You are on page 1of 19



2.1. Flow 2.2. Velocity and acceleration of fluid 2.3. Pressure



3.1. Contraints from flow 3.2. Contraints from pressure 3.3. Some simple precautions


4.1. Introduction 4.2. NPSH Calculations 4.3. The general case of non-viscous fluids 4.4. Improving the NPSH conditions 4.5. NPSH tests



5.1. In general 5.2. Maximum pressure in the liquid end 5.3. Criteria for overflow/siphoning effect 5.4. Usual solutions


6.1. Balancing pot 6.2. Constant level tank 6.3. Pulsation dampers 6.4. Determining the damper


7.1. Schematics of typical installations 7.2. Particular case of slurries 7.3. Particular case of aerated liquids



8.1. In general - API Standards 8.2. Linearity 8.3. Repeatability 8.4. Steady state accuracy 8.5. Deviation from rated flow

I - INTRODUCTION Features of a dosing pump

This handbook is designed for use by engineers and technicians who may be dealing with new projects or maintenance, involving the selection and installation of a Dosapro dosing pump (MILTON ROY EUROPE). Included is all necessary information to determine standard installation, and to avoid the all too frequent classical faults responsible for so many pump malfunctions. For non standard special/ sophisticated applications, MILTON ROY EUROPE can provide engineers and designers with further assistance: Technical Assistance Department Applications and Projects Specialists A dosing pump is a positive displacement, reciprocating pump with adjustable flow whilst running or stopped. Thus it is essential to differentiate between a dosing pump and a centrifugal pump; a dosing pump has a pulsating flow where suction and discharge phases can be distinguished. This feature is always considered when choosing a pump and designing an installation. Various parameters dictate the final selection of the pump: The first stages of selection come from considerations of flow rate and pressure. Additional consideration of the power required from the pump then determines which range to choose. Viscosity of the process fiuid is the second factor to be taken into account; this determines the type of valve (standard ball or spring assisted) and the maximum stroke rate. Figure 1 shows this graphically; zone I shows that a pump in standard configuration will operate satisfactorily; Zone Il, pumping viscous liquids, will need spring loaded valves; Zone III shows a region where special designs would be necessary for satisfactory operation. Unlike a centrifugal pump, the reciprocating action of a dosing pump interact greatIy with the suction and discharge pipework in an installation. For this reason NPSH must be also a consideration in the selection process (see 3.2. for discharge pipework interaction and 4.2. for NPSH calculations).

viscosity cp

stroke/mm Fig. 1


2.1. Flow
The internal mechanism of the dosing pump generates a reciprocating action resulting in a particular flow pattern at suction and discharge. Most dosing pumps piston motion is created by a connecting-rod/crank assembly, which is almost sinusoidal. A typical relationship for a simplex single acting pump, is shown in figure 2; the maximum instantaneous flow rate is 3.14 () times the mean flow!
Simplex single effect

an overpressure, as pump tries to displace it.

Velocity is zero: as suction valve closes, fluid speed reduces. Acceleration is a maximum: liquid column is being stopped - fluid inertia creates an overpressure at the suction valve.

Velocity is a maximum: greater than three times the mean velocity. Viscous friction loss is a maximum and causes an overpressure. Acceleration is zero: fluid is in motion.

Discharge phase: End: Start:

Velocity is zero: as the discharge valve opens, the liquid column is stationary. Acceleration is a maximum: interia of liquid in discharge line results in Velocity is zero: as discharge valve closes, fluid speed reduces. Acceleration is a maximum: liquid column is being stopped - fluid inertia creates a depression at the pump discharge valve.

2.3. Pressure
Fig. 2 Pressure fluctuations in the suction and discharge lines results from the pulsating flow and associated

acceleration phenomena. Figure 3 illustrates the effect of a simplex single acting pump.

2.2. Velocity and acceleration of fluid

Suction phase: Start:
Velocity is zero: as the suction valve opens, the suction liquid column is stationary. Acceleration is a maximum: the pump causes a depression due to inertia of the liquid column to be moved.


Velocity is a maximum: greater than three times the mean velocity. Viscous friction loss is a maximumand causes a depression. Acceleration is zero: fluid is in motion.


Fig. 3


3.1. Constraints from flow
A pulsing flow may be unacceptable due to process or instrumentation requirements (most flow meters are designed to respond to a steady flow). In these circumstances, pulsations must be avoided. (See section VI). Pressure at points B or D must not be such that a siphon effect is set up between suction and discharge: dynamic suction pressure at B must not be above the static discharge pressure; similarly the dynamic discharge pressure at D must not be lower than the static head at the suction. See corresponding calculations in sections IV and V. of a damping system (balancing pot, constant level vessel or accumulator). Inertia effects are reduced which diminishes pressure at B and increases pressure at C1 and C2. Introduction of a back-pressure (or loading) valve increases the differential pressure between suction and discharge thus reducing the siphoning effect between B and D. Low stroke speed and triplex arrangement are sometimes solutions that stand out.

