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2014SumShotcreteEMag

Nozzleman Knowledge Warning! Part I of a Two-Part Series on Wet-Mix Equipment Maintenance Improper On-Job Lubrication Will Dramatically Reduce Wet-Mix Equipment Service Life Do you know how to properly lubricate your wet-mix pump? By Oscar Duckworth Tpumps are identical in every way, one supplying high-pressure concrete to the placement-Engine and hydraulic systems power the concrete pumping components that do the work ofwo new wet-mix shotcrete pumps areordered by different clients. Although both pump will cost less to operate and last far longer system. The concrete pumping components— than the other. Why? Wet-mix pumps require concrete cylinders and piston cups, shift valve specific on-the-job lubrication procedures bearings, seals, and/or outlet flange bearings—and which are unique to this type of equipment. But the hopper re-mixer, must operate while fully im - many operators possess very little knowledge mersed in concrete. Additionally, these parts must on how to properly perform these critical main- function without the benefits of a sophisticated tenance steps. lubrication system. Even the most modern pumping Specific lubrication procedures must be prop- equipment relies on comparably primitive forms erly performed at every use or frequent compo- of lubrication to prevent wear and corrosion of nent failures and diminished service life will precision concrete-pumping component surfaces. result. Do you know what these essential proce- The concrete-pumping piston cups and hard- dures are and how to properly perform them? chromed material cylinders are typically lubri- cated and cooled by water. The use of other Understanding the lubricants, however, such as water-soluble oils or hydraulic fluid, can greatly increase component Lubrication System service life. An ample volume of water-box lubri- Wet-mix pumping equipment is a costly invest- cant (typically filled to the centerline of the piston ment. Its long-term performance and durability shafts) is required to adequately cool and protect will ultimately be determined by the effectiveness these critical components. of the equipment’s various lubrication systems. Depending on internal wear, water-box lubri- Typical wet-mix pumping equipment uses at cants slowly bypass the concrete piston cups and least four individual lubrication systems. Each sys- are lost during pumping. Although quite robust tem possesses specific maintenance requirements. by design, if a pump is operated for even a few Diesel engine internal components are lubri- moments without adequate water-box lubricant, cated and cooled by a pressurized oiling system concrete cylinders and piston cups can become that circulates oils with specific properties nec- scored and permanently damaged. Lubricant essary for diesel engine longevity. The hydraulic levels within the water box must be checked, system is protected by special high-pressure refilled, or topped off daily before startup. This hydraulic fluids which are continuously supplied mandatory pre-start ritual must never be over- to critical components, then cooled and filtered looked by the operator and crew. during operation. Aside from recommended maintenance intervals and monitoring fluid The Essential Function of Grease levels, both of these sophisticated lubrication Casual research indicates that many operators systems require little on-the-job maintenance. improperly grease their equipment, often with 32 Shotcrete • Summer 2014


2014SumShotcreteEMag
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