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Learning Resources

                   
    Pump related Materia llike Publications, White Papers, etc.
                   
    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for academic and research literature on the web across many disciplines and sources.
                   
   

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

MIT OpenCourseWare is a free publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.

                   
    Design, Engineering & Manufacturing related Resources.
                   
    An excellent resource with enormous amount of information for advanced vacuum users about pumps and seals.
                   
    A non-profit trade association for pump manufacturers and suppliers. Also, a standards development organization that has been creating pump standards since 1917.
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
Best Efficiency Point (B.E.P.)
The point on a pump's performance curve that corresponds to the highest efficiency.

Casing
The body of the pump which encloses the impeller.

Cavitation
The sudden collapse of gas bubbles due to the sudden pressure increase
Process in which small bubbles are formed and implode violently; occurs when NPSHa < NPSHr.

Centrifugal force
A force associated with a rotating body. In the case of a pump, the rotating impeller pushes fluid on the back of the impeller blade, imparting motion. Since the motion is circular there is a centrifugal force associated with it. The force pushes the fluid against a fixed pump casing thereby pressurizing the fluid

Control volume (B.E.P.)
Limits imposed for the theoretical study of a system. The limits are usually set to intersect the system at locations where conditions are known

Datum plane
A reference plane. A conveniently accessible known surface from which all vertical measurements are taken or referred to.

Dead Head
The ability of a pump to continue running without damage when discharge is closed off. Only recommended for centrifugal pumps.

Density (specific weight of a fluid)
Weight per unit volume, often expressed as pounds per cubic foot or grams per cubic centimeter.

Discharge Head
This is the vertical distance that you are able to pump liquid. For example, if your pump is rated for a maximum head of 18 feet, this does not mean that you are restricted to 18 feet of pipe. You can use 300 feet, so long as the final discharge point is not higher than 18 feet above the liquid being pumped.

Discharge Static Head
The difference in elevation between the liquid level of the discharge tank and the centerline of the pump. This head also includes any additional head that may be present at the discharge tank fluid surface.
Used to describe the maximum vertical distance from the pump center line to the point of free discharge. Dynamic Suction Lift Used when calculating the static suction lift, friction head loss and velocity head into one computation.
Maximum vertical distance (in feet) from pump to point of discharge with no flow.

Dynamic Discharge Head
Used when calculating static discharge head, friction head plus velocity head into one computation.

Dynamic Suction Head
Used when calculating the static suction head minus friction head and velocity head.

Enthalpy
A thermodynamic property of a fluid. The enthalpy of a fluid consist of the energy associated with the fluid at a microscopic level (related to the temperature of the fluid) plus the energy present in the form of pressure at the inlet and outlet of a system

Equipment
Refers to any device in the system other than pipes, pipe fittings and isolation valves.

Equipment head difference
The difference in head between the outlet and inlet of an equipment.

Flooded Suction
Liquid flows to pump inlet from an elevated source by means of gravity.
Liquid flows to pump inlet from an elevated source by means of gravity. Recommended for centrifugal pump installations.

Flow
A measure of the liquid volume capacity of a pump. Given in gallons per hour (GPH), gallons per minute (GPM), liters per minute (L/min), or milliliters per minute (mL/min).

Fluids
Include liquids, gases, and mixtures of liquids, solids, and gases. In this catalog, the terms fluid and liquid are both used to mean a pure liquid or a liquid mixed with gases or solids that acts essentially like a liquid in pumping applications.

Friction
The force produced as reaction to movement. All fluids produce friction when they are in motion. The higher the fluid viscosity, the higher the friction force for the same flow rate. Friction is produced internally as one layer of fluid moves with respect to another and also at the fluid/wall interface.

Friction head
Pressure expressed in Lbs., required to overcome the resistance to the flow in the pipe system

Friction head difference
The difference in head required to move a mass of fluid from one position to another at a certain flow rate

Head
Refers to the pressure produced by a vertical column of fluid.
A measure of pressure, expressed in feet of head for centrifugal pumps. Indicates the height of a column of water being moved by the pump (without friction losses).

Heat loss
The heat lost by a system (i.e. the heat lost due to friction).

Heat transfer
The heat lost or gained by a system. This book has not considered the application of equipment that produce a significant change in the fluid temperature.

Impeller
The rotating element of a pump which imparts movement and pressure to a fluid.

Internal energy
A thermodynamic property. The energy associated with a substance at a molecular level

Iteration
A method of solving an equation by trial and error. An iteration technique is used to solve equations where the unknown variable cannot be explicitly isolated. A frequently used technique is the Newton-Raphson method.

Kinetic energy
A thermodynamic property. The energy associated with the mass and velocity of a body.

Laminar
A distinct flow regime that occurs at low Reynolds number (Re < 2000). It is characterized by particles in successive layers moving past one another in a well behaved manner.

Mercury (Hg)
A metal which remains liquid at room temperature. This property makes it useful when used in a thin vertical glass tube since small changes in pressure can be measured as changes in the mercury column height. The inch of mercury is often used as a unit for negative pressure

Negative pressure
Pressure that is less than the pressure in the external environment.