3.2. Constraints from pressure

In figure 3, if points A1 & A2 reach the fluid vapour pressure or hydraulic oil vapour pressure (in the case of hydraulically actuated diaphragm pump), cavitation will occur. NPSH calculations determine this. If pressure at points B, C1 and C2 risen too much, the system or pump maximum allowable pressure may be exceeded = damage or malfunction of relief valves, drive motor, flanges, etc.

3.3. Some simple precautions

Keeping pipe lengths to a minimum, increasing pipe diameter and the installation of a damper at discharge, greatIy reduce inertia effects - pressure at C1, and C2 reduce whilst the pressure at D improves (increases). Similar rules apply to the suction reducing pipe lengths and increasing the diameter plus the inclusion

4.1. Introduction
NPSH (Net Positive Suction Head) relates to the available hydraulic energy at a given point in a system when centrifugal pump (constant flow) is installed. The system will have an Available NPSH and the pump will require a certain NPSH to function. The required NPSH will thus be a characteristic of the chosen pump. Similarly, a dosing pump requires an NPSH value less than the available NPSH for its correct performance.

However, the calculations made for a centrifugal (based on constant flow) will no longer apply. In fact, for a dosing pump, friction losses due to viscosity should be calculated for maximum fiuid velocity: 3.14 ( ) times the mean value. Also acceleration effects must be included and they depend on pump and characteristics of the suction line (Iength and diameter, etc). In addition, unlike most centrifugal pumps, a dosing pumpss

performance can be affected by the discharge system. (see section 3.2). Thus a knowledge of the installation (or assumptions) is necessary to calculate the NPSH available and therefore to determine the performance of the pump in the system.

4.2. NPSH Calculations

During the suction cycle, cavitation is avoided when the absolute pressure at any point remains above the vapour pressure expressed as follows:

NPSH available > NPSH required

4.2.1 Calculation of available static NPSH - NPSHa

Applying Bernouillis formula at point A where the fluid is considered to be static, velocity and acceleration terms become zero.
NPSHa = 10.2 (Pa - Tv) + Ha

NPSH available and NPSH required abbreviated in future to NPSHa and NPSHr .

NPSHa in metres of liquid column (mlc) with: : specific gravity of fluid Ha : physical height in metres Pa, Tv : pressures in bar abs. Some diaphragm pumps with hydraulic lost motion require a minimum static NPSHa. This is so for Dosapro mROY and MAXROY pumps (MILTON ROY EUROPE).

Fig. 4

4.2.2. Determination of head loss along a pipe H

Caused by acceleration Z

In the schematic installation shown in figure 4, the Bernouilli formula describes the conservation of energy. Applied to an incompressible,

viscous fluid whose motion is not constant, results in the formula being written:

Z = 0.016


P-TV L dV L V2 +H+ + 1+(1+2) g g dt d 2g

Z is expressed in mlc with:



with: P g H L V 1 2 d TV : static pressure : fluid density : acceleration due to gravity : physical height : lenght of pipe : fluid velocity : specified load loss coefficient : pipe loss coefficient : pipe diameter : vapour pressure at pumping temperature.

d N

: total lenght of pipe in meters (m) : mean flow in liters per hour (l/h) : diameter of the pipe in millimeters (mm) : stroke speed of the pump in strokes per minute (spm)

Friction loss Y
Friction loss in the suction can usually be obtained from standard table/ graphs, but be careful: maximum flow rate is 3.14 times the mean flow. Calculation is also possible by using the formula: Le Q d4

Y = 3.63

Y is expressed in mlc with: : equivalent pipe lenght in meters : viscosity in centipoise Q, , d : l/h, s.g, mm. Le

Determination of total head loss H

As shown above, losses due to friction are out of phase compared to acceleration losses. The combination of Z and Y depends of their relative levels and H is determined as follows and according to graph of Fig. 5: Calculate Y/Z Find coefficient k using graph in figure 5 Calculate total head Ioss (mlc):

H = kZ Fig. 5

In general, for non viscous fluids, friction losses Y are small compared to acceleration losses, since they are out of phase, have no effect since k = 1. Refer to paragraph 4.3.

