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Assignment on

Centrifugal Pumps

by
Hasan M. Hasan

Supervised by
Univ.‐Soran.‐Ing. Dr. Jahfar
Contents
1) Abstract ..................................................................................................................................................... 1
2) Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 2
3) Definition................................................................................................................................................... 4
4) The principal of centrifugal pumps ............................................................................................................ 4
5) Pump design .............................................................................................................................................. 5
6) Pump assembly ......................................................................................................................................... 6
 Casing................................................................................................................................................ 6
 Impeller............................................................................................................................................. 7
 Shaft.................................................................................................................................................. 9
 Bearings .......................................................................................................................................... 10
 Sealing............................................................................................................................................. 11
7) Problems at centrifugal Pumps ............................................................................................................... 12
 Cavitation ........................................................................................................................................ 12
 Solids and slurry handling (abrasive medias) .................................................................................. 13
 corrosion ......................................................................................................................................... 14
8) Comparison centrifugal pumps vs. Piston pumps.................................................................................... 14
9) Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................... 15
10) References............................................................................................................................................... 15

Directory I
Table of Figures and Equations
Figure 1 – Pump categories ..................................................................................................................................... 2
Figure 2 – Mud circulation rotary drilling ................................................................................................................ 3
Figure 3 – Mud Cleaning Unit (NGM Technologies)................................................................................................. 3
Figure 4 – Principle of a centrifugal pump ............................................................................................................... 4
Figure 5 – Single and double suction pump ............................................................................................................. 5
Figure 6 – horizontal splitted casing of a double suction pump (lower part)........................................................... 6
Figure 7 – open impeller.......................................................................................................................................... 7
Figure 8 ‐ loss compensation ................................................................................................................................. ..8
Figure 9 – enclosed impeller.................................................................................................................................. ..8
Figure 10 – pump’s crank shaft.............................................................................................................................. ..9
Figure 11 – bearing properties .............................................................................................................................. ..9
Figure 12 – mechanical single seal......................................................................................................................... 10
Figure 13 – regions of impeller cavitation ............................................................................................................. 11
Figure 14 – bubble collapse ................................................................................................................................... 11
Figure 15 – typical impeller wear due to cavitation ....................................................................................................12
Figure 16 – piston pump ........................................................................................................................................ 13

Directory II
1) Abstract
The purpose of this assignment is to give an overview on centrifugal pumps in general and especially in
applications within the petroleum industry. There is a wide range of pumps available but as the radial pump
is by far the most prolific member of the pump family so this paper will concentrate on them. It will first explain
the principal of centrifugal pumps; its types of construction, which bandwidth of pressures and flow rates are
available and how to choose the right pump for a specific application. Also some comparison with another
big family of pumps, the piston pumps, is made. Later chapters deal with typical problems when using
centrifugal pumps such as cavitation’s and corrosion.
Note that this is my first assignment during my studies of Petroleum Engineering. It is meant as a literature
research to scientifically handle a specific topic and to define the state of the art. All sources are listed at the
end of the document in the chapter references.

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2) Introduction
A pump is a machinery or device for raising, compressing or transferring fluid. A fluid can be gasses or any
liquid. Pumps are one of the most often sold and used mechanical devices and can be found in almost every
industry. Due to this there is a wide range of different pumps available. In general, the family of pumps is
separated into positive displacement and kinetic pumps. A subcategory of kinetic pumps is centrifugal pumps
which are again separated into radial pumps, mixed flow pumps and axial pumps. But even at the axial end of
the spectrum there is still a part of the energy coming from centrifugal force unless most of the energy is
generated by vane action. On the other hand side in radial pumps almost all the energy comes from centrifugal
force but there is still a part coming from vane action. There are also several pumps combining both principles
placed somewhere in between the two extremes in the centrifugal pump spectrum known as mixed flow
impellers. Characteristic for radial pumps are low specific speeds. As shown in the diagram below there are
many options in pump design, which will be discussed in detail in later chapters.

