Industrial pumps are an essential component in the daily operations of many industrial plants. They help transport materials like water, wastewater, sludges, oil, food, and chemicals.
But nowadays, there’s a wide range of industrial pumps (from industrial fluid pumps and industrial vacuum pumps to industrial submersible pumps and industrial dewatering pumps) and deciding on the right pump type for your needs can get quite overwhelming.
To make the process easier, we’ve compiled a quick list of the main industrial pump types, their applications, and a few critical factors you should consider when purchasing industrial pumps.
But before we jump into the details, let’s quickly revise how industrial pumps work.
What are Industrial Pumps and How Do They Work?
Industrial pumps convert mechanical energy into hydraulic energy and transfer fluids from low-pressure to high-pressure levels.
The pump’s inlet tube sucks in the fluid. Once inside the pump, the fluid is moved by a rotating impeller, which increases the fluid’s velocity and pressure and directs it to the pump’s outlet.
12 Industrial Pump Types and Their Applications
Here are some of the main types of industrial pumps, their characteristics, and applications:
This dynamic pump type uses one or more impellers directly attached to the shaft. It’s suitable for low viscosity fluids at high flow rates.
Centrifugal pumps are widely used in the chemical industry to move fluids with solid particles.
This centrifugal pump meets the standards of ANSI (the American National Standards Institute). These pumps have standardized dimensions and can be manufactured from various materials.
ANSI pumps are mostly used in the chemical and petrochemical industries.
1. Axial Flow Pumps
The impeller in axial flow pumps is driven by a sealed motor and directs the flow axially. This pump type is great for low pressure and high flow rates.
Axial flow pumps are used in flood dewatering, sewage digesters, and irrigation systems.
2. Vertical Pumps
Vertical pumps are used to draw liquid from deep wells. They are long and narrow, with multiple stages. They’re widely used in water transfer, dewatering, and draining applications.
3. Gear Pumps
Gear pumps are a type of positive dislocation pumps. They consist of gears which are driven by a motor. When the gears rotate, they create a suction void which carries the fluid.
These industrial fluid pumps are used to process clean thick fluids (like grease oil, paint, and fuel) in the chemical and petrochemical industries.
4. Lobe Pumps
A lobe pump works similarly to a gear pump – the lobes rotate and create suction. The main difference is that the lobes are not in direct contact with each other. This makes them suitable for transporting thick fluids with solid particles.
Lobe pumps are mostly used in the paper, chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries.
5. Diaphragm Pumps
Diaphragm pumps use compressed air to move fluids. This creates a vacuum in the pump’s chambers, which transfers the fluids through pulsation.
Since this type of pump uses pneumatic pressure, it does not require a lot of power, it can run dry, and can handle a wide range of fluids (low, medium, and high viscosity, volatile chemicals, and fluids with hard particles).
This type of pump is used in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries.
6. Piston Pumps
In this type of pump, the suction is created by a piston. Piston pumps are used in operations with high pressure or for transferring abrasive liquids.
Piston pumps are used widely in high water pressure operations such as automatic sprinklers and hydraulic pressure testing.
The fluid in peristaltic pumps is transferred through a tube compressed with the help of rollers. This creates a vacuum that moves the fluid through the tube.
The advantage of this pump type is that the fluid in the tube is isolated from the pump’s mechanical parts, so the pump can’t contaminate the product.
That makes peristaltic pumps suitable for processing sterile fluids and aggressive chemicals.
Submersible pumps are designed to operate submerged in the fluid they’re pumping. The motor is sealed in a protective casing to prevent any fluid from leaking in.
This type of pump is widely used in various water recycling applications.
Screw pumps create pressure with the help of two or more screws, which rotate in opposite directions. They’re used in high-pressure operations in the mining, oil, gas, and manufacturing industries.
Liquid Ring Vacuum Pumps
This positive displacement pump creates suction through the rotary motion of its impeller.
These industrial vacuum pumps are used in the food, mining, chemical, environmental, electrical, and marine industries.
Essential Industrial Pump Selection Considerations
Before buying an industrial pump, take into account the following factors:
Consider the fluid characteristics, including things like:
- Is the fluid corrosive?
- Is the fluid chemical?
- Does the fluid heat up to extreme temperatures?
- Does the fluid contain any solids?
Based on the answers, you can select the pump type, model, and construction materials. This will ensure an optimal lifespan and performance of the unit.
Some common construction materials are stainless steel, bronze, and cast iron. Based on the application, surrounding environment, and fluid type, you can decide on the right materials.
Consider the flow pressure and the factors that might affect it. These include:
- Kinetic energy
Based on that, you’ll be able to determine what pump mechanism is most suitable for controlling the fluid pressure and other properties.
Power Requirements and Availability
It’s important to consider the power source you’re using:
- Is it gas-powered or electrical?
- Are there any voltage constraints? If yes, how will they affect the pump performance?
- Based on your application needs, you must also consider whether you need an electric or pneumatic pump? Or can you use a mobile application?
Select the Right Industrial Pump Type for You
For more insights on how to go about selecting the right pump type for your business, you can check our guide to pump selection.
And in case you need reliable industrial pump services, we at Houston Pump and Gear are ready to assist you. Our pump repair experts can answer all your questions and help you every step of the way, whether you need a routine maintenance check or a more serious repair.
Give us a call to get your custom quote today!