How Do Centrifugal and Positive Displacement Pumps Differ?

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Two basic types of pumps are used for varying industrial applications: centrifugal and positive displacement pumps. Knowing which one you have is key to helping our team at Pat’s Pump & Blower help you with pump repairs, so your operations can get back to running like normal. Below, we explore some of the key differences between these two types of pumps.

centrifugal and positive displacement pumps

Centrifugal Pumps

These pressure-creating devices allow flow to rise in direct correlation to elevated pressure. The most common type of pump used for a myriad of applications today, these pumps typically transport low-viscosity fluids throughout a piping system. You can also classify centrifugal pumps based on their impeller, with the two most common being radial flow centrifugal pumps and axial flow centrifugal pumps.

Positive Displacement Pumps

Positive displacement pumps are a type of flow-creating device that moves fluid through a system at a consistent speed, regardless of the pressure placed on the inlet end. These pumps work by trapping a specific amount of fluid in one area and then forcing it through a discharge pipe. While these pumps can transport many types of fluid, they are usually used to pump viscous liquids and those that contain fragile or suspended solids.

You can also categorize positive displacement pumps according to the mechanism used to transport the fluid. The three main types include:

  1. Rotary positive displacement pumps
  2. Reciprocating positive displacement pumps
  3. Linear positive displacement pumps

Do you need help with your plant’s centrifugal or positive displacement pump? Contact us at Pat’s Pump & Blower!