Figure 1 – Pump categories

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Within the petroleum industry pumps are necessary to process fluids especially hydrocarbons. Another
important application within the petroleum industry is in the
mud circuit on a drilling rig. On drilling rigs, mud which
consists mainly of water and betonies as well as of several
different additives depending on many different factors is
used. The heart of the mud circuit is the mud pump which is
in general a high pressure piston pump. It provides the major
part of head to overcome the systems resistance. The mud is
pumped through a piping system to the derrick and through
the standpipe to a certain high. Now through the kelly hose
via the gooseneck into the upper kelly cock. It flows through
the kelly and the lower kelly cock into the drill string down
the borehole. At its end, the mud leaves the drilling collars
through the drilling bit. The mud pressure is increased by its
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nozzles and released into the borehole (fig.2 ). The mud cools
the bit and collects the cuttings to transport them up to the
surface where the mud is cleaned. It leaves the borehole and
is forced through the BOP Stack and the chock manifold
system. Now bigger cuttings are removed in the shall shaker
and the mud is collected in the settling pit. It is now pumped
though a degasser to remove any gasses collected from the
borehole to avoid explosions. After degassing, the sand is
removed in a desander and the mud is processed to the mud
cleaner. It consist of several desilters. Here small cuttings
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even smaller than 74µm, are removed. Desander and desilter Figure 2 – Mud circulation rotary drilling
are so called hydrocyclones of different sizes, commonly

charged by centrifugal pumps. At the end of the mud conditioning circuit, a centrifuge is located to remove
anything left. The mud is now stored in tanks and kept in motion by nozzles or agitators. Finally the mud is
sucked through the hopper to the mud pump by another centrifugal pump. To sum up, centrifugal pumps can
be found on several locations within the mud circuit of a drilling rig like to charging degasser, desander, mud
cleaner as well as the mud pump. On rigs centrifugal pumps can also be found as fuel or cooling water pumps
for e.g. diesel engines

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Figure 3 – Mud Cleaning Unit (NGM Technologies)

1
www.q8geologist.com (modified)
2
www.cubility.com (modified)

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3) Definition
Symbol Unit Definition Symbol Unit Definition
D m Impeller diameter ρ kg/m³ density
z m height (pos. upwards from PCL) η ‐ efficiency
ps bar pressure suction flange Q m³/s flow rate
pd bar pressure discharge flange pv bar vaporize pressure
pe bar pressure environment (1bar) P W electric power
g m/s² acceleration of gravity (9,81m/s²) NPSHA m NPSH ‐ available
v m/s velocity NPSHR m NPSH ‐ required
n 1/min rotation per minute H m Head
Shortcut Description
TDH total dynamic head
NPSH net positive suction head
BEP best efficiency point
PCL pump centre line
index: ͳ,ʹ suction side, discharge side

4) The principal of centrifugal pumps


A centrifugal pump is a rotodynamic pump that uses a rotating impeller to increase the pressure of a fluid. The
fluid enters the pump near the rotating axis, streaming into the rotating impeller. The impeller consists of a
rotating disc with several vanes attached. The vanes normally slope backwards, away from the direction of
rotation. When the fluid enters the impeller at a certain velocity due to the suction system, it is captured by the
rotating impeller vanes. The fluid is accelerated by pulse transmission while following the curvature of the
impeller vanes from the impeller centre (eye) outwards. It reaches its maximum velocity at the impeller’s outer
diameter and leaves the impeller into a diffuser or volute chamber (fig.4).

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Figure 4 – Principle of a centrifugal pump

1
www.blogspot.com (modified)
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5) Pump design
Back in 1475, the Italian Renaissance engineer Francesco di Giorgio Martini describes a water or mud lifting
machine in one of his treatises that can be characterised as the first prototype of a centrifugal pump. The first
true centrifugal pump was invented by the French physician Denis Papin in 1689, when he was experimenting
with straight vane impellers. British inventor John Appold introduced the first curved vane impeller in 1851.
Nowadays only curved impellers are used in 3 different types. There are pumps with open, semi‐open and
enclosed impellers. Open impellers only consist of blades attached to its eye as semi‐open ones are
constructed with a disc attached to one side of the vanes. Enclosed impellers have discs attached to both sides
of the vanes. Impellers are also classified based on the number of points where the fluid can enter the pump.
There are single suction, which allow the fluid to enter its centre from only one side, as well as double suction
impellers which can be entered by fluid from both sides simultaneously. These types of construction are also
known as overhung impeller pumps and impeller between bearings pumps as shown in fig 5.

