AKO pinch valves in robotic concrete printing

AKO UK are supplying their VMP plastic Pinch Valve in DN25 into a concrete slurry application, which is used as a fail safe option. The concrete slurry with very fine aggregates in size 0.3-1mm is used for robotic concrete printing.

The world’s first commercial 3D concrete printing robot is currently in design production, with the aim to be used on site to produce a variety of elements including cladding panels. Towering above the average person, the advanced six-axis robot is fitted with a computer-controlled printer nozzle, attached to a gantry and a robotic arm, which deposits a high-performance concrete. Approx 10mm in diameter of concrete is extruded from a nozzle in the shape of a bead, which rapidly makes passes back and forth, laying down large amounts of concrete until an entire 3D object is created.

The company looked at different outlet types and decided on a pinch valve as the most suitable option. The pneumatics can be disabled to release the integral pressure of the system. Also any over-pressure will force its way out of the pinch valve so the internal pressure never rises to dangerous levels.

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