You are on page 1of 34

Pumps & Systems Magazine

PD Pump Fundamentals, Design and Applications (Part One)


Written by Hydraulic Institute PD Pump Members
Pumps & Systems, February 2009

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of five articles based on the Hydraulic Institute's new
Positive Displacement (PD) Pumps: Fundamentals, Design and Applications e-Learning
course. To read the next article in the series, click here.

Positive displacement pumps are used in a myriad of applications across multiple industries.
Users have found them to be the solution to many specific pumping challenges; however, due to
their size, simplicity and ruggedness, they often are not as well understood as other pump types.

Technologies within the extensive positive displacement family enable coverage of a broad
range of horsepower, fluid and pressure applications. These products, therefore, merit increased
consideration in a user's pump selection process. To assist pump users with a proper
understanding of definitions, applications, installation, operation, maintenance and testing
procedures the Hydraulic Institute publishes ten ANSI/HI Standards covering PD pumps
including: Air Operated, Controlled Volume Metering, Reciprocating and Rotary.

Figure 1. Positive Displacement Pump Family Tree.

ANSI/HI standards perform a vital function in pump industry commerce and serve important
roles in minimizing misunderstandings in the marketplace. The Hydraulic Institute, however, has
extended its mission to include the development of a pump knowledge and education portfolio in
response to member and pump user needs. Among the first key elements are a re-launch of the
Centrifugal Pump e-Learning course and the development of a new Positive Displacement Pump
course covering fundamentals, design and applications. These, and future courses, will be hosted
within HI's new educational portal, http://www.pumplearning.org/.

Curriculum Overview

The PD pump e-Learning course is a five module internet-delivered learning program designed
to provide users with broad and comprehensive knowledge of positive displacement pumping
technologies. Material is highly visual and interactive, designed to allow students to take full
advantage of the latest internet technology.

Content is arranged in independent modules with each one focusing on markets and applications,
as well as providing basic recommended technical terms and fundamentals for an understanding
of positive displacement pump hydraulics. The first two modules in the series are:

• Why Positive Displacement Pumps


• Positive Displacement Pump Hydraulics

Three other modules are each devoted to a specific positive displacement pump technology. To
enhance the users learning experience, these modules rely heavily on color photographs of
pumps and pumping installations.

• Rotary Pumps, including: Vane, Rotary Piston, Flexible Member, Lobe, Gear,
Circumferential, Piston, Progressing Cavity, Timed Screw, Untimed Screw
• Reciprocating Pumps, including: Power, Direct Acting, Power Diaphragm, Air
Operated Double Diaphragm, Air Operated Piston
• Metering Pumps, including: Torque Sources, Drive Mechanisms, Capacity Control,
Liquid End Reviews
Multiple 1500-hp Rotary Pump Heavy Crude Loading Station.

Modules are designed for either self-instruction, instructor lead courses by the twelve PD pump
company sponsors or as HI sponsored webinars. Each module, designed to stand alone or
combined with others, includes an examination and completion certificates suitable for submittal
for PDH or CE credit. [af1]

Pump education courses typically highlight rotodynamic (centrifugal and vertical) pumps, and a
good knowledge of that technology is helpful in understanding positive displacement pumps.
Many subjects are common, but certain terms and concepts are unique because PD pumps
involve an entirely different technology.

Centrifugal vs. PD Pumps

In simple terms, a centrifugal pump impeller moves a stream of liquid from the pump suction to
a discharge cone where velocity is gradually decreased and converted to pressure energy. A
positive displacement pump, however, moves a set volume of liquid. Pressure is obtained as
liquid is forced through the pump discharge into the system, thereby converting energy to
pressure.

One example of this principle is demonstrated by reciprocating motion where the movement of a
piston forces liquid out of a closed cylinder, which has (inlet) suction and discharge valves to
control flow. This forms one of the major PD technologies, reciprocating pumps. In portions of
their operating range, reciprocating pumps are the single technology that can successfully
provide the necessary pumping solution.

Rotary pumps constitute the second major positive displacement category in which a pumping
chamber and a pumping element are actuated by the relative rotation of the drive shaft to the
casing. This family is distinguished by having no valves on the inlet or discharge. These types of
pumps are available in a number of different pumping principles, each with its own features and
benefits that provide specific pumping solutions.