4.2.4. Conditions for pumping:

Usually a 2 mlc safety margin is applied to give: NPSHa - H > 2 + NPSHr

If this condition is not met the pump will cavitate and may lose its prime resulting in: - Loss of flow and accuracy - Noise and vibration - Increased wear.

4.2.3. Determination of internal NPSHr

This value depends on the pump selected and the viscosity of the fluid to be pumped, and is provided by the pump manufacturer. In general, for non viscous fluids, the internal NPSH of a dosing pump is not significant compared to acceleration loss. (See paragraph 4.3).

or NPSHa > 2 + H + NPSHr

4.3. The General Case of non viscous fluids

Most application can be treated as non-viscous where friction losses can be ignored and internal NPSH is negligible compared to acceleration losses. In this situation the condition for good performance is:

10.2 (Pa - Tv) + Ha > 2 + 0.016 L Q N d

NOTE Ha is + ve for a flooded suction Ha is - ve for a suction lift

4.4. Improving the NPSH conditions

When it is found that the NPSH conditions are inadequate, a number of modifications can be suggested which usually include: - Increasing NPSHa by increasing Ha. - Siting the pump close to the suction tank reducing L and Le and thus decreasing H. - Increasing the diameter, d, of the suction line reduces Y and Z resulting in a decreasing H - Introducting a suction damper close to the inlet of the pump, reduces the inertia effects and so reduces H.

4.5. NPSH Tests

The internal NPSHr depends on the process fluids viscosity and acceleration losses are determined by the installation arrangement. There is therefore no standard NPSH test available which is meaningful. Tests can be performed using water with a flexible suction line sized to simulate: The available NPSH at the suction of the liquid end, ie: NPSHa - H

The internal NPSHr when a viscous fluid is to be used, ie:


The energy balance, ie: NPSHa - H - NPSHr


5.1. In General
Calculations of viscous friction loss, acceleration loss together with the combined effect is analysed for the discharge in the same manner as the suction was (using the same style of notation d represents discharge). See figure 3.

It is necessary to keep these pressures below the maximum rated for the pump, or any single component, to prevent mechanical failure, or overloaded motor, etc.

5.3. Criteria for overflow/ siphoning effect

During Suction:
(Ha + Za) 10.2

Pmax = Pa +


Ensure that this dynamic pressure at point B (reached at the end of the suction stroke) is less than the static discharge line pressure Pd, otherwise overflow may take place.

During discharge:
Pmin = Pr + (Hd - Zd) 10.2 This Pmin is minimum pressure at D, at the end of the discharge phase and must remain above Pa to ensure there is no overflow. Pmax = Pa + (Ha + Za) 10.2 Also check Pmin is above the vapour pressure of the process fluid or the hydraulic oil (where applicable).

Fig. 3

5.2. Maximum pressure in the liquid end

During Suction:

The maximum pressure is that at the point B at the entry to the liquid end.

During Discharge:
Pmax = Pd + (Hd + Hd + NPSHr) 10.2

Hd is the geometric height of discharge. This maximum pressure is corresponding to pressures C1 or C2.

5.4. Usual Solutions

Pressure fluctuations can be damped when a mutiplex assembly is used or by a pulsation damper. Also note the inclusion of a back pressure/loading valve usually illuminates overflow/siphoning problems due to acceleration.

When a back pressure valve is used, the NPSH calculation incorporates the additional counter pressure. In some cases, the calculation result shows an impossibility, the only remedy being is a pulsation damper. The combined effect of dampers, back pressure/loading valve and

multiplexing is summarised in the following table:

Z Mean flow Acceleration loss

Y Friction loss

H Total loss

Triplex unit (1) Suction Pulsation damper (2) Discharge Pulsation damper (2)


0.5 Z

0.5 Z + Y

0.2 Z

0.2 Y

0.2 Z + 0.2 Y

0.05 Z

0.15 Y

0.05 Z + 0.15 Y

(1) Q, Z, Y based on a single head (2) Typical values.

A pulsation dampening device attenuates both flow and pressure pulsations caused by a reciprocating dosing pump. Its effect is to reduce the inertia effects as shown in figure 6.

6.1. Balancing Pot (Fig. 7)

A suction damping device fitted when pipe lengths cause NPSH problems. During the suction phase of the pump fluid is drawn from the pot, which is kept at the same pressure as the bulk storage tank. Refill of the pot occurs by gravity, during the discharge phase of the pump. Fig. 6

NPSH calculations can now be made for the section of pipe between the pot and the pump. Often the pot can be used as a calibration device or as a means of allowing heavily aerated fluids to gas-off. To size the pot use, 15 to 20 times the pumps swept volume. Fig. 7

6.2. Constant level tank (Fig. 8)

Fig. 8


Principle similar to a balancing pot, plus: - (in left sketch): gravity fed with float valve - (in right sketch): pump fed by a transfer pump or pressurised bulk storage with high and low level control - calibration service can be used as well as gas-release - sizing is similar to a balancing pot: 15 to 20 times pumps swept volume.