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Figure 5 – Single and double suction pump

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ITT – Goulds Pumps

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6) Pump assembly
In this chapter, the main parts, a centrifugal pump consist of are discussed. These are the casing, the impeller,
shaft, bearings and seals.

 Casing
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The pump’s casing (fig.6 ) houses the hole assembly and protects is from harm as well as forces the
fluid to discharge from the pump and convert velocity into pressure. The casings design does not
influence TDH but is important to reduce friction losses. It supports the shaft bearings and takes the
centrifugal forces of the rotating impeller and axial loads caused by pressure thrust imbalance. Most of
all centrifugal pumps are of simple spiral casing and are not equipped with a guide vane aperture. Even
if this would increase efficiency due to the simplicity of spiral
casings, this is the preferred type of construction. Only
extraordinary big or multistage pumps do have guide vanes. The
spiral pump casing has to be carefully designed to avoid
turbulences resulting in a decrease in efficiency. The shape of
the casing is defined by several factors; these are profiles
angles, diameter and width. The whole amount of fluid flows
through the discharge cross section, the amount of fluid is
decreasing when going backwards in the spiral, from point of
view of flow direction. Therefore the area of the profiles is Figure 6 – horizontal splitted casing
decreasing continuously as well, to fit the flow rate in the specific of a double suction pump (lower
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part)
point of the pump casing. The result is a spiral shaped casing. The

optimum properties of the spiral were found in experiments and expressed in formulas and diagrams.
The fluid velocity is not constantly distributed over a certain profile section. Modern Pumps are
designed for a constant pressure and constant mean velocity in every profile section at the BEP. Apart
from the BEP, the radial forces are out of balance resulting in a total radial force different to zero. This
is important because the radial force bends the pump’s shaft and results in higher wear at seals and
could lead to shaft fatigue.

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 Impeller
The impeller is the essential part of a centrifugal pump. The performance of the pump depends on the
impeller diameters and design. The pump’s TDH is basically defined by the impeller’s inner and outer
diameter and the pump’s capacity is defined by the width of the impeller vanes. In general, there are
three possible types of impellers, open, enclosed and semi open impellers, each suitable for a specific
application. Standard impellers are made of cast iron or carbon steel, while impeller for aggressive
fluids and slurries require high end materials to ensure a long pump life.

O Open impeller
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Open impellers (fig.7 ) are the simplest type of
impellers. They consist of blades attached to the hub.
This type of impeller is lighter than any of the other
type at the same diameter. Weight reduction leads to
less force applied to the shaft and allows smaller shaft
diameters. These results in lower costs compared to
equivalent shrouded impellers. Typically, open
impellers operate at higher efficiency because there is
no friction between the shrouds and the pump casing.
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Figure 7 – open impeller On the other hand side, open impellers have to be

carefully positioned in the casing. The gap between the impeller and the surrounding casing should be
as small as possible to maximise efficiency. As the impeller wears the clearance between the impeller
and the front and back walls open up, what leads to a dramatic drop in efficiency. A big problem when
using a pump with an open impeller are abrasives. Due to the minimized clearance between blades
and casing, high velocity fluids in close proximity to the stationary casing establish vortices that increase
wear dramatically.