The third major category is controlled volume metering pump (CVMP). These types of pumps
are often known as chemical injection feed pumps or dosing pumps. Essentially, these are
reciprocating positive displacement pumps configured to accurately dispense a set volume of
liquid in a specified time period. They may include one of several types of mechanisms for
varying the effective displacement. These types of pumps are used in applications requiring
highly accurate, repeatable and adjustable rates of flow.

Pumping Solution Products

Technologies within PD pumps are often called "pumping solution products," as they perform
that function for applications across a broad range of process conditions. For example, rotary PD
pumps can handle highly viscous product (3,000,000 SSU) while reciprocating pumps handle
water thin liquids. PD pumps handle flow rates from less than 1-gpm to 15,000-gpm, and
pressures from a few psi to 70,000-psi and higher. PD pumps, at constant speed, are constant
flow rate devices, but centrifugal pumps are variable flow rate devices. Generally, PD pumps
require some type of pressure protection, and certain designs will require pulsation control.
System design requirements are different from centrifugal pumps.

PD pumps may be found almost anywhere, but a generally accepted view is that 90+ percent go
into applications within these top six industrial market segments:

• Oil and Gas


• Water and Wastewater Treatment
• Chemical
• Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical
• Power
• General Industrial (Marine/Medical/OEM)

Many of these industries represent multiple markets. Oil and gas, for example, has distinctly
different applications for PD pumps across its segments: exploration, production, pipeline,
processing and distribution marketing.

The food and beverage market is another key positive displacement market with multiple
segments such as beverage, bakery, confectionary, dairy and meat packaging.

Selection Consideration: Twelve Benefits of PD Pumps

In many markets, there are applications that clearly should be positive displacement and
applications that are clearly centrifugal. It is important for the user or specifying engineer to
recognize, however, that there are also a broad range of applications where both types should be
considered and selection should be based on the results that the user desires.

In such consideration, there are reasons why positive displacement pumps make an ideal
solution to specific pumping requirements. Twelve suggested reasons to use PD pumps are
summarized below, grouped by fluid characteristics, process conditions, environmental system
requirements and flow control. Additionally, Figure 3 provides a matrix of these 12 reasons
compared to the primary markets of PD pumps. Some may surprise you.

Figure 3. Matrix Market Application vs. Desired Pump Characteristics

Fluid Characteristics

High Viscosity

Selected rotary technologies and air operated piston pumps easily handle highly viscous fluids.
Due to high friction losses in centrifugal pumps, their flow rate and efficiency start to drop
above 500 SSU. Flow and efficiency in a rotary pump, however, typically increase with
viscosity. PD pumps can handle fluids with viscosities of several million SSU.

Low and Variable Viscosity

PD pumps, such as vane or air operated double diaphragm (AODD), are often applied on very
thin fluids. Other liquids, such as oil, have viscosities that vary with temperature. With variable
viscosity liquids, a moderately small change in viscosity may have a large effect on centrifugal
efficiency but little effect on PD pump efficiency.

Low Shear Pumping Required

In many fluid applications, liquid shear is not a problem; however, it is critical in some
applications. PD pumps excel in the handling of shear sensitive fluids.

Solids Handling Capability

Progressing cavity pumps handling high solids content sludge in a waste treatment plant and
reciprocating pumps are applied on coal slurry pipeline with solids contents as high as 40
percent by weight. This is sometimes a surprising PD pump characteristic, but widely varied
applications serve as examples.

Multi-Phase Flow

A constant source of liquid is a centrifugal pump requirement, but unfortunately all processes do
not provide such constant sources. If there is insufficient liquid, a gas bubble forms in the
suction and causes loss of prime (the pump stops pumping). PD pumps, on the other hand, are
capable of handling a high percentage of air or gas entrainment.

Process Condition

High Pressure

Beyond the range of centrifugal pumps are many chemical, sandblasting and high-pressure
water-cutting applications where PD pump technology dominates. Figure 4 provides an
overview of the pressure and capabilities among pump technologies.

Figure 4. Technology Flow Pressure Range Chart.

Low Flow

Flow below 100-gpm and above 200-psi provides excellent application opportunities for PD
pump technology.

Efficiency

For viscous fluids where both PD and centrifugal pumps can operate, PD pumps can often be 10
to 40 points more efficient than centrifugal pumps.

Combination of High Pressure/Low Flow-Efficiency Demand

Any of the previous three characteristics individually are a reason to use PD pumps; however, in
applications where all of these conditions occur simultaneously, a PD pump solution is ideal.
Figure 4 provides an overview of the pressure and capabilities among pump technologies.