6.3.2. Dampers without separators

Pumped fluid is in contact with the dampening gas. An inert gas is usually used, mostIy nitrogen. Frequent maintenance is required since the gas may be absorbed or dissolved by the pumped fluid.

Pulsation damper without separator and with precharge:

Damping gas is introduced under pressure into the vessel. This precharge must be less than the normal line pressure.

Pulsation dampers without separators, without precharge:

The damping gas is not under any pressure. In time, when the pulsations have become too large the following must be done (see Fig. 9): Switch off the pump Isolate the damper by closing valve 1 and opening valve 2 Drain the damper Close valve 2 and open valve 1 Re-start pump
Fig. 10

6.3. Pulsation Dampers

6.3.1. Principle of operation:
Pulsation dampers or dampeners are vessels filled with an inert gas. Compression of the gas dampens the pulsations and reduces the inertia effects. Dampers may be fitted to suction or discharge lines, but have limited efficiency in suction lines. In practice, most dampers operate only with a positive pressure.

Fig. 9

In time, when the pulsations have become too large, simple re-charge the vessel with gas. Unlike the previous system, the pump may be kept running.


The Particular Case of a liquid in a gas-Iiquid equilibrium

It is possible to use a damper without separator which requires no maintenance: the damper has a heated jacket and continuous vaporisation of the liquid which maintains the gasIiquid equilibrium (Fig. 11).

Other versions can be used with PTFE diaphragms, bellows or metal pistons, but there are limitations to their use.

6.3.4. The particular case of resonators or hydraulic silencers (Fig.13)

Unlike previously described dampers, hydraulic silencers do not act as flow dampers. Their use is to filter hydraulic pulsations in order to reduce noise.

Dosing pump installations rarely require such systems since the frequency of pulsations is so low, eg. a triplex pump running at 150 SPM reaches 15 Hz.

Fig 11

6.3.3. Pulsations dampers with separators and pre-charge:

Dampers are pre-charged with gas (Iower than working pressure, usually 60% to 80 %). This gas is separated from the working fluid by a flexible barrier (diaphragm, bladder), often made of elastomer. See Fig. 12.

Fig. 13

6.4. Determining the damper

6.4.1. In General
Sizing of a damper assumes an isothermic inflation (PV = constant) and its operation follows an adiabatic cycle (PV = constant)

Fig. 12


6.4.2. Dampers without pre-charge

The graph in figure 14 gives selection of damper volume without separator and pre-charge, for various working pressures and damping ratios. It is worth noting that 15 Bar is practical maximum pressure.

6.4.3. Damper with pre-charge

The graph in figure 15 allows selection of a precharged damper (with or without a separator) for various damping ratios. A pre-charge of 60% of working pressure has been used. Separator stiffness limits the minimum working pressure to 2 Bar.

Standard rule for selection:

Fig. 14

Precharge at 60% Max temperature 40C Volume equal to 15 stroke volumes of the dosing pump Residual dampening ratio 5%

6.4.4. Important note:

Pre-charge varies with ambient temperature. When dampers are installed outside or in extremes of temperature, the pre-charge needs to be adjusted (consult us).

6.4.5. Corrosion
Materials for the vessel body and separator must be selected to be compatible with the process fluid.

Fig. 15



7.1. Schematics of typical installations
7.1.1 Schematics of good installations

Fig. 18
Fig. 18: Long pipe lengths requiring the use of dampers: balancing pot, pulsation damper...The back-pressure valve creates an artificial counterpressure of 2 Bar minimum; it is not necessary if existing pressure is greater.

Fig. 16

Fig. 16: The pump is located above the tank and fitted with a footvalve (for easier priming). Lines are short on both suction and discharge; suction line is vertical and with a diameter at least equal to the rated connection diameter to the dosing pump; the injection nozzle isolates the pump and reagent from the main flow.

Fig. 19

Fig. 17
Fig. 17: The injection nozzle (or a back-pressure valve) creates an artificial resistance allowing accurate dosing.

Fig. 19: Natural siphoning effect is avoided by using a back-pressure valve A, adjusted so as to maintain the pressure differential H. The pump has a flooded suction and it is necessary to fit a shut off valve and a filter on suction line.