1
Hwww.mcnallyinstitute.com (left), ITT – Goulds Pumps (right)
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o Enclosed impeller
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Enclosed impellers (fig.9 ) consist of blades covered
by a front and back shroud. The fluid steams through
the impeller without interacting with the stationary
pump casing. In a well designed enclosed impeller, the
relative velocity between the fluid and the impeller walls
at any given radius is rather small. The disc friction of
the shrouds rotating in close proximity to the pump
casing causes a lower efficiency as comparable semi‐
open or open impellers. A problem when dealing with
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Figure 9 – enclosed impeller enclosed impellers is leakage between the impeller

shrouds and the pump casing back to the suction side of the pump. There are two common ways for
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controlling leakage in enclosed impeller pumps (fig.8 ). One are
wear rings in combination with impeller balance holes. But the tight
clearance between the rotating and the stationary wear ring causes
high fluid velocities and therefore a high wear rate. Wear ring
lifespan is unacceptable short in an abrasive environment. If wear
rings reach the end of their intended lifespan, it has to be replaced
because if it is not the high velocity zone can shift from the wear
ring into the impeller thrust balance holes. This could cause
significant damage to the impeller and may result in an expensive
repair or replacement of the impeller. So this is only an option when
dealing with moderate abrasive fluids with light solids only. The
other possibility to control wear and axial thrust balance are pump‐
out vanes. These pump‐out vanes cause much lower local velocities
spread over a bigger area resulting in lower wear. It is not
uncommon, that pump‐out vane lifespan equals or exceeds the main
impeller’s lifespan. The major disadvantage of pump out vanes is
their power consumption what leads to a lower efficiency. Overall
pump‐out vanes provide a good pump characteristic when dealing
with abrasive solids. Another problem when operating an enclosed
impeller in combination with fluids contaminated by large solids like
rocks is that it may happen that a piece of solid gets caught in the
impeller eye outlet. This may cause a mechanical or hydraulically
imbalance and has the potential to damage the pump. In an open or
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semi‐open impeller this rock would be broken by the grinding Figure 8 ‐ loss compensation

between the rotating impeller and the stationary casing. To remove the blockage disassembling of the
pump would be necessary.

1
http://knowledgepublications.com (left), www.engineersedge.com (right)
2
Lawrence Pumps Inc., RunTimes jan.05 issue (modified)

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 Shaft
The shaft is the connection between impeller and drive unit which is in most cases an electric motor
but can also be a gas turbine. It is mainly charged by a radial force caused by unbalanced pressure
forces in the spiral casing and an axial force due to the pressure difference between front and backside
of the impeller as shown in fig 10. Most common pump shafts are made of carbon steel. There are
several cranks to support the bearings and seals. A high surface quality and small clearances are
required. Especially in the areas of the bearing’s, clearance and surface quality is important to ensure
right positioning of the shaft in the casing and therefore close positioning clearances of the impeller.
At the area of the seals, particularly the surface quality is important to ensure an adequate seal
lifespan. In shaft design it is also important to avoid small radiuses at cranks to minimize stress in these
areas which are susceptible for fatigue.

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Figure 10 – pump’s crank shaft

 Bearings
The bearings keep the shaft in place to ensure radial and
axial clearance. Some approximate bearing properties can be
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seen in fig.11 . The bearings lead radial and axial forces from
the impeller into the casing. In double suction pumps
bearings are located at both sides of the impeller as at single
suction pumps all bearings are located behind the impeller.
In horizontal process pumps, usually oil bath lubricated
bearings are used. Medium and heavy duty process pumps
are used in refineries, where highest reliability is required. In
these pumps axial loads are supported by universal single
row angular contact ball bearings. In heavy duty process
pumps, also matched taper roller bearings with steep
contact angles, arranged face to face or back to back are
used to support combinations of high radial and axial loads.
In very high duty service and slurry pumps, spherical roller
bearings can be used to support very high radial loads. A
spherical thrust bearing is used to support axial loads. It is
usually spring preloaded to ensure that sufficient load is
applied during start up or pump shutdown.