Net Positive Suction Head (N.P.S.H.)
The head in feet of water absolute as measured or calculated at the pump suction flange, less the vapor pressure (converted to feet of water absolute) of the fluid

Newtonian
A fluid whose viscosity does not change with the amount of strain it is subjected to

Operating point
The point on the system curve corresponding to the flow and head required to meet the process requirements

Performance curve
A curve of flow vs. Total Head for a specific pump model and impeller diameter

Pipe roughness
A measurement of the average height of peaks producing roughness on the internal surface of pipes. Roughness is measured in many locations, and is usually defined in micro-inches RMS (root mean square).

Potential energy
A thermodynamic property. The energy associated with the mass and height of a body above a reference plane.

Pressure
The application of external or internal forces to a body producing tension or compression within the body. This tension divided by a surface is called pressure.
The force exerted on the walls of a tank, pipe, etc., by a liquid. Normally measured in pounds per square inch (psi).

Prime
Charge of liquid required to begin pumping action when liquid source is lower than pump. Held in pump by a foot valve on the intake line or by a valve or chamber within the pump.

Seals
Devices mounted in the pump housing and/or on the pump shaft that prevent leakage of liquid from the pump.

Self-Priming
Pumps that draw liquid up from below pump inlet (suction lift), as opposed to pumps requiring flooded suction.

Siphon
Is a system of piping or tubing where the exit point is lower than the entry point.

Shut-off head
The Total Head corresponding to zero flow on the pump performance curve
Used when the liquid source is located above the center line of the pump. This may also be referred to as "flooded suction." Static Suction Lift Used to describe the distance from the pump center line down to the free level of the liquid source below the pump.

Specific gravity
The ratio of the density of a fluid to that of water at standard conditions
The ratio of the weight of a given volume of liquid to pure water. Pumping heavy liquids (specific gravity greater than 1.0) will require more drive horsepower.

Strain
The ration between the absolute displacement of a reference point within a body to a characteristic length of the body.

Strainer
A device installed in the inlet of a pump to prevent foreign particles from damaging the internal parts.

Stress
In this case refers to tangential stress or the force between the layers of fluid divided by the surface area between the layers.

Suction Static Head
The difference in elevation between the liquid level of the source of supply and the centerline of the pump. This head also includes any additional head that may be present at the suction tank fluid surface
Used to describe the distance from the center line of the pump up to the free level of the liquid source above the pump.

Suction Static Lift
The same definition as the Suction Static head. This term is only used when the pump centerline is above the suction tank fluid surface.
This is the vertical distance that the pump can be above the liquid source. Typically, atmospheric pressure limits vertical suction lift of pumps to 25 feet at sea level. This does not mean that you are limited to 25 feet of pipe. You could use upwards of 300 feet of suction pipe, so long as the liquid source is not lower than 25 feet below the pump center line.

Sump
A well or pit in which liquids collect below floor level; sometimes refers to an oil or water reservoir.

System
The system as referred to in this book includes all the piping with or without a pump, starting at the inlet point (often the fluid surface of the suction tank) and ending at the outlet point (often the fluid surface of the discharge tank).

System curve
Is a plot of flow vs. Total Head that satisfies the system requirements.

System equation
The equation for Total Head vs. flow for a specific system

System requirements
The parameters that determine Total Head, that is friction and system inlet and outlet conditions (i.e. velocity, elevation and pressure).

Total Dynamic Head
Used when calculating dynamic discharge head plus dynamic suction lift or minus dynamic suction head into one computation.
the difference between the head at the discharge and suction flange of the pump

Total Head
Sum of discharge head, suction lift, and friction loss
is the difference between the discharge and suction static head including the difference between the surface pressure of the discharge and suction tanks

Total Static Head
A type of flow regime characterized by the rapid movement of fluid particles in many directions as well as the general direction of the overall fluid flow

Turbulent
The pressure at which a liquid boils at a specified temperature

Valves
• Bypass Valve—Internal to many pump heads that allow fluid to be recirculated if a given pressure limit is exceeded.
• Check Valve—Allows liquid to flow in one direction only. Generally used in discharge line to prevent reverse flow.
• Foot Valve—A type of check valve with a built-in strainer. Used at point of liquid intake to retain liquid in system, preventing loss of prime when liquid source is lower than pump.
• Relief Valve—Used at the discharge of a positive displacement pump. An adjustable, spring-loaded valve opens when a preset pressure is reached. Used to prevent excessive pressure buildup that could damage the pump or motor.

Vapor pressure
The difference in velocity head between the outlet and inlet of the system

Velocity Head difference
A property, which measures a fluid's resistance to movement. The resistance is caused by friction between the fluid and the boundary wall and internally by the fluid layers moving at different velocities

Viscosity
The "thickness" of a liquid or its ability to flow. Most liquids decrease in viscosity and flow more easily as they get warmer..

Work
The energy required to drive the fluid through the system

                   
Types of Pumps

Pumps are in general classified as Centrifugal Pumps (or Roto-dynamic pumps) and Positive Displacement Pumps.

