HOW TO CHOOSE SHOTCRETE EQUIPMENT
The choice of equipment for shotcrete depends on what type of shotcrete you use, what volume of concrete you need to spray, and also from the place where this procedure will take place. But nevertheless, first of all, it is very important that the equipment meets all modern requirements and has no malfunctions in any of its parts.
For wet application, it is important to choose a machine that will ensure uninterrupted feeding and even distribution of the mix over the surface. For this purpose, shotcrete machines with double-piston pumps, which are hydraulically driven from an electric or diesel engine, are perfectly suited. First, you need to determine the volume of the mix used, since the size of a dosing drum depends on this. It makes no sense to choose a large volume for the application of fine-grained, dry, and dense mixes, due to the fact that they usually do not take up too much space in the drum, even in large quantities. But if the amount of work is large and you do not have time to pour the setting accelerator manually, special attention should be paid to dosing devices whose operating range should cover the maximum possible dosage of the accelerator multiplied by the amount of concrete, but for small amounts of work, it can be supplied manually. Pay attention also to where the work will be done – very often the placement of large-sized machines in small areas is simply not possible, but equipment for wet shotcrete is usually more compact than dry shotcrete one because of the areas of their application.
If the work is only decorative nature or very small, it is best to choose a hopper-ladle – a device that allows you to apply any kind of liquid mixes. With it, you can scoop the finished mortar out of the container and, pressing the handle, apply it under pressure.
The machines for dry shotcrete are mainly rotary type. This will change the performance by changing the wheel. When choosing a setting for dry shotcrete, be sure to look at the material outbound level, since it can vary from 2% to 20% in different machines, so it’s worth buying more material in advance, or looking for a setup with the low outbound level. In this type of work, the mobility of the machine is of particular importance, since they are often required for underground work or the reinforcement of underground structures, it is important that the machine can be easily moved – in some cases, it should work and under a strong slope. Look also at the degree of dust formation – in such machines, it is often quite high, which can also interfere with high-quality work in confined spaces.