1 2
ITT – Goulds pumps (modified) Figure 11 – bearing properties
2
Pump User’s Handbook (by Heinz P. Bloch, Allan R. Budris)

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 Sealing
To protect the bearings against fluid and prevent leakage, there are several seals fitted into the casing.
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Nowadays, rotary pumps are equipped with mechanical seals (fig.12 ). A mechanical seal consists of
primary and secondary sealing. In most cases the primary part, which is fitted to the casing, is made of
a hard material like silicon carbide or tungsten carbide. The other, the rotating part of the primary seal
is made of a soft material like carbon. Both parts are pressed against each other by e.g. a spring. The
secondary sealings are not rotating relative to each other and provide a fluid barrier. Mechanical seals
can be separated into pusher/non‐pusher seals, seal driving/spring compression, balanced/unbalanced
and inside/outside mounting.
Pusher seals will have a tendency to
“hang up” when handling fluids
which crystallize because the
secondary seal member is not able
to accommodate for travel.
Whether applying a balanced or
unbalanced seal will effect seal
performance. Unbalanced seals see
a high pressure at the impeller side
and therefore have a reduced fluid
film between the seal faces. This
leads to overheating, rapid face
wear and seal fatigue at early
stages. To simplify maintenance
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many seals are available in Figure 12 – mechanical single seal
cartridges which are pre‐packed

seal assemblies. To avoid any leakage when handling hazard fluids, double or tandem seals can be
applied. In these seals, a secondary so called containment seal is placed after the primary one. The
space in between is filled with a natural fluid called barrier or buffer fluid. These seals are very
common in the petroleum industry. The difference between a tandem and a double seal is that in a
double seal the barrier fluid is pressurised. Due to this, in case of primary seal fatigue the pressurised
barrier fluid streams into the pumps instead of the hazard fluid into the atmosphere. The seal materials
must fit the fluid to ensure accurate seal lifespan. The standards of modern mechanical seals are widely
defined by API Standard 682 ‐ Shaft Sealing Systems for Centrifugal and Rotary Pumps.

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US patent 2951719

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7) Problems at centrifugal Pumps
A major problem at centrifugal pumps is, like at all fast moving parts in a fluid, cavitation. Other difficulties
obtain solid handling, abrasives and corrosives as well as leakage. Most errors during pump operation can be
avoided by selecting a quality pump designed for the application and adequate maintenance.

 Cavitation
Cavitation occurs when the static pressure in a fluid is lower than
the fluids vapour pressure, mostly caused by high velocities. Due
to Bernoulli’s law, static pressure decreases when velocity is
increasing. If this happens, the fluid locally starts boiling and forms
gas bubbles which need more space than the fluid would take.
In a centrifugal pumps’s impeller, the bubbles are moving to an
area of decreasing pressure. If the pressure now exceeds the
vapour pressure, the gas condensates at the bubble’s inner
surface and so collapse rapidly. This implosion of gas bubbles
causes high, temporarily pressure fluctuations of up to a few
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1000bar. As the fluid flows from higher to lower pressure, this Figure 13 – bubble collapse

flow causes a jet of the surrounding fluid, which may hit the surface. These high energy micro‐jets
cause high compressive stress weakening the material. Finally, crater‐shaped deformations and holes
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known as cavitation pitting (fig.13 ) occur. Other reasons for cavitation can be a rise of fluid
temperature, a low pressure at the suction side or an increase of delivery height. Cavitations in
centrifugal pumps mainly occur at the impeller leading edges (fig.14) but also at the impeller vane,
wear rings and thrust balance holes. To avoid cavitation, it is important to deliver sufficient NPSH and
to keep fluid temperature low. High fluid temperatures can occur if the pump is on to keep the
pressure up but no fluid is taken out

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Figure 14 – regions of impeller cavitation

The harm of cavitation to the impeller and other parts of the pump is significant.