1. Centrifugal Pumps (Roto-dynamic pumps)
The centrifugal or Roto-Dynamic pump produces a head and a flow by increasing the velocity of the liquid through the machine with the help of a rotating vane impeller. Centrifugal pumps include radial, axial and mixed flow units.

Centrifugal pumps can further be classified as

ANSI process pumps, API process pumps, radial pumps, axial flow pumps, booster pumps, canned motor pumps, chopper pumps, circulator pumps, drum pumps, end suction pumps, fire pumps, grinder pumps, horizontal split case pumps, jet pumps, magnetic drive pumps, multistage pumps, regenerative turbine pumps, slurry pumps, self-priming pumps, submersible pumps, trash pumps, vertical sump pumps, vertical turbine pumps, and well pumps.


2. Positive Displacement Pumps
The positive displacement pump operates by alternating of filling a cavity and then displacing a given volume of liquid. The positive displacement pump delivers a constant volume of liquid for each cycle against varying discharge pressure or head.

The positive displacement pump can be classified as

a. Rotary pumps - including gear pumps, screw pumps, vane pumps, peristaltic pumps, lobe pumps, and progressive cavity pumps — use rotating parts to move water in and out of the pump chamber. Some rotary pumps, such as gear pumps, must have very tight clearance between the rotating elements and the walls of the chamber, which means they generally can't be used to pump corrosive or abrasive fluids that may wear at the edges of the parts. Other types such as lobe pumps and progressive cavity pumps are designed to move liquids containing solids

b. Reciprocating pumps - including plunger pumps, diaphragm pumps, piston pumps, hydraulic pumps, and many others—use a repetitive reciprocating mechanism to expand and contract the chamber at regular intervals.



Selecting between Centrifugal or Positive Displacement Pumps
    Selecting between a Centrifugal Pump or a Positive Displacement Pump is not always straight forward. Mainly there are four criteria that mainly influence the pump selection as below



  1. Flow Rate and Pressure Head

    The two types of pumps behave very differently regarding pressure head and flow rate

    • The Centrifugal Pump has varying flow depending on the system pressure or head
    • The Positive Displacement Pump has more or less a constant flow regardless of the system pressure or head. A positive Displacement pump generally gives more pressure than Centrifugal Pumps.

  2. Capacity and Viscosity

    Another major difference between the pump types is the effect of viscosity on the capacity

    • In the Centrifugal Pump the flow is reduced when the viscosity is increased
    • In the Positive Displacement Pump the flow is increased when viscosity is increased

    A liquid with high viscosity fills the clearances of a Positive Displacement Pump causing a higher volumetric efficiency and a Positive Displacement Pump is better suited for high viscosity applications. A Centrifugal Pump becomes very inefficient at even modest viscosity.

  3. Mechanical Efficiency

    The pumps behaves different considering mechanical efficiency as well.

    • Changing the system pressure or head has little or no effect on the flow rate in the Positive Displacement Pump
    • Changing the system pressure or head has a dramatic effect on the flow rate in the Centrifugal Pump

  4. Net Positive Suction Head - NPSH

    Another consideration is the Net Positive Suction Head NPSH.

    • In a Centrifugal Pump, NPSH varies as a function of flow determined by pressure
    • In a Positive Displacement Pump, NPSH varies as a function of flow determined by speed. Reducing the speed of the Positive Displacement Pump, reduces the NPSH
The individual pump types are listed in the left column and are grouped by either Centrifugal Pumps or Positive Displacement Pumps. Each pump type includes a basic description, key features, applications used, recommended fluid, key advantages, in addition to ranges for flow rate, total head and horse power.

Pump Type

Basic Description

Key Features

Applications Used

Recommended Media (Fluid)

Advantages

Flow Rate Ranges

Total Head (Pressure) Ranges

Horse Power Ranges

Centrifugal Pumps

General name for pumps with one or more impellers. Many types and configurations for different applications. See below for specific centrifugal pump types.

One or more impellers. Casing is volute or diffuser type. Normally electric motor driven, but other drive types available.

All sorts of liquids can be pumps with centrifugal pumps. Highest flow rates of all pump types. Handles clean or dirty liquids, and liquids with low viscosity. Liquid should not contain air or vapors.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

Best pump choice for lower viscosity (thin) liquids and high flow rates. No pulsations that may be found in some positive displacement pumps.

5 - 200,000 gpm

10 - 7,500 ft

0.125 - 5,000 hp

ANSI Process Pump

ANSI Process pumps are the only dimensionally standard pump type in the U.S. pump industry (e.g., comparable sizes of all manufacturers have identical envelope and interface dimensions.) ANSI process pumps are, by definition, a horizontal, end suction, single stage pump. The pump meets ANSI B73.1 (ASME B73.1).

Considered an end suction pump, frame mounted. Normally supplied with open impellers. Dimensionally standard sizes supplied by all manufacturers. Available in a wide variety of alloys and non-metals for many corrosive services.

Transfer and process applications in chemical plants, pulp and paper mills, refineries, food processing plants, and general services in manufacturing plants of all types.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

Dimensional standardization allows the complete piping, foundation, and building design to be completed before the pump supplier is chosen. Also, this permits the pump brand to be switched in the field without having to re-pipe or modify the motor, coupling, or bedplate. This pump type has more material options than other types.

