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Centrifugal vs. Positive Displacement Pumps: A Guide for Industrial Engineers

rotary lobe pumps
by Erin Hipolito
July 2, 2024

Centrifugal vs. Positive Displacement Pumps: Making the Right Choice for Industrial Applications

When it comes to selecting the right pump for industrial applications, the choice between centrifugal and positive displacement pumps (PD pumps can be crucial. Let's delve into the key factors that influence this decision.

Understanding Pump Behavior

Centrifugal pumps and Viking positive displacement pumps exhibit distinct behaviors that directly impact their suitability for different scenarios. Let's explore these differences in detail:

Centrifugal vs. Positive Displacement Pump: The Performance Variance

One fundamental difference lies in how these pumps handle flow rate and pressure. While centrifugal pumps adjust flow based on pressure, PD pumps maintain a more consistent flow regardless of pressure variations.

Effect of Viscosity on Flow Rate

Viscosity plays a significant role in pump performance. Centrifugal pumps experience decreased flow with higher viscosity, whereas PD pumps see an increase in flow due to improved volumetric efficiency.

Mechanical Efficiency in Different Conditions

The response to changes in pressure and viscosity varies between centrifugal and PD pumps. Mechanical efficiency remains relatively stable in PD pumps despite fluctuations, whereas centrifugal pumps are more sensitive to pressure changes.

Net Positive Suction Head Requirements

Considerations like Net Positive Suction Head Required (NPSHR) further differentiate these pumps. While centrifugal pumps' NPSHR depends on pressure and viscosity, PD pumps' NPSHR is influenced by flow, determined by speed.

Operational Flexibility

Centrifugal pumps perform optimally within a specific range, whereas PD pumps offer more flexibility across the operating curve. This flexibility translates to enhanced pump life and efficiency.

Expert Consultation for Pump Selection

Are you struggling to decide between centrifugal and PD pumps for your industrial application in Georgia? Our team at Pye-Barker Engineered Solutions specializes in providing comprehensive advisory and installation services tailored to your needs. Trust us to maximize the performance and longevity of your liquid handling equipment.

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