1
www.motorlexikon.de (modified)
2
www.cheresources.com (modified)
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Figure 15 – typical impeller wear due to cavitation

 Solids and slurry handling (abrasive medias)


When expecting solids in the fluid or dealing with slurries, it is important to select a pump that is
designed for this application. On the other hand side, slurry pumps are much more expensive than a
standard water pump, so the decision is not that easy. As there is a very wide range of slurries it is
useful to divide them into three categories, light, medium and heavy slurries as shown in the table
below.

property light slurry medium slurry heavy slurry


particle size <200µm 0,2mm – 5mm >5mm
settling / non settling non settling settling & non settling settling
specific gravity <1,05 1,05 – 1,15 >1,15
amount of solids <5% 5% ‐ 20% 20%

To provide a pump that can be used with slurries, special design features must be made. Slurry pumps
can be equipped with e.g. thicker wear sections, larger impellers, special material and semi‐volute or
concentric casing. All these features extend pump lifespan but also cause disadvantages like higher
initial costs, higher weight or less efficiency. Slurry pumps can be separated into two main categories,
rubber lined and hard metal pumps. At rubber lined pumps, the inner surface is covered by a layer of
rubber, to absorb solid’s impact energy. Rubber lined pumps have a limited application range. This
type of wear prevention is only suitable for light at least for medium slurries at low head applications.
Also the fluid temperature should not exceed 150°C. Rubber lined pumps are not applicable for
hydrocarbon based slurries. On the other hand side, hard metal pumps are suitable for high power
applications used at even heavy slurries. Hard metal slurry pumps can also handle sharp, jagged solids
even at fluid temperatures above 150°C. Standard hard metal slurry pumps can be designed of hardened
steel but for high corrosive fluids high alloyed steels are used. When selecting a hard metal pump it is
important that the pump material is harder than the solid particles. Cartable ceramics provide
excellent resist to erosion but limit impeller tip velocity. The lifespan of a pump can be increased
by selecting the correct materials of construction. Another important factor when handling slurries is
speed. By decreasing the pumps RPM also the fluid speed is decreasing and therefore the solid’s
speed is decreasing too. This leads to lower impact energy and less wear. Experiments by pump
manufacturers have shown that a slurry pump’s wear rate is proportional to speed raised by the

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www.korros.de

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power of 2,5. Therefore, by decreasing the speed of a slurry pump by half, this will lead to
approximately 6 times lifespan. For this reason most slurry pumps are operated at slowest speed
possible equipped with impeller large in diameter to increase pump lifespan.

 corrosion
Corrosion is breaking down of essential properties in a material due to chemical or electrochemical
reactions with its surroundings. As there is a wide range of pump applications within the chemical
industry, including the petroleum industry, handling oil and gas up to high aggressive acids it is
important to provide pumps that can be operated under these difficult conditions. There are several
types of corrosion and many factors it depends on, like fluid temperature, contained elements and pH‐
value. Most common and dangerous corrosion in pumps is the so called uniform corrosion. This is the
overall attack of a corrosive liquid on a metal. The chemical reactions between fluid and metal surface
lead to uniform metal loss on the moistened surface, known as corrosive wear. To minimize corrosive
wear it is important to select a resistant pump material.

8) Comparison centrifugal pumps vs. Piston pumps


Centrifugal and piston pumps base on two different physical principles to
cause flow. While a centrifugal pump accelerates the fluid along impeller
vanes, a piston pump causes flow by the principle of positive
displacement. The pressure in a piston pump is directly increased by fluid
displacement, due to a force applied on an enclosed fluid volume. At the
first step, only the inlet check valve is open and the back moving piston
sucks fluid from the suction side. After a half rotation of the cam, the
piston reaches the back dead centre. Now the piston starts moving
forward and applies a force on the fluid. Therefore, the inlet check valve
closes and the outlet check valve opens. The fluid is pressed into the
piping at the discharge side. After the piston reaches the forward dead
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centre, fluid is sucked in again (fig.16 ). Obviously, a piston pump causes 1
Figure 16 – piston pump
a pulsating flow, what is the first major difference. To reduce these