10 - 5,000 gpm

50 - 750 ft

1 - 250 hp

API Process Pump

The API pump type applies to pumps built to the API 610 standard for pumps for refineries, pipelines, and other hydrocarbon processing applications. It includes end suction,  horizontal split case, vertical turbine, and other types.

Meets API 610 standard for hydrocarbon services. Includes closed impellers, with locked wearing rings. Normally centerline mounted to minimize thermal movement.

Hydrocarbon transfer and processing services in refineries, pipelines, and hydrocarbon processing plants.

Crude oil and all types of hydrocarbons.

Meets API 610 requirements, assuring safety and reliability for high pressure, high temperature hydrocarbon services.

10 - 10,000 gpm

50 - 7,500 ft

1 - 5,000 hp

Axial Flow Pump

Axial Flow pumps are a very high flow, low head type of pump. Also called a propeller pump.

Single stage, high specific speed impeller for high flow low head.

Flood dewatering, power plant circulating water pump, evaporator services, and irrigation.

Water and relatively thin liquids. Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen.

This pump type is the best type to achieve very high flow rate with very low head, a hydraulic requirement needed for certain applications such as flood dewatering.

5,000 - 200,000 gpm

10 - 30 ft

10 - 1,500 hp

Booster Pump

Booster pumps are used to further boost the pressure in a system. It may be an end suction, in-line circulator, horizontal split case, or vertical turbine in a can type of pump.

Booster pumps are almost always a multi-stage pump (has more than one impeller). All other features are quite specific to the application.

Potable water distribution, irrigation booster, cooling water booster, process booster service

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Normally not used for liquids containing solids. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

Allows the building up of additional pressure that is required to move liquid a long distance or to use the high pressure for spraying or other services.

5 - 10,000 gpm

200 - 7,500 ft

1 - 5,000 hp

Canned Motor Pump

Canned Motor pumps are sealless centrifugal pumps. The impeller is directly attached to the motor rotor, with a can separating the wetted rotor from the motor stator.

Pump and motor are close coupled, so no mechanical seal. Pump rotor includes a circulating path of pumped liquid to lubricate sleeve bearings and thrust surfaces. These wear areas are made of ceramic, silicon carbide, or tungsten carbide.

Pumping chemicals, hydrocarbons, or other liquids that are difficult to seal, or where the consequences of leakage are serious.  Pumping heat transfer fluids which are high temperature or which are prone to costly evaporative losses with traditional mechanical seals.

All types of thin (non-viscous liquids).  

Eliminates the mechanical seal, one of the largest components of pump maintenance cost. Plus, the pump is assured to be leak-free.

5 - 1,500 gpm

25 - 400 ft

0.5 - 300 hp

Chopper Pump

Chopper Pumps are a type of centrifugal pump that is designed to chop up solids and stringy material as it pumps. It is available in a vertical column and end suction configuration.

Pump impeller contains heavy duty grinding teeth, and many have replaceable wear plates in the casing, to allow chopping of solids as the pump operates.

Chopper pumps are used in applications that plug conventional solids handling wastewater pumps in industrial, chemical, and fool processing facilities.

Liquids containing solids and stringy material that would otherwise be difficult to pump.

Able to pump liquids containing long stringy materials or other solids that would plug up in other pump types.

50 - 10,000 gpm

15 - 200 ft

1 - 500 hp

Circulator Pump

Circulator pumps is generally a pump with in-line suction and discharge flanges.

In-line suction and discharge piping connections. Pump may be equipped with a traditional motor and coupling, or may have a wetted rotor motor that eliminates the seal.

Circulator pumps are used in HVAC systems in buildings (chilled water circulation, hot water circulation, potable water circulation). Also circulation of cooling water in plants.

Water and relatively thin liquids. 

In-line design saves on floor space.

5 - 750 gpm

20 - 180 ft

1 - 50 hp

Cryogenic Pump

Cryogenic pumps are used to handle very low temperature liquids.

Special materials, seals, and clearances to tolerate very low temperatures.

Low temperature applications in process industries, LNG supply, and semiconductor manufacturing.

Ideal for very low temperature liquids.

Able to tolerate the low temperatures found in certain applications.

5 - 1,000 gpm

25 - 1,000 ft

0.5 - 500 hp

Drum Pump

Drum pumps are used to pump small quantities of liquid out of drums and carboys. Pump is very slim to fit in drum opening. Normally supplied as centrifugal pump, but positive displacement pump types are available for thicker liquids and pastes.

Small diameter tube surrounding the shaft fits into the opening of a 55 gallon drum. Normally has a hand-trigger controlled motor.

Pumping small quantities of liquids out of 55 gallon drums and larger carboys.

Wide variety of thin and thick liquids, including corrosive liquids.

Very practical way to pump small amounts of various fluids that are stored in drums or carboys.