Environmental System Requirements

Sealless Pumping (No Shaft Seal)

Magnetic drives and canned motor pumps are available in PD pump designs. The requirement is
also met by designs where the pumping environment does not have a shaft penetration, such as
peristaltic or diaphragm pumps.

Self-Priming and Inlet Conditions

The ability to self-prime is a useful feature for PD pumps as it allows substantial flexibility in
system layout and eliminates the need for suction priming systems. PD pumps are self-priming,
have excellent suction lift capabilities (raising liquids on the suction side) and are capable of
drawing down to near vacuum.

Flow Control

Constant Flow Against Variable System Pressure

At a constant speed, PD pumps deliver practically constant flow. Flow is constant even if the
system pressure varies, which is a desirable condition in certain systems.

Accurate Repeatable Measurement

Since a PD pump is a constant flow device, certain designs that limit slip are ideal for metering
fluids in or out of systems. This application, of course, requires accuracy and repeatability. It
also may need flow variation, which is typically obtained mechanically or electronically by
speed variation.

There is a universe of standard PD solutions in addition to the bakers dozen described here. As
these pumps also must meet many other requirements, manufacturers provide products with
special options such as jacketing, non-corrosive materials and built-in pressure relief valves.

Some PD units have duty cycle limits that users are advised to investigate. It is important to note
PD pumps are constant torque devices. In variable speed applications, VFD drives must be rated
with that understanding.

Fundamentals of PD Pumps: Online Learning

Extensive material is provided in the HI PD pump e-Learning modules to allow for expanded
and detailed understanding of these items and applications. The course contains more than 500
screens of information in five separate modules for 10 hours of credit work for those seeking
PDH or CE credit.

With the development of Positive Displacement Pumps: Fundamentals, Design and


Applications, HI has again reached a new level in its role of serving member companies and
pump professionals. The entire five-module course is now available at its website. Recently
debuted by Hydraulic Institute, PumpLearning.org was created to serve as the ultimate "go to"
center for information on pumps and pumping technologies, and provides knowledge seekers
with a panoply of sources and opportunities to gain state-of-the-art intelligence. Offerings
presented on the new user-focused website include: e-Learning Courses (now featuring HI's
latest course, Positive Displacement Pumps: Fundamentals, Design and Applications, and the
updated and soon-to-be released course, Rotodynamic [Centrifugal] Pumps: Fundamentals,
Design and Applications), webcasts, conferences and special programs jointly sponsored by
renowned industry experts. The site is constantly updated to present users with the latest news,
activities and connections to the industry.

Hydraulic Institute is the largest association of pump producers in North America and the
"value-add" standard-setting resource for member companies and pump users worldwide.

This course has been created by Positive Displacement Pump experts and HI Sponsors:

• ARO/Ingersoll Rand
• Colfax-IMO & Warren Pump
• Flowserve Pump Division
• Grundfos Pumps Corporation
• Iwaki American Corporation
• Leistritz Corporation
• Milton Roy Company
• Moyno, Inc.
• Roper Pump
• Siemens Water Technologies

• Union Pump
PD Pump Fundamentals, Design and Applications (Part Two)
Written by Hydraulic Institute Positive Displacement Pump Sponsors
Pumps and Sytems, March 2009

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of five articles based on the Hydraulic Institute's
new Positive Displacement (PD) Pumps:

Positive displacement (PD) pumps are used in a myriad of applications across multiple
industries. Users have found them to be the solution to many specific pumping challenges;
however, due to their size, simplicity and ruggedness, they often are not as well understood as
other pump types.

Technologies within the extensive positive displacement family cover a broad range of
horsepower, fluid and pressure applications. These products merit increased consideration in a
user's pump selection process. To assist pump users with a proper understanding of definitions,
applications, installation, operation, maintenance and testing procedures, the Hydraulic Institute
publishes ten ANSI/HI Standards covering PD pumps including: Air Operated, Controlled
Volume Metering, Reciprocating and Rotary.

ANSI/HI standards perform a vital function in pump industry commerce and serve important
roles in minimizing misunderstandings in the marketplace. The Hydraulic Institute has extended
its mission to include the development of a pump knowledge and education portfolio in response
to member and pump user needs. Among the first key elements are a re-launch of the Centrifugal
Pump e-Learning course and the development of a new Positive Displacement Pump course
covering fundamentals, design and applications.

