Centrifugal Pumps: Preview Their Working Mechanism & Types

Since ancient times, man has been trying to find convenient ways for pumping water to higher levels or use it for irrigation purposes.   Pumps are generally found in many industries fundamentally for their efficient operation of moving fluids from one place to another.  With continuous advancement in technology, centrifugal pumps became popular to serve a wide array of applications.   Among a myriad of pumps, the centrifugal pump is the most simple and commonly used of all pumps.  It is available in varying sizes, types and shapes to fulfill specific needs.  From high to low pressure, large to small, for handling liquids to gases, these pumps are popular worldwide in every form.

Working of a Centrifugal Pump:

A centrifugal pump is one of the simplest pumps used in industry.  It is used to convert energy of the prime mover into kinetic energy or pressure energy of the fluid.  This energy difference is caused by virtue of two main components of the pump, the impeller and the diffuser or pump casing.   The former is the rotating part used to convert driver energy into kinetic energy while the latter is the constant part that converts the kinetic energy into pressure energy.

The liquid enters the suction nozzle and then into the center of impeller. When the impeller rotates, it whirls the fluid between the vanes in outwards direction and provides centrifugal acceleration.  As liquid leaves the impeller, low pressure area is created which pushes the liquid to flow towards the inlet.  As the blades of the impeller are curved, the fluid is pushed in tangential direction via centrifugal force.  The faster the impeller rotates, the higher is the velocity and the greater is the energy imparted to the fluid.

Centrifugal Pumps: Preview Their Working Mechanism & Types

Its Types: 

Like all machinery, centrifugal pumps needs proper maintenance in order to prevent it from corrosion, early wear and becoming inefficient.  These pumps are available in a large range of specifications and materials of construction. The right choice of pump materials will result in a longer pump life.   Various types of centrifugal pumps used at construction sites and in manufacturing industries and include the following:

  • Close couple:  The pump is directly attached to the electric drive motor (short coupled).  It’s uses include chemical processing, water transfer systems and wastewater treatment.
  • Self-priming:  It is constructed as the best alternative for applications that need priming, especially mobile dewatering purposes.
  • Long coupled:  In these types of pumps, the pump has its own bearing housing and is long coupled to the pump driver (electric motor or engine).   This allow for heavier duty usage of the pump including pumping slurries and heavier more viscous fluids.

Factors you should Consider Before Buying a Pump: 

If it is your first time to use a centrifugal pump, then getting an insight on its working features will be an advantage.  When it comes to buying a pump for your customized needs, it is important to determine the volume and pressure requirements of the fluid being pumped and the application.    Apart from water, a large range of other fluids and chemicals can also be pumped and specifying the right materials for the fluids pumped will ensure a long a trouble free life.