What Is a Peristaltic Pump?

Corken’s positive displacement sliding vane pump cutawayWhen you need to move liquids or chemicals from one place to another and avoid cross-contamination, you’ll want to use a certain type of pump. Most businesses use a peristaltic pump for this purpose. 

A peristaltic pump is a type of positive displacement pump that uses a pinch-and-roll mechanism along flexible tubing to move liquid in one direction or another. This type of pump is also known as a roller pump because the rotating rotor has a number of “rollers” or “wipers” attached to the outside. 

How Does a Peristaltic Pump Work?

Peristaltic pumps consist of a roller wheel (sometimes called rollers or shoes), flexible tubing, and a simple motor. The flexible tubing wraps around the rollers in a U-shape. The motors spin with the rollers to create a pinch-and-roll movement that transfers liquid through the tubing. 

The mechanism of this type of pump is simple enough. When it pinches, the pump creates a vacuum, so there is no backflow of liquid. This can be vital when the pump is used for medical purposes or waste cleanout. 

You can adjust the size of the rollers, tubing, pumps, or pump to control or adjust the flow rate. Based on various size adjustments, you should be able to achieve flow rates ranging from 0.3 to 20 gallons per day. 

What Are the Uses for Peristaltic Pumps?

Because the tubing is the only part of the pump that comes into contact with the liquid, peristaltic pumps are ideal for use with viscous and corrosive fluids. Because the head or tubing is simple to replace, the pump is relatively easy and cost-effective to maintain. 

Peristaltic pumps are commonly used in the medical and research industry for filtration, sterile fluids processing, dialysis, and bioprocessing. In the agriculture and food industries, they are used for dispensing beverages and foods, chemicals, and vitamins. The environmental industry uses them for wastewater treatment.

Benefits of Using Peristaltic Pumps

The primary benefit of using peristaltic pumps is there is no possibility of contamination. When used with most liquid pumping applications, this is a significant advantage because accurate and pure measures are generally necessary. 

Another benefit of these pumps is that they are easy to maintain and repair. Because of their simplistic design, the only component of the pump that experiences any wear and tear is the flexible tubing. And this is simple to replace when needed. Most of the time, it’s easy to replace this tubing without disassembling the entire pump.

Again, because peristaltic pumps have a limited number of components, they are easy to customize in terms of flow rate. For example, varying flow rates can be achieved by altering different pump components. Also, the pump direction is reversible. 

Finally, peristaltic pumps are ideal for a variety of liquid applications. But some peristaltic pumps can also be used for more viscous materials like slurries and sludge. Because these pumps are self-priming and dry-running, they are excellent for lab applications or mining operations where requirements change frequently. 

Different Peristaltic Pump Motor Types

You’ll find peristaltic pumps with several different types of motors. Some of these pumps will come with brushed direct current (DC) motors. Others have brushless direct current (BLDC) motors or alternating current (AC) or stepper motors. 

The motor speed can be used to control the pump’s flow if the pump doesn’t have a gearbox. Typical motor speeds for these types of pumps range between 0-400 revolutions per minute. Generally, DC and BLDC pumps use a gearbox to regulate speed. An external control board is used to regulate the speed of stepper motors. 

How Long Can Peristaltic Pumps Last?

Motor speed has a direct impact on the flow rate of peristaltic pumps. This makes these pumps ideal for dosing and dispensing applications. To choose the appropriate motor, you’ll want to consider several factors.

Direct current (DC) motors are available in quality levels that range from 500 up to 4,000 hours of operation. The bearings and brush systems are the only limitations of those motors. With AC motors, the lifetime can range from 1,000 to 10,000 hours. If you wish to easily adjust your flow rate during operation, you may wish to consider a BLDC or stepper motor. 

Things to Consider When Using a Peristaltic Pump

Some peristaltic pumps come with a spring-loaded mechanism to reduce pulsation when operating. This ensures smoother pumping actions and can be a vital feature when dealing with sensitive materials, such as medical or research fluids. 

Some of the more sophisticated peristaltic pumps also have an adjustable occlusion. Using this feature, you can adjust the pump to the different pressure levels you might encounter in fluidic systems. Depending on the type of fluid you are dealing with, you can also change the tubing to something harder or softer (like silicone). 

To increase the efficiency of peristaltic pumps when dealing with a variety of different chemicals or fluids, you can have up to 15 channels that drive fluid into multiple vessels. The number of rollers needed will depend on the viscosity of the material you are moving. 

Contact C&B Equipment for Your Industrial Pump Needs

Whether you need a peristaltic pump or some other type of industrial pump, C&B Equipment can help. We are an industrial equipment distribution and service company for industrial pumps, blowers, air compressors, and related equipment. We provide the equipment you need and ensure it continues to run at peak productivity. 

C&B Equipment has several locations in Kansas and Arkansas and a larger service area. Our team is qualified to help you choose the right pump for your needs or troubleshoot and fix any issues with your existing equipment. Contact us today for more information about our products and services.

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