Last month, we provided an overview of the curriculum and an overview of positive


displacement pumps, as well as the 12 benefits of PD pumps.

This installment will focus on "Positive Displacement Pump Hydraulics," which introduces the
fundamental physical concepts and fluid properties that affect positive displacement pump
selection and operation.

Since many of these properties affect positive displacement pumps differently than centrifugal
pumps, it is critical to understand the interaction between the pump and the fluid, and how the
operation of positive displacement pumps differs from centrifugal pumps. Without this
foundation of fundamental principles, it would be difficult to effectively learn about the myriad
of positive displacement pumps (to be presented in the next three articles).

On the most basic level, pumps are used to provide pressure and/or flow so that the pump user
can accomplish a specified task. With this premise in mind, note that positive displacement
pumps create flow, not pressure. The pressure on the pump is a function of the system's reaction
to the delivered flow due to pipe losses, restrictions and elevation changes. See Figure 1 for an
explanation of gauge versus absolute pressure; these two different reference points have caused
confusion through the years.

Figure 1. Gauge versus Absolute Pressure

Since positive displacement pumps theoretically generate flow independent of discharge


pressure, Figures 2 and 3 show how the delivered flow rate is affected by the differential
pressure and speed. This is a fundamental difference between positive displacement pumps and
centrifugal pumps. The delivered flow rate is the theoretical flow rate minus the internal slip of
the pump. The slip is the internal leakage that occurs in the pump due to clearances, viscosity
and differential pressure, and will vary between pump types and applications.

Figures 2 and 3.
Of course, nothing comes for free, and every pump requires a certain amount of power to
perform work. The pump input power is comprised of the theoretical liquid horsepower and the
internal power losses at the operating point. The theoretical liquid horsepower is the work done
to move the theoretical volume of fluid from inlet to outlet pressure and is solely based on the
physical dimensions of the pumping elements, the operating speed and the differential pressure.
On the other hand, the internal power losses account for the mechanical and viscous losses that
occur as the pump operates. It is typical that the mechanical loss is the major component when
operating at low viscosities, while the viscous loss is larger at high viscosities. These losses in
turn affect the overall efficiency of the pump.

Fluid characteristics play a major role with positive displacement pumps since most of these
pumps are used to handle products other than water. The most important fluid property is
viscosity, which is the fluid's ability to resist a shearing force, or how easily the fluid will flow.
Viscosity affects pump selections due to its impact on operating speed, allowable differential
pressure, suction capability and input power. Since viscosity is typically temperature dependent,
it is important to know what the viscosity values will be over the entire operating temperature
range, from cold start-up to maximum upset condition. Viscosity can be expressed in many
different units, the most common being SSU, SSF, centipoises (cP) and centistokes (cSt). Units
depend on which viscometer instrument was used to evaluate the different fluids. These values
are tabulated in many texts, and several examples are provided in the module (see sidebar for
more information).

Along with viscosity, it is essential to understand how a fluid reacts to being pumped. A fluid
can have a constant viscosity (at a particular temperature and pressure) regardless of the rate of
shear (known as a Newtonian fluid), or the viscosity can vary with the shear rate and shear stress
(known as a Non-Newtonian fluid). Non-Newtonian fluids are divided into five types: plastic,
pseudo-plastic, dilatant, thixotropic and rheopectic. The first three are time independent since the
viscosity is simply a function of the shear stress, while the last two are dependent on both time
and shear stress. To accurately determine the viscosity of non-Newtonian fluids, it is usually
necessary to take measurements at several points. If the apparent viscosity is not accurate, it can
result in an improper pump selection.

Beyond viscosity, several other fluid characteristics relate to positive displacement pump
selection and operation. One of these characteristics is vapor pressure. The vapor pressure is the
absolute pressure at which a liquid changes to a gas (see Figure 4). The primary influence of
vapor pressure is on the Net Positive Inlet Pressure (NPIP) required for the pump. The NPIP is
the absolute pressure above vapor pressure required to get the fluid into the pumping elements.
As can be seen with a fixed inlet pressure, the higher the vapor pressure, the less pressure
available to get the fluid into the pump.
Figure 4. Vapor pressure at 60-deg F in PSI absolute

Net Positive Inlet Pressure plays a key role in pump selection and system design. Since pumps
cannot pull fluid into them, they rely on the difference in pressure between the liquid source and
the pump inlet to get the product into the pump. Sufficient pressure must be available at the
pump inlet to fill the pumping chambers and prevent gas from being released from the fluid.
Therefore, the inlet pressure available must always be greater than the inlet pressure required.