0.5 - 70 gpm

20 - 75 ft

0.25 - 1 hp

End Suction Pump

End suction pumps are the common type of centrifugal pump. Has horizontal shaft with overhung impeller. Flow goes in the end of the casing, and out the top.

Horizontal shaft, single impeller (see multi-stage category for pumps with more impellers). Various impeller types for clean and dirty services, many material options 

Any transfer or circulation of liquid. Handles clean or dirty liquids, and liquids with low viscosity. Liquid should not contain air or vapors.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

Lowest first cost option for most applications. Stocked by most distributors in common sizes.  

5 - 7,000 gpm

10 - 750 ft

0.125 - 250 hp

Fire Pump 

Centrifugal pump used for fire fighting in buildings, plants, and other locations. May meet UL/NFPA standards for fire pumps. Normally this is a horizontal split case or vertical turbine pump for UL/FM services. Non listed pumps may be end suction type.

Listed pumps meet the requirements of UL/FM for firefighting services.

Fire fighting services of all types, both UL/FM listed and unlisted.

Water

Meets requirements of UL/FM for fire fighting pumps. Suppliers often include complete system, including engine and controls.

20 - 5,000 gpm

100 - 1,200 ft

10 - 800 hp

Grinder Pump

Grinder pumps are a type of submersible sewage pump that has cutting teeth incorporated onto the impeller, to grind the sewage for pressure sewer applications. Also available in progressing cavity pump positive displacement type.

Grinding teeth on the inlet of the impeller, submersible motor.

Residential pressure sewer systems.

Sewage and other wastewater.

This type of sewage pump allows smaller diameter sewage lines than typical gravity drain sewers. Also, the sewer lines can follow the contour of the land since they don’t have to continuously drain to the collection point.

5 - 50 gpm

50 - 150 ft

0.5 - 5 hp

Horizontal Split Case Pump

Horizontal Split Case pumps are a types of centrifugal pump type has a single double suction impeller supported between bearings. Casing is split horizontally for maintenance. Suction and discharge flanges are opposed to each other.  

Double suction impeller gives better NPSH and lower axial thrust. Casing is normally double volute, to reduce radial bearing loads.  Pump has two seals, both sealing suction pressure.

Usually higher flow rate applications than end suction pumps. Used for cooling water, plant make-up water, potable water distribution, fire pumps, pipelines, and other main process flows.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Normally not used for liquids containing solids. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

This pump type permits much higher flow rates than end suction pumps. The double suction impeller has no axial thrust loads, and is less likely to cavitate.

100 - 100,000 gpm

50 - 1,500 ft

3 - 5,000 hp

Jet Pump

Jet pumps are a type of home water well pump that is used for lower flow rates than vertical turbine types. It is a horizontal end suction pump, put makes use of an ejector to assist the flow.

Horizontal end suction pump with ejector either mounted on the pump (for shallow well services), or located down in the well.

Domestic water wells

Water

Lower cost domestic well pump than submersible.

1 - 70 gpm

20 - 200 ft

0.5 - 5 hp

Magnetic Drive Pump

Magnetic drive pumps are a type of sealless centrifugal pump. It transmits the torque from the motor to the impeller by means of a rotating outer magnet which transmits the magnetic flux through a can to an inner magnet that is attached to the impeller. The inside of the can is thus isolated, with no shaft penetration, and the seal is eliminated.

Magnets are typically made of ceramic, samarium cobalt, or neodymium. Bushings and thrust surfaces inside the can are made of silicon carbide or tungsten carbide, or ceramic, to handle the potentially abrasive liquid that circulates inside the can. Most must be protected against loss of flow, which could seriously damage the pump due to temperature build-up due to the magnetic flux.

Pumping chemicals, hydrocarbons, or other liquids that are difficult to seal, or where the consequences of leakage are serious. Pumping heat transfer fluids which are high temperature or which are prone to costly evaporative losses with traditional mechanical seals.

All types of thin (non-viscous liquids).  

Eliminates the mechanical seal, one of the largest components of pump maintenance cost. Plus, the pump is assured to be leak-free.

5 - 4,000 gpm

25 - 1,000 ft

0.5 - 300 hp

Multistage Pump

Multistage pumps use multiple impellers with either diffusers or volutes generate more head than single stage (single impeller) pumps. Available in horizontal and vertical orientations.

Casing may be split radially or axially. Axial thrust may or may not be balanced out, depending on design. Impellers are enclosed design with diffuser or volute casing.

Higher pressure services such as boiler feed water, condensate, pipelines, reverse osmosis, and decaling.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Normally not used for liquids containing solids. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

Best ways to get high pressure with a centrifugal pump. Thrust loads may be lower than single stage designs.

5 - 10,000 gpm

200 - 7,500 ft

1 - 5,000 hp

Regenerative Turbine Pump

Regererative turbine pumps are not considered a true centrifugal, but works on the same kinetic principal as a centrifugal pump.Instead of an impeller with vanes, the turbine impeller has blades similar to turbines, which generate the head. Normally it is end suction, single stage, though multi-stage versions are available.

Normally single stage, though multi-sage is available. Pump has very tight internal clearances, so liquid pumped must be quite clean.  Pump has very steep head-capacity curve, so pump must be protected against possibly operating against closed valve.