Fig. 20

Fig. 21

Fig. 20: A pump with a high nominal stroke speed (over 140 strokes/ min) often requires the installation of a pulsation dampener on the discharge line (and possibly in addition a back-pressure valve), once the pipe length exceeds 10 meters.

Fig. 21: Pumping with high suction pressure (for example liquefied gas) with a back-pressure valve to avoid a natural siphonning effect. The NPSH calculation is quite important in the case of pumping liquefied gas in gas-Iiquid equilibrium condition.

7.1.1 Schematics of typical bad installations

Fig. 23 Fig. 22
Fig. 23: Risk of gas accumulation and loss of prime. Fig. 22: Suction line too long. Suction lift too high cavitation.

Fig. 24
Fig. 24: Risk of siphoning effect. The pump non return, suction and discharge valves cannot stop siphoning.

Remedies: plan for the pipe length on discharge side increase diameters use a damper install a foot valve and a back pressure valve.

Remedies: arrange for a connection on the tank bottom (use a filter) or vertical suction from above the tank through a footvalve.

Remedies: use a back-pressure valve install a valve on the suction line (case of a flooded suction).


7.3. Particular case of aerated liquids

Fig. 25

Fig. 25: Inefficient damper

Remedy: reverse the relative positions of dampener and backpressure valve.

7.2. Particular case of slurries

The use of a packed plunger liquid end for this type of product is not recommended. Usually, we recommend a diaphragm pump with general advice for installation as follows: - vertical or inclined suction; horizontal discharge - plan for a slight flooded suction - avoid an outlet on the tank bottom - an agitator is recommended - install a flushing line

Fig. 27
Fig. 27: Installation of a gas-freeing pot on the pump suction line (thus avoiding frequent loss of prime) and an inclined connection line between pump and gas-freeing pot to facilitate gas-freeing

low level


Preparation tank
200 mini

flushing water (2 bar)

Fig. 26

to waste

Standard working cycle 1. Agitation of the product in the preparation tank. 2. Pumping 3. When stopped - plan a 15 minute flushing cycle: 3.1. open the water flushing system 3.2. flush while pump is in operation 3.3. shut off MILTON ROY EUROPE PIC valve (item 1) 3.4. stop the process



8.1. In general API Standards
Standards of construction and tests for a dosing pump are defined by API 675 (American Petroleum Institute). However, only piston pumps and hydraulic diaphragm pumps are by this standard. API does not consider the case of mechanically actuated diaphragm pumps represented by Dosapro pumps of LMI, and G series (MILTON ROY EUROPE).

8.3. Repeatability
This characterizes the capacity of a pump to always deliver the same flow for same stroke setting:

8.5. Deviation from rated flow

8.5.1. Proportionality
Dosing pumps always deliver a flow greater than the rated flow indicated in brochures with correction of speed and pressure factors. Moreover, the flow curve, even if perfectly linear, is always shifted in comparison with the proportional theoretical straight line, as shown by figure 31:

Fig. 29

8.2. Linearity
This characterizes the alignment of the flow measured for different settings:

API 675 standard stipulates that repeatability must remain within a 3 % range of the rated flow.

8.4. Steady state accuracy

All parameters remaining unchanged and constant (NPSH, pressures, temperatures, ...), steady state accuracy expresses the precision of the dose at each pump stroke.

Fig. 31

This characteristic should be allowed for in the case of open loop regulation managed by a single set point.
Fig. 28

API 675 standard stipulates that flow points measured are within a 3 % range of rated flow.

Fig. 30

API 675 standard stipulates that repeatibility must remain within 1%.


8.5.2. Influence of pressure

Being a reciprocating pump, the dosing pump flow is hardly affected by the pressure parameter. However, phenomena of compressibility (of fluids, seals...) and hydraulic efficiencies (valves, leaks at stuffingboxes, vents...) result in a slight influence on outputs as pressure increases. Figure 32 shows flow curves of the same pump working at 10 and 100 Bar discharge pressures.

8.5.3. Influence of set adjustment

Obviously the relative influence of aIl these deviations and the ones due to fluid and installation varies along the scale of adjustment. Fig. 33 gives an idea of the relative error on a given pump that corresponds to drive clearances, hydraulic efficiencies, fluid variations.

Fig. 32 Fig. 33

Usually one notices a 0.4 % (plunger pumps) to 1.5 % (certain diaphragm pumps) flow drop for each 10 Bars.

The same level of relative error may not be reached on the full scale of adjustment. In the range 0-10 % relative errors are much more higher.

A network of over 100 distributors and sales and service offices. To find your local representative, visit our website:
NPSH leaflet - Ref. 1NPS 900 401N - 03/06 - Rev. B - No copy allowed.