The inlet pressure available is a system characteristic that is determined from the following
factors: atmospheric pressure, elevation of the fluid level (above or below the pump inlet), inlet
line friction losses, vapor pressure, and in the case of reciprocating pumps, acceleration head.
Acceleration head, a unique factor for reciprocating pumps, is the pressure required to accelerate
the liquid column at the beginning of each stroke. Depending on the suction line length, average
line velocity, pump rotational speed, number of pistons and liquid elasticity, the acceleration
head can easily be the largest factor of the available inlet pressure calculation.

The inlet pressure required is a pump characteristic that the manufacturer calculates. It is affected
by such factors as pump design, viscosity and speed. Once the available inlet pressure is known,
it can be compared to the inlet pressure required by the pump to determine if the pump will
operate properly. Sometimes several iterations between the user and supplier are required to
select the correct pump.

Once all of the important factors affecting pump selection are understood, hydraulic selection
becomes easier. However, other factors external to the pump need to be evaluated to ensure that
the entire pump system is properly selected. These factors include environmental conditions such
as installation location and electrical requirements, the control philosophy of how the pump will
operate, the utilities available and the operating energy requirements.

All of these factors flow into the life cycle costs of a pumping system, which nearly always
exceed the initial cost of the machine. The life cycle costs, which can be fully explored in the
Hydraulic Institute publication, Pump Life Cycle Costs: A Guide to LCC Analysis for Pumping
Systems, are explained in detail and consist of the initial cost plus such items as installation,
power, operation, maintenance, downtime and environmental considerations.

This information on PD hydraulics forms the knowledge base for PD pumps (and the HI e-
Learning course), so users can properly evaluate any pumping system and select the best
technological solution based on the entire spectrum of process conditions and system limitations.

In future issues, look for articles devoted to specific positive displacement pump technologies:

• Rotary Pumps, including: Vane, Rotary Piston, Flexible Member, Lobe, Gear,
Circumferential, Piston, Progressing Cavity, Timed Screw, Untimed Screw
• Reciprocating Pumps, including: Power, Direct Acting, Power Diaphragm, Air Operated
Double Diaphragm, Air Operated Piston

• Metering Pumps, including: Torque Sources, Drive Mechanisms, Capacity Control,


Liquid End Reviews
PD Pump Fundamentals, Design and Applications (Part Three): Rotary Pumps

Written by Hydraulic Institute PD Pump Members


Pumps and Systems, April 2009

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of five articles based on the Hydraulic Institute's new
Positive Displacement (PD) Pumps:

Rotary Pump Overview

Rotary pumps are available in a broad range of flow and pressure, which is why they are
recognized by users as the solution for their specific pumping needs. Recent enhancements have
increased the reliability and operating envelopes of rotary pumps. They are increasingly
recognized for their efficiency in today's energy conscious environment.

A rotary pump typically consists of a stationary pumping cavity containing rotating pumping
elements that are actuated by the rotation of the drive shaft. This rotary motion is the
distinguishing feature of this class of pumps-hence the name rotary pump. The pumping
elements are characterized by close fitting running clearances. Rotary pumps have no need for
separate inlet or outlet valves.

Rotary pumps are designed so that the rotating pumping elements draw the fluid at the suction
port into the pumping cavity, transport it through the pumping elements and force it through the
discharge port into the system.

The geometry of the pump elements and pumping cavity determine the volume of fluid pumped
per revolution of the shaft. This volume is called the displacement. Most rotary pump types are
configured for fixed displacement; however, they can produce variable flow rates by varying the
shaft speed. Vane and piston rotary pumps produce variable volume by changing the internal
geometry (i.e., varying the displacement of the pumping elements).

Rotary Pump Types

The most common types of rotary pumps and their subcategories are shown in the rotary pump
tree (Figure 1). This module presents the basic pumping principle for each type of rotary pump,
typical configurations and major components, range of performance and operating capability,
location in the overall rotary pump spectrum, application characteristics, features and benefits
and typical applications and industries served.
Figure 1

Vane-in-rotor pumps are characterized by moveable vanes, or rigid blades, retained (but not
necessarily fixed) by an eccentric rotor that rotates within the pumping cavity. This action draws
fluid in and forces fluid out of the pumping chamber, thereby delivering flow. Vane pumps can
be either fixed or variable displacement.