Small boiler feed pumps for dry cleaners, bakeries, and similar small commercial boilers. Also used in OEM applications such as chiller and laser cooling.

Thin, clear liquids.

Very compact pump for low flow, high head applications. This may result in space savings and reduced cost for small boiler feed pumps. This pump type handles vapor and air mixed in with the liquid better than traditional centrifugal pumps.

1 - 200 gpm

50 - 1,200 ft

0.5 - 75 hp

Slurry Pump

Slurry pump is a general term for a pump that handles an abrasive slurry. They may be considered an end suction pump, vertical column pump, or submersible pump.

Pumps are constructed either of high nickel cast iron (white iron) to withstand the abrasive wear of slurries, or the pump is lined with rubber for more round-edged slurries. Pumps often have replaceable wear plates on one or both sides of the impeller.

Mining, minerals processing, transportation of slurries for processing, and dredging. Also pumps used in slurry applications in coal fired power plants, steel mills, cement mills, etc.

Very abrasive liquids of all types.

Ordinary pumps wouldn't withstand the abrasive wear that slurries cause on pump parts. Slurry pumps are designed to handle abrasive slurries and give pumps the longest life possible.

10 - 30,000 gpm

30 - 250 ft

1 - 2000 hp

Self-Priming Pump

Self-Priming pumps are a type of centrifugal that can be located above the suction reservoir without an external priming system. End suction configuration, but enlarged case to support priming.

No need for external priming or foot valves.

Sump pumps and dewatering applications. Transfer services where pump must be located above the suction vessel.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

No need for external priming

5 - 7,000 gpm

10 - 350 ft

1 - 150 hp

Submersible Pump

Submersible pumps involve a submersible motor with a close coupled to single stage pump that allows the entire assembly to operated submerged.

Submerged motor, either air-filled or oil-filled. Different impellers are designed to accommodate solids of various sizes.

Sump pump services, effluent and sewage services ranging in size from products for homes to main sewage treatment plants.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen.

Eliminates column shaft and bearings found in column sump pump. More compact, reduced sump installation cost. May be located in areas prone to flooding.

5 - 7,500 gpm

10 - 200 ft

0.25 - 250 hp

Trash Pump

Trash pumps are a type of self-priming centrifugal or submersible centrifugal pump designed to handle rocks and other solids while dewatering.

Open or non-clog enclosed impellers, designed to pass rocks and other debris. Pumps may be self-priming. Seals usually have hardened faces.

Dewatering construction sites, mines, and utility pits.

Dirty water containing mud, rocks, stone, and other debris.

Designed to pump the solids and abrasives found in many dewatering applications.

5 - 1,000 gpm

25 - 150 ft

0.25 - 50 hp

Vertical Sump Pump

Vertical sump pumps involve a vertical shaft supported in a center column. Single impeller, open or enclosed, pumps through a volute casing and then out a discharge column pipe.

Various impeller types for clean and dirty services. Sleeve bearings in the column pipe need to be lubricated by the sump water, or externally with water or grease. 

Sump pump services.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

Relatively low cost sump pump.  Most designs need no shaft seal, since shaft column not pressurized.

5 - 7,500 gpm 

15 - 150 ft

0.5 - 250 hp

Vertical Turbine Pump

Vertical turbine pumps are a vertical shaft pump that is designed to fit in a bore-hole well. Can also pump out of open reservoir, river, intake structure, or tank, or can be mounted in barrel for booster pump applications. Pump can have one or more impellers and diffuser bowls, depending on total head requirement.

Available with open and enclosed impellers. Sleeve bearings in pump diffuser bowls are lubricated by liquid pumped. Vertical high thrust motor mounted on top for product lubricated lineshaft bearings, or submersible motor mounted below pump to eliminate lineshaft and lineshaft bearings.

Irrigation, potable water supply, plant make-up water, cooling water, fire pumps, potable water distribution, booster pumps, process pumps.

Water and relatively thin liquids (won't pump thicker oils). Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen. Available in alloys for corrosive services.

Only practical way to pump from a deep well. Wide flow and head ranges. Low floor space usage.  Immersed pump eliminates priming. Canned pump version excellent for low NPSH services 

50 - 150,000 gpm

15 - 2,000 ft

1 - 5,000 hp

Well Pump

A type of vertical turbine pump designed especially for use in a drilled bore-hole well.  Also, for lower flow rates refer to jet pump type above.

Available with open and enclosed impellers.  Sleeve bearings in pump diffuser bowls are lubricated by liquid pumped.  Vertical high thrust motor mounted on top for product lubricated lineshaft bearings, or submersible motor mounted below pump to eliminate lineshaft and lineshaft bearings.

Irrigation, potable water supply, plant make-up water, cooling water, fire pumps, potable water distribution

Water and relatively thin liquids. Can pump liquids with or without solids if proper impeller type is chosen.

Only practical way to pump from a deep well. Wide flow and head ranges. Low floor space usage.  Immersed pump eliminates priming.

