How to properly clean the concrete spraying equipment

How to properly clean the concrete spraying equipment

Cleaning the concrete spraying equipment is essential to ensuring its correct operation. It prevents premature wear, concrete blockage in the lines, and an increase in concrete pump pulsations. Cleaning the equipment is one of the 9 rules to achieving optimum concrete results.

You should clean the equipment before and after spraying.

Cleaning the concrete spraying equipment before spraying

Cleaning prior to spraying is carried out in 2 steps:

1. Apply release agent

To prevent the concrete from adhering to the equipment and to make it easier to clean later, spray a release agent on all parts of the equipment that are exposed to the concrete. This way, a film is created that protects the components.

The release agent must be in accordance with the environmental regulations of each country and not be corrosive.

Spraying a release agent before working

2. Flush the concrete line with water and a lubricant

To facilitate the flow of concrete through the line and reduce its wear, bleed the line before spraying with a mixture of water and lubricant, which is commonly known as grout because of its whitish color. If a suitable chemical lubricant is not available, this process can be done with water and cement.

Cleaning the concrete spraying equipment after spraying

At this time, cleaning is more laborious and is done in 4 steps:

1. Pumping in reverse

First, pump in reverse and empty the remaining concrete from the hopper by opening the bottom.  To avoid pollution, it is important to properly collect this concrete according to the parameters indicated by the jobsite.

2. Cleaning the concrete line

The concrete line can be cleaned with water or air pressure. The first option (water) is the most recommended, because it is more effective and safe.

Fill the hopper with water and put a foam ball in one end of the line, so that when pumping, it runs through the line and sweeps out the remaining material. For safety reasons, it is important that the other end of the line point toward a safe area away from walkways, or put something there to catch the balls.

Cleaning the concrete line with a foam ball

bad cleaning concrete lines

Consecuences of cleaning of the concrete lines unproperly

3. Cleaning the additive pump

If you do not properly clean the additive pump, the additive remains become crystallized and make the pipe diameter increasingly smaller, consequently increasing the pump’s pressure and the risk that the pump will stop.

The additive pump is cleaned by pumping water that has been added through the auxiliary valve.

4. Cleaning the concrete spraying equipment’s external elements

Finally, with the water gun at high pressure, clean all the external elements that have been in contact with the concrete: the spraying arm, the hopper, and the chassis. The release agent’s protective film sprayed on the equipment prior to spraying will help to easily remove the material.

Cleaning after spraying

Cleaning the concrete spraying equipment after spraying

 

Learn how to properly maintain your concrete spraying equipment with our service training.