In rotary piston pumps, fluid is drawn in and forced out by multiple pistons that reciprocate
within cylinders in the cylinder block, producing flow. There are two basic types: axial and
radial piston. Both types are available as fixed and variable displacement pumps.

Flexible member pumps transfer the product from the inlet to outlet by making use of the
elasticity of the flexible member(s). The flexible members may be a tube, vanes or a liner.

Lobe pumps carry the pumped fluid between rotor lobe surfaces and the pumping chamber from
the inlet to the outlet. In this regard, they are similar to gear pumps but do not produce the shear
effects. Timing gears are used to coordinate the motion of the lobe surfaces, avoid surface
contact and provide continuous sealing.

Gear pumps carry the pumped fluid between gear teeth and displace it when the gears mesh. The
surfaces of the gears cooperate to provide continuous sealing, trap pockets of the pumped fluid
and push it out the discharge port. One of the gears drives the other idler or driven gears. There
are two main variations-external and internal gear pumps.

Circumferential piston pump rotors are timed and each rotor has one or more wing lobe
elements, called pistons. There is no sealing contact between the piston surfaces.

Single-screw pumps (commonly called progressing cavity pumps) have a rotor with external
threads and a stator with internal threads. The geometry of the rotor and stator form cavities that
progress from inlet to outlet as the rotor rotates, which creates the pumping action.

Multiple screw pumps are divided into two broad families-timed and untimed. Typically,
multiple screw pumps have two or more intermeshing screws and the flow is in the axial
direction. The inlet fluid, which surrounds the rotors, is trapped as the screws rotate. With the
rotors in tight fitting bores and the casing acting as a stator, the fluid is moved uniformly with
the rotation of the rotors along the axis and forced out at the other end.
Application Analysis

The application analysis stage is a vital step in the pumping solution process. Rotary pump
application benefits from careful attention to the performance requirements of the system. This
process determines initial affordability, flexibility to cover the entire operating range of the
application, reliability and energy efficiency. It is important that the purchaser/user understand,
identify and communicate the requirements to the pump supplier.

A recommended sequence is to first consider the characteristics of the fluid(s) to be pumped (A),
then the operating conditions the process requires (B), and finally the resultant hydraulic
requirements of the system (C) (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Self priming is an important advantage rotary pumps have over rotodynamic pumps. There is
considerable variation in suction capability among rotary pump types due to the design of the
pumping elements and the inlet configuration. It is important to remember that the fluid to be
pumped is pushed into a pump by the pressure differential available at the pump inlet. Therefore,
special attention should always be focused on inlet conditions. Users and system designers are
always well advised to make sure the Net Positive Inlet Pressure Available (NPIPA) from the
system exceeds Net Positive Inlet Pressure Required (NPIPR) by the pump and includes a
reasonable margin.

Because a rotary pump will deliver an essentially constant volume of fluid per shaft revolution
regardless of system pressure, it is necessary when applying rotary pumps to provide protection
against over-pressurization in the event of a system malfunction.

Pump Selection

Delivered flow from a rotary pump is dependent on its displacement per revolution, speed of
operation and slip flow. Even though rotary pumps are characterized by close internal
clearances, there will be some leakage between high pressure outlet and low pressure inlet areas
within the pump. This leakage is called slip and may be large or small depending on the type of
rotary pump, the fluid characteristics and the operating conditions.

Rotary pump input (brake) horsepower requirements vary as a function of the pump type and
operating conditions in each application. Input power is the sum of the power required to move
the theoretical flow volume of the pump against differential pressure plus internal power losses.
Internal power losses occur because it is necessary to overcome mechanical friction from the
moving parts of the pump and the viscous drag effects and shearing of the pumped fluid.

With many types of rotary pumps available, selection of the proper pump for the application
may seem complex. The pump selection process involves matching the properties of the pumped
fluid, operating conditions, and system requirements identified in the Application Analysis with
a pump's capabilities. The performance capability of the rotary pump selected must be verified
over the full range of required operating conditions.

The Rotary Pump Module provides two useful tools to help narrow the choice of rotary pump
types (reproduced in Figures 3 and 4):

A Consolidated Range Chart where the flow and pressure envelope of each rotary pump type is
depicted (see Figure 3). With knowledge of the full range of flow and pressure requirements of
the application, suitable rotary pump types can be identified on the range chart. Consultation
with the supplier is recommended to confirm specific application recommendations and to
investigate special designs, which are often available to provide unique solutions.