50 - 20,000 gpm

20 - 1,000 ft

1 - 3,000 hp

Positive Displacement Pumps

A positive displacement (PD) pump is a general name for a pump type that does not have impellers, but rather relies on rotating or reciprocating parts to directly push the liquid in an enclosed volume, until enough pressure is built up to move the liquid into the discharge system. This includes many specific types for specific applications, as described below.

Pump works on positive displacement principal, either rotary or reciprocating type. See below for features of specific types.

All types of services in many industries where positive displacement pumps are favored over centrifugal pumps due to high viscosity, presence of fragile or shear sensitive solids, or need for low flow and high pressure.

High viscosity fluids, some thinner fluids, fluids containing solids, especially fragile solids, and shear sensitive liquids.

Best choice for higher viscosity services, and to move liquids gently. May also be needed for low flow, high pressure combination, or other application niches. Some types are inherently self-priming, and several types are sealless.

0.1 - 15,000 gpm

10 - 100,000 psi

0.5 - 5,000 hp

Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pump (AODD)

Air operated double diaphragm pumps are any type of reciprocating diaphragm pump containing two diaphragms and driven by air instead of by electric motor.

Air section with shuttle valve applies air alternately to the two diaphragms. Each diaphragm has a set of check valves.

Many applications in general plant service where electricity isn't available, or where the liquid being pumped has high solids content or high viscosity.

Wide range of liquids, including liquids containing solids, and corrosive liquids.

Can be used where no electricity is available, if compressed air is available. Available in a variety of metal and non-metallic materials depending on the fluid pumped.  Able to pump liquids containing large solids. Pump is sealless and can run dry with

0.25 - 300 gpm

10 - 125 psi

0.25 - 30 hp

Concrete Pump

Concrete pumps are a type of reciprocating positive displacement pump that is specially designed to pump concrete and other mixed aggregate solutions.

High pressure discharge for pumping concrete long distances or up high elevations. Materials of construction that can handle the abrasive aggregate.

Concrete pouring, construction projects.

Concrete and other aggregate solutions.

Best way to move concrete long distances and up heights during pour.

10 - 1,000 gpm

25 - 1,000 psi

10 - 500 hp

Diaphragm Pump

Diaphragm pumps are a type of reciprocating positive displacement pump in which liquid is pumped by a reciprocating diaphragm, which is driven by a solenoid, a mechanical drive, or a fluid drive. Other versions are air operated (see AODD type below). Pump has inlet and outlet check valves.

Pump contains reciprocating diaphragm and inlet and outlet check valves.

Many applications in general plant service where the liquid being pumped has high solids content or high viscosity.

Wide range of liquids, including liquids containing solids, and corrosive liquids.

Handles a wide range of liquids, including liquids containing solids. Pump is sealless, and can run dry without damaging the pump.

1 - 1,800 gpm

25 - 15,000 psi

0.5 - 2,000 hp

Flexible Impeller Pump

Flexible impeller pumps are a type of rotary positive displacement pump that has a rotating rubber impeller with vanes that bend and then straighten as the impeller rotates to conform to the internal cam in the pump casing.

Various rubber materials available for correct compatibility with the fluid pumped.

Used as bilge and ballast pumps in small and medium marine services. Also found in other applications in plants where fluids contain some solids.

Water, seawater, and other thin liquids, including liquids containing some solids.

Relatively low cost way to move liquids containing some amounts of solids.  

5 - 150 gpm

10 - 60 psi

0.25 - 10 hp

Gear Pump

Gear pumps are a type of rotary positive displacement pump in which liquid is pumped by passing between two meshing gears and the surrounding casing. There are internal and external gear types.

Internal and external gear types. Typically doesn't handle solids or abrasive liquids.

Most common pump for clean oils and other viscous liquids.

Oils and other high viscosity liquids. Usually only suited for clean liquids (no solids).

Most widely used for clean oil services. Few moving parts, simple construction.

1 - 1,500 gpm

10 - 2,500 psi

0.5 - 2,000 hp

Lobe Pump

Lobe pumps involve two shafts drive lobes which mesh with each other, but do not touch due to the use of timing gears. This allows gentle pumping of liquids containing soft or fragile solids, or viscous liquids.  

Pump has timing gears so that lobes don't contact each other while pumping. Available in sanitary options for food, pharmaceutical, and biotech services.

Available in sanitary options for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and biotech applications.

Liquids which are viscous or which contain fragile solids or are shear sensitive.

This is the normal pump of choice for sanitary applications pumping viscous liquids or liquids containing fragile solids. No metal to metal contact inside the pump.

25 - 3,000 gpm

50 - 450 psi

1 - 500 hp

Metering Pump

Metering pumps are a type of reciprocating positive displacement diaphragm pump that has a very low flow rate (typically measured in gallons per hour or per day, rather than per minute). Flow rate is adjustable.

Pump is typically a diaphragm style, though older designs are plunger type. Diaphragm is driven by solenoid, mechanical actuation, or hydraulic actuation. Pump includes inlet and outlet check valves. Normally contains stroke length adjustment to vary flow rate, and some pumps can also control flow rate with speed control.