pulsations, piston pumps are mainly designed as duplex, triplex or multiplex pumps. Most applications require
an additional pulsation damper to reduce pulsations in the piping system. General centrifugal pumps are
unstable at low flow rates but are a good choice at medium up to high flow rates. Piston pumps could be
manufactured for similar flow rates but would get extraordinary big and too expensive for most applications.
Centrifugal pumps are most suitable for low to medium pressure application while piston pumps are generally
used in high pressure service. Multistage centrifugal pumps can be designed for pressured up to 400bar but are
most efficient at high flow rates. Piston pumps on the other hand are generally a better choice for applications
exceeding 200bar at low to medium flow rates. A piston pump is continuously increasing the pressure, while
working against an enclosed fluid volume. Therefore, a relief valve is needed to prevent pump and piping
system of overpressure. Centrifugal pumps cannot increase pressure upon the pumps typical shut‐off pressure
on the pump characteristic curve. The shut‐off pressure is always lower than the pump’s design pressure and in
a well designed application also lower than the piping systems maximum pressure. So when using a centrifugal
pump, no relief valve is needed. An exception is to prevent the pump of damage due to temperature rise at low
flow rates or shut down the pump and ensure a minimum flow to keep it stable. As a centrifugal pump
operates on a various‐flow, various‐head curve, the flow rate increases if the discharge pressure is reduced. A
piston pump always delivers a constant flow rate at a given speed, independent of discharge pressure.

1
www.lcresources.com (modified)
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Generally, centrifugal pumps, apart from special designs of some manufactures, are not self priming. So most
applications require an external priming source. In application where both, a centrifugal pump as well as a
piston pump, may be suitable another factor is required space and costs. A centrifugal pump is in general
cheaper in acquisition and maintenance and requires less space than a comparable piston pump. On the other
hand side, a piston pump requires less power. Of course this is only a general guideline. A pump operated
outside of its optimum operating parameters can turn this around by causing e.g. higher maintenance costs.
Therefore a pump should be carefully selected to avoid extra costs. So it is important to know that centrifugal
pumps are suitable for handling clear, non abrasive fluids up to abrasive fluids with a high amount of solids, but
do not work well with high viscous fluids because efficiency would drop dramatically. There would also appear
problems when handling fluids combined with gasses due to the required close clearances. Piston pumps also
work well for clean, clear non abrasive fluids up to abrasive slurries. Due to the relatively low fluid velocities,
piston pumps are unsusceptible to erosions and wear.

Centrifugal pump Piston pump


optimum flow and pressure medium/high capacity low/medium capacity
application low/medium pressure medium/high pressure
maximum flow rate 50000m³/h + 3000m³/h +
low flow capability no yes
maximum pressure 400bar+ 7000bar+
requires relief valve no yes
smooth or pulsating flow smooth pulsating
self priming no yes
variable or constant flow variable constant
space conditions requires less space requires more space
fluid handling Suitable for a wide range including Suitable for clean, clear, non‐
clean, clear, non‐abrasive fluids to abrasive fluids. Specially‐fitted
fluids with abrasive, high‐solid pumps suitable for abrasive‐slurry
content. service.
fluid viscosity Not suitable for high viscosity Suitable for high viscosity fluids
fluids
gases Lower tolerance for entrained Higher tolerance for entrained
gases gases
costs lower initial higher initial
lower maintenance higher maintenance
higher power lower power

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9) Conclusion
Because of the wide range of applications and millions of sold pumps, nowadays centrifugal pumps are
technically mature machines. Reasons for high efficiencies are a lot of experience as well as modern finite
element optimization. These flow optimizations procedures are standard engineering methods and lead to
well- constructed casings and impellers. This leads to many different special designs, constructed for a specific
range of applications. Equipped with well selected anti wear systems and materials in combination with
reasonable maintenance, a long lifespan can be met.

Internet sources:

ITT – Goulds Pumps http://www.gouldspumps.com

Light my Pump http://www.lightmypump.com/pump_glossary.htm

Mc Nally Institute http://www.mcnallyinstitute.com

Yokota Manufacturing Co., Ltd. http://www.aquadevice.com

The engineering tool box http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com

The cubility http://www.cubility.com

Marineonnotes blogspot http://www.blogspot.com

The Ic resources http://www.lcresources.com

Literature:

Lawrence Pumps – Run Times, sept.04, jan.05 & oct.05 issue (by Dale B. Andrews)

World Pumps, sept.07 issue (by Joseph R. Askew)

Pump User’s Handbook (by Heinz P. Bloch, Allan R. Budris)

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