Centrifugal pumps are now used in a wide range of home and industrial processes. Different types of centrifugal pumps are required to successfully handle pumping requirements ranging from supplying water to residential structures to industrial uses such as food, beverage, and chemical industries. DXP has vast knowledge in this industry as a respected centrifugal pump supplier. This article discusses the many types of centrifugal pumps and the applications to which they are best suited.

Centrifugal Pumps and their Operation

A basic centrifugal pump configuration consists of one or more pump impellers connected to a rotary pump shaft. This configuration provides the energy to move fluid via the pump system and accompanying pipes. The impellers spinning with the pump shaft transform dynamic mechanical energy from the pump motor into fluid energy. While most of the motor’s energy is converted to kinetic energy in the pumped fluids, some are funneled as potential energy in fluid pressure calculated against gravity.

Process of a Centrifugal Pump

The operation cycle begins with the pump sucking fluid into its suction ports and directing it to the impellers’ inlets. The pumped liquids are subsequently moved along spinning vanes by rotating impellers, increasing fluid velocity. The “charged” fluid then exits the impeller vanes and is directed to a diffuser casing or pump volute, where the impeller vanes high fluid velocity and is transformed to high fluid pressure. Finally, the pressured fluid is discharged or routed to the next step in a multi-stage pump system.

What Are the Various Types of Centrifugal Pumps

The following are the major centrifugal pump variations:

Centrifugal Pumps: Radial vs. Axial

Its orientation is the primary distinction between a radial and an axial, centrifugal pump. A radial centrifugal pump allows the liquid flowing through it to go outward. The pumped liquid is compressed and then discharged via downstream pipework.

On the other hand, axial pumps generate fluid motion through the lifting effect of their impeller vanes.

Centrifugal Pump Classification Based on Volute Types

Depending on the type of casing, pumps can be either single-volute or double-volute.

A single valve

The majority of the refinery’s pumps are single-volute designs. In a casing with a single volute, the flow exits the impeller and enters the single volute, which completely encircles the impeller. One cut of water in this casing directs fluid flow to the pump’s exit.

Twisted Volute

The cutwaters of a double-volute casing are 180 degrees apart. Over a single volute, a double has an advantage. It reduces the shaft’s defection when the pump operates outside the BEP (highest efficiency point) (BEP).

Centrifugal Pump Classification Based on Number of Suctions

Most centrifugal pumps have single-suction designs, but double-suction versions are occasionally required.

Single Suction

When using a single-suction centrifugal pump, the fluid enters the inlet and immediately flows in its entirety into the impeller’s eye (the inlet of the impeller); as the water exits the impeller, the pressure created by the centrifugal force increases.

Double Suction

A single suction cannot handle the situation when the flow rate is too great. Double-suction centrifugal pumps are utilized in this situation. In contrast to a typical case, the impeller of this pump is designed to allow fluid to enter from both sides.

You must not be misled by the term “double suction,” though. The impeller and casing have different designs, which is the difference. There is only one suction and discharge flange, even in the double suction design.

Centrifugal Pump Classification Using Casing Designs

The two different designs of axially and radially split pump casings are described below:

Radial Split

A centrifugal pump casing is said to be radially split if it is vertically connected to the shaft (perpendicular to the shaft and parallel to the impeller).

Axial Split

A centrifugal pump with an axially split casing has a design where the casing is split down the middle of the shaft. The two sections of the casing are split horizontally, parallel to the shaft axis, from one another.

Centrifugal pumps are categorized based on how their shafts are oriented.

Thus, the shaft locations of centrifugal pumps can be either vertical or horizontal.

Vertical Shaft

A vertical pump has a vertically oriented shaft, typically installed in a pump. This kind includes devices like sump collection and pumps used in borewells. These pumps are utilized in constrained areas.

Horizontal Shaft

Because they are simple to maintain, horizontal pumps are more frequently employed. The shaft is placed horizontally in this style.

Centrifugal Pump Classification Using Impeller Position

As a result, centrifugal pumps are divided between bearing pumps and overhung impeller pumps.

Overhung Impeller Pump

The impeller is mounted on the end of a shaft that overhangs its bearings in an overhung impeller pump. A single bearing suspends the impeller in this pump. The pump installation can be done vertically and horizontally using this setup.

Between Bearing Pumps

The impeller is mounted on the shaft of a centrifugal pump that suspends the shaft at both ends between two bearings. In this design, horizontal multi-stage pumps are offered.

API Pumps vs. ANSI Pumps

Many centrifugal pump systems are radial in design and are built to fulfill industrial standards. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) pumps and the American Petroleum Institute (API) pumps are two of the most prevalent standards.

ANSI pumps are high-quality pumps having a single impeller unit that makes maintenance easy. ANSI pumps are compatible with other pumps of a comparable rating. This type of centrifugal pump is suited for low fuel flow rates.

API pumps are designed to fulfill specific industrial parameters, such as the existence of a defined hold-down bolt placement size and a predetermined pump coupling height. API pumps are typically radial in design and are used in heavy-duty oil and gas operations.

Single, two, or multi stages

The number of impellers included in a centrifugal pump setup determines its stage categorization.


Because this pump has only one impeller within its casing, maintenance is simple. A single-stage centrifugal pump is best suited to low-pressure activities that require a high flow rate.


Dual impellers in a two-stage centrifugal pump work together to pump the associated process fluid. It is best suited for medium-head applications.


This centrifugal pump system requires many impellers (three or more) to attain maximum efficiency. Pumps with many stages are ideal for high-head applications.

Applications for Industrial Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps are widely used in a wide range of home, commercial, and industrial markets. Applications for centrifugal pumps include, but are not limited to:


Centrifugal pump is one of the most essential elements in various industries. There are several kinds of centrifugal pump applications. If you are looking for any type of pump solutions or industrial supplies, contact the MicroCare Group experts to see expertise in pump solutions and to understand the various types of centrifugal pumps and their applications.