Used to meter or dose very low flow rates with high accuracy. Most common application is chemical treatment of water in boilers, cooling towers, potable water, etc.

Wide variety of thin and thick liquids, including corrosive liquids.

Accurate, repeatable volumetric flow measurement. Ability to easily adjust the flow rate by adjusting stroke length or speed.

.01 - 20 gpm

10 - 200 psi

0.125 - 5 hp

Peristaltic / Hose Pump

Peristaltic pumps or hose pumps are a type of rotary positive displacement pump that has a roller or shoe that squeezes a tube or hose as it rotates. The squeezing action moves the liquid along the tube.

Includes replaceable hose that must be compatible with the pumped liquid. This hose is typically able to be replaced when worn.

This pump type is used to handle chlorine and other disinfectants in commercial swimming pools, in wineries, in sewage treatment plants, and in many OEM applications where sealless pumping is a plus.

Wide range of liquids, including liquids containing solids, and corrosive liquids.

This pump type requires no seal, and keeps the liquid inside the tube, so zero leakage.  

0.2 - 200 gpm

10 - 250 psi

0.125 - 40 hp

Piston Pump

Piston pumps are a type of reciprocating positive displacement pump that has, double acting reciprocating  pistons.

Pump includes one or more double acting pistons, sealed with o-rings against cylinder walls. Pump has an inlet and outlet check valve for each piston.

Used in oil production, in wash down services, pressure washing, car washes, reverse osmosis, and other applications where high pressure is needed.

Water and other thin liquids, including liquids containing abrasives.

May be better alternative than plunger pump in certain applications, such as abrasive liquids. Slower speeds may mean less maintenance.

5 - 700 gpm

50 - 5,000 psi

1 - 500 hp

Plunger Pump

Plunger pumps are a type of reciprocating positive displacement pump that has, typically, three or five single acting reciprocating plungers.

Pump includes one or more single acting plungers, sealed with packing against cylinder walls. Pump has an inlet and outlet check valve for each plunger.

Used in oil production, in wash down services, pressure washing, car washes, reverse osmosis, and other applications where high pressure is needed.

Water and other thin liquids, crude oils.

Best way to achieve very high pressures when pumping.

5 - 1,200 gpm

50 - 100,000 psi

1 - 5,000 hp

Progressive Cavity Pump

Progressive cavity pumps are a type of rotary positive displament pump that has a single-threaded helically shaped rotor turning inside of a double-threaded helically shaped rubber stator. This produces a progressing cavity that moves the liquid through the pump and pressurizes it. 

Rotor is an interference fit inside the electrometric stator to minimize leakage (slip). Starting torque may be higher than running torque because of this.

Used to pump polymers and dewatered sludge in sewage treatment applications, and in pumping liquids which are viscous or contain solids in industrial plants such as pulp mills, petrochemical, and chemical plants.

Wide variety of thin and thick liquids, including corrosive liquids and liquids containing solids.

Sometimes considered the pump of last resort, as it will handle difficult liquids which are viscous or contain solids and which other pump types cannot accommodate. 

10 - 2,400 gpm

50 - 2,000 psi

1 - 500 hp

Screw Pump

Screw pumps use two intermeshing screws, driven by timing gears, move oils and other viscous liquids. Also available with three screws, one driving the other.

Two screw pumps make use of timing gears so that meshing screws don't drive each other. Triple screw types have one screw driving the other two and don't include timing gears.

Fuel transfer, elevators, and other applications requiring relatively high flow rates of viscous liquids.

Oils, fuels, and other high viscosity liquids. Also handles two-phase liquid/gas mixtures.

Highest flow rate of positive displacement pumps.

50 - 15,000 gpm

50 - 4,500 psi

5 - 5,000 hp

Vane Pump

Vane pumps use a rotor with vanes located in slots, rotating inside an eccentrically shaped casing. As the rotor turns, the vanes move in and out of the slots.

Sliding vanes are often made of carbon.  

An alternative to a gear pump for transferring oils and other viscous liquids. Also good for thinner liquids.

Oils and other high viscosity liquids. Usually only suited for clean liquids (no solids). Also good for thin liquids like gasoline and water.

Good for both thick and thin liquids, so often chosen for terminals and truck unloading where many types of liquids are handled.

5 - 2,500 gpm

20 - 200 psi

1 - 300 hp

Suction Lift at Various Elevations
Altitude (ft) Suction Lift (ft)
Sea Level 25.0
2000 22.0
4000 19.5
6000 17.3
8000 15.5
10,000 14.3

The Altitude Factor (Facilities at higher elevations)
Since air is thinner and heat is not dissipated easily at higher altitudes, standard motors are designed to operate below 3,300 ft. Most motors must be derated at higher altitudes. The chart below provides typical horsepower derating factor. A 3 HP motor operating at 6000 feet for example would be derated to 2.82 HP, assuming a 40 degree ambient temperature rating.
Example 3HP x 0.94 = 2.82
Altitude (ft) Derating Factor
3300-5000 0.97
5001-6600 0.94
6601 - 8300 0.90
8301 - 9900 0.86
9901 - 11,500 0.82

 




 
 
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