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Arūnas Eitutis | 16 november 2023

How Do Grout Pumps Work?

Grout pumps are powerful machines that accelerate laying of concrete foundation, as well as filling of window frames, hollow spots , and other applications on the job site. In this beginner’s guide, we, with the help of experts at Frontu, will cover the basics of grout pump use: what are the main components, how they operate, and what are the benefits of having a properly grouted surface. Keep reading to learn more about these tools and learn valuable tips on maintaining precision machinery.

What is Grout?

Cementitious grout consists of water, cement, and sand, creating a dense liquid substance. Different types of grout pumps fulfil the needs of common applications, but the material itself creates a powerful mixture that leaves hollow spaces completely filled.

Grout pumps are great at distributing the material for filling voids, anchor bolts, and sealing joints in door frames. The material is so good at establishing stability and insulation, for many companies, it is a common practice to fill concrete block structures to maintain the same shape while enhancing durability and cutting costs.

What is the purpose of grout in construction?

Strength, durability, and insulation are the best terms for describing the effect of grout. They seal the moving parts of structures that rely on their integrity. Also, by pumping the material into ducts, window frames, and other tight spaces, we are reducing wear and preventing corrosion of bolts, screws, nails, joints, and other similar components.

Also, by distributing grout across the key points of a construction object, builders ensure improvement in thermal insulation, and waterproofing. For best results, modern companies get high-quality epoxy grout that uses epoxy resin, from the best grout manufacturers.

That being said, picking the right grout pump is the key to using it effectively for establishing support. For example, Kenrich pumps are not suitable for work with epoxy grout, and use a cementitious grout instead.

What are the different types of grout pumps?

Grout pumps can be categorised in many different ways. First, let’s cover the available versions based on how they are powered. Manual pumps get their power from physical labour of operators that empowers the pump to continue mixing and distributing concrete, epoxy, and other materials across the desired surface.

Electrical grouting machines use electricity to power piston pumps : elements that keep moving back and forth to push out grout out of the system, or peristaltic pumps that use pressure to push the materials out, similar to applying pressure to a toothpaste tube.

Pneumatic grout pumps compress air pressure within the piston pumps for reliable and consistent work output. They are most often used to empower piston-based grout pumps, and can generate high pressure for a better flow and distribution of grout placement.

Hydraulic grout pumps rely on the distribution of the hydraulic fluid across the system that gets pressurised for generation of force. Because hydraulic systems are used all across the heavy industrial equipment. Hydraulic fluid is mostly used to power previously mentioned piston pumps or helical rotor pumps that resemble a turning corkscrew. These pumps are versatile and best suited for working with cementitious grout material.

What is the difference between a grout pump and a concrete pump?

Both grout pumps and concrete pumps typically use pressure for distribution of material to fill voids and spaces that require waterproofing and insulation. However, machines designed for handling grout are more suited to management of thinner materials like epoxy grout.

On the other hand, concrete pumps use helical rotors a lot often because they are better for mixing large quantities of thick material, which is more suitable on a large construction site that is dependent on consistent concrete outtake.

How to pick the best grout pump?

Picking the right grouting pump for your needs can be tricky, but choosing equipment slowly with attention to detail is the best way to find a machine that you need. If the tool is getting purchased solely for a specific project, it is crucial to assess what type of pump you need and how much pressure is needed to fill desired spaces.

If you are getting this tool for personal home projects, there is no need to go further than a manual grout pump. Sure, if you have a lot of real estate to build guest houses and all kinds of structures, picking an electrical pump will make all processes more efficient. However, for door frames, joints, and similar structures at your home, there is no need to get high pressure grout pumps for instances where their potential will not be realised. For home use, a manual peristaltic grout pump will be perfect, and the ability to handle epoxy grouts, cementitious grout, and other materials makes it perfect for small niche jobs on your property.

For small-scale construction, it might be the time to raise the pressure. Our recommendations are electrical or pneumatic piston grout pumps. With a great blend of power and flexibility, they are great for building parking structures, foundations, driveways, and other similar jobs.

Big projects love to use robust helical rotor grout pumps, powered by air or hydraulic fluid. Their mixing mechanisms are more suitable for cementitious grout, which is also more needed for large-scale construction sites.

What is the life expectancy of a grout pump?

Grout pumps are sturdy machines, but they will not last long without the right grout pump maintenance. With the help of frequent servicing jobs and adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendation, the machine can last as long as 15 years.

Piston grout pumps can get damaged with more frequent use and improper grout material for pumping. With a preventive maintenance plan that covers cleaning, lubrication, and swift replacement of damaged parts, these machines can last you from 5 to 15 years.

Peristaltic grout pumps are not as durable, mainly due to depreciation of tubing. While controlling the flow of material this way is very comfortable, this component needs frequent replacement to ensure efficient pumping and prevent damage to other moving parts. A constantly used pump can last as little as 3 years, but frequent maintenance can extend its lifespan to as long as 10 years.

Helical rotor grouts outlast other types due to a bulkier and sturdier structure, which is more suitable to handling massive amounts of concrete, but not as effective with epoxy grouts. Scheduled servicing of the machine, its moving parts and the hydraulic system can keep these machines operational for 15 years.

Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, but knowing their average lifespans is beneficial for planning future equipment purchases and management. For more accurate predictions, there is no better document than the owner’s manual. Some equipment manufacturers give their clients an option to outsource machine servicing as well. If a budget allows it, there is no better way to ensure the longevity of your tools than giving it back to the creator for maintenance.

Modern grout pumps are stronger than ever before, but significant damages to electrical components complicates servicing needs, as the machine won’t get fixed properly without a skilled technician. On the contrary, the introduction of various sensors and modules allows the integration of the machine into heavy equipment software.

Key takeaways

With useful applications and incredible flexibility through different models, grout pumps are a great addition to your set of tools for both home use and industrial applications. Also, using the best grout materials and keeping the machine in optimal condition will help you secure its longevity and save money.

Arūnas Eitutis
Founder & CEO

Arūnas is spearheading the Frontu efforts as the company’s CEO but still finds the time to share some of his knowledge, expertise and experience in the FSM sector through our blog.

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