A Guide to Different Types of Industrial Pumps
If you run a business that requires fluid movement, processing, or management, you’re going to need an industrial pump. The challenge for many business owners is choosing the type of pump for the job because there are so many options. Here is a guide to the different types of industrial pumps and what each one does.
What Is an Industrial Pump?
An industrial pump is a mechanical device that converts mechanical energy from its motor to hydraulic energy as it transfers fluid. This energy transfer allows the machine to move fluid from one place to another. Industrial pumps are made up of an inlet tube, a motor and impeller, and an outlet. But how they function will differ depending on the type of pump you are using.
Two Major Types of Industrial Pumps – Dynamic vs. Positive Displacement
There are two main types of industrial pumps—dynamic pumps and positive displacement pumps. Dynamic pumps use centrifugal force to create velocity in the liquid that the pump is handling. That velocity gets converted to pressure, which can be regulated to push fluid through the pump.
Dynamic pumps contain an impeller, which creates a vacuum that drives fluid inside the pump’s housing. These are the most common types of industrial pumps because they have the fewest moving parts and can operate continuously.
Positive displacement pumps use the reciprocating motion of plungers, pistons, or diaphragms to move liquid through the pump. Instead of a smooth transfer of liquid, you generally get a pulsing discharge with this type of pump because fluid is trapped and expelled in a fixed volume. These pumps have a more complex design than dynamic pumps, but they can handle more variations in flow and pressure. They can also handle high viscosity fluid at high pressure.
Different Types of Industrial Pumps: Dynamic Pumps
1. Centrifugal Pumps
Centrifugal pumps are the most common type of industrial pump used across most industries. These pumps move fluid using the transfer of rotational energy from one or more driven rotors, known as impellers.
Fluid enters the rotating impeller along the pump’s axis and is expelled by centrifugal force toward the pump’s outlet. This type of pump can handle liquids that contain suspended solids. There are also different types and sizes of centrifugal pumps to meet various industrial needs.
2. Submersible Pumps
Submersible pumps are primarily used to move sewage and stormwater, but they are used by other industries as well. These pumps are created to work under extreme conditions and are ideal for shifting waste, chemicals, gray water, subsoil water, and foodstuffs.
3. Fire Hydrant Systems
Fire hydrant pumps are designed to serve fluid at high pressure and high force, so they are primarily used by the firefighting industry. These pumps may be installed in industrial settings or at the street level, where they are connected directly to a municipal water system.
Different Types of Industrial Pumps: Positive Displacement Pumps
4. Lobe Pumps
Lobe pumps include pairs of rotating “lobes,” which are similar to gears even though they don’t touch. As the lobes rotate together, they create a suction that pulls liquid into the pump. When fluid enters the pump’s casing, it becomes trapped because the lobes only rotate in one direction.
The fluid continues to get pushed toward the output area of the pump. Because the lobes don’t come into contact with each other, this type of pump can handle denser liquids and liquids with some solid materials.
5. Screw Pumps
A screw pump is a type of pump that operates using several rotating screws inside the casing. Using two or more screws rotating in opposite directions, the pump creates internal pressure that moves fluid through the pump’s housing. The clearance between the screws is minimal, so this type of pump is better suited for applications like simple water movement or the transfer of high-viscosity materials like oil and fuel.
6. Diaphragm Pumps
Diaphragm pumps are also known as pneumatic or air operated diaphragm (AOD) pumps. These pumps use pneumatic pressure instead of electric power, so they are an ideal option when electricity isn’t available.
Diaphragm pumps are used for transferring chemicals with a high flash point, such as volatile solvents and corrosive chemicals. The pumps have two chambers with diaphragms, and air is transferred between the two using a valve. This shift in air is what creates the pressure to move fluid from one side of the pump to the other.
7. Gear Pumps
A gear pump is a type of rotating positive dislocation pump. As the gears inside the pump rotate, they force liquid through the pump using a process that creates a suction and void inside the system.
The fluid entering the pump receives energy through the grooves in the gears, which drive the fluid to the output area. Because the gears rotate in a specific direction, this prevents the fluid from back flowing. Gear pumps are used to transfer oil and grease as well as thick liquids that don’t contain any solid materials.
8. Piston Pumps
A piston pump is a specific type of positive displacement pump that uses a piston to create suction or discharge pressure. A motor drives the piston backward, creating a void and vacuum, which draws fluid into the pump casing. As the piston moves forward, this pressurizes the chamber, and the fluid that was pulled into the pump will be discharged.
There is also a valve installed in the pump that prevents fluid from back flowing out of the inlet. These pumps are used for the simple movement of liquid materials and to boost the efforts of more complex pumps.
Need Help Choosing the Right Type of Industrial Pump?
C&B Equipment sells and services a wide range of industrial pumps. If your business needs an industrial pump, blower, or compressor, contact us today to learn more about our high-quality products and services.