A Capability Table provides an overview of operating ranges and application characteristics for
the rotary pump types covered in the course (see Figure 4). Some relative capabilities such as
abrasive handling, shear sensitivity and pulsation, which are highly dependent on application
conditions and the pump technology to which the comparison is made, are also shown in the
table. Shear sensitivity relates to the effect the pump has on the pumped fluid. The abrasive
handling capability ratings allow inclusion of material enhancements. By matching requirements
to capabilities, applicable rotary pump types can be identified.
Figure 4

Energy Efficiency and Power Savings Benefits of Rotary Pumps

Energy assessments require examination of the full range of pump system application
parameters, so specific study is recommended.

Rotary pumps are known for the ability to pump viscous fluids more efficiently. Figure 5 uses
HI/Europump Life Cycle Cost Guideline data and compares maximum attainable rotary
efficiencies to maximum attainable rotodynamic efficiencies. Specific attractiveness can be
identified for applications with viscosities as low as 10 cSt (60 SSU) and differential pressures
above 50-psi. It should also be noted that the chart is based on operating a centrifugal pump at
its best efficiency point (BEP). If the pump is installed in a system where pressures vary, the
centrifugal pump will typically move on its operating curve to a lower efficiency region.

Figure 5

Having a working knowledge of rotary pump fundamentals and the specific process application
and/or system for which the pump is being selected is essential for a good pumping solution.
Basic differences in operating capability can be used to guide rotary pump type selection.
Selecting the right pump to match the system and its operational requirements is key to reliable
operation and low ownership cost.
PD Pump Fundamentals, Design and Applications (Part Four): Reciprocating
Pumps
Written by Hydraulic Institute PD Pump Members
Pumps and Systems, May 2009

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of five articles based on the Hydraulic Institute's new Positive
Displacement (PD) Pumps:

Reciprocating Pump Overview

Since the third century B.C. when an Alexandrian named Ctesibus built a basic hand pump that could transfer
water, reciprocating pumps have played a significant role in the development of the modern world. Today,
reciprocating pumps have developed into technically advanced machines capable of delivering more than
40,000psi of fluid pressure.

Reciprocating pumps comprise a major segment of the positive displacement technology category.
Reciprocating pump designs can pump a full range of liquid types including low viscosity chemicals, high
particle content slurries and high viscosity materials. Given this wide operating range, they are often the
technology of choice for difficult applications.

One main difference between rotodynamic and reciprocating pumps is that for a given speed, the rate of flow
of a rotodynamic pump can be varied from zero flow to a maximum flow. Conversely, reciprocating pumps
will have a constant flow for a given speed. Pumps that belong to the reciprocating pump family have several
common operating characteristics, including a constant fluid delivery per stroke and mechanical trapping of
fluid using suction and discharge valves.

Inherent to their reciprocating motion, these pumps also typically produce pulsation. Consideration for
additional devices to reduce pulsation, such as pulsation dampeners or attenuators, may be needed for some
applications. Additionally, as with many PD pump types, systems may require overpressure relief protection.
Efficiencies of reciprocating pumps vary widely across the category due to driver types and mechanical
configurations.

Types of Reciprocating Pumps

Four common types of reciprocating pumps-power pumps, power diaphragm pumps, air operated diaphragm
pumps and air operated piston pumps-are reviewed in the reciprocating pump module.

Power pumps are reciprocating machines where plungers or pistons are driven within a valved cylinder by a
power end. The power end (see Figure 1) converts the rotary motion of a motor-electric, air or hydraulic or
diesel engine-into reciprocating motion by means of a crankshaft, connecting rods and crossheads. The liquid
end (see Figure 2) connects to the power end and contains the plungers, packing, fluid chambers and valves.

The reciprocating motion of the plunger in concert with the other liquid end components can develop more
than 40,000psi of fluid pressure or more than 4,000gpm of fluid flow. These pumps typically have one, two,
three, five, seven or nine connecting rods and crossheads that drive an equal amount of fluid plungers.
Configurations of an odd amount of cylinders are preferred to reduce pulsation. Pulsation is generated by the
oscillating pressure of each fluid chamber from suction pressure to discharge pressure. The oscillating
pressure, cycling at 50- to 500-rpm, is a popular driver of pump failures, but these pumps are constructed
robustly to resist fatigue.

It is important to control pressure with power pump systems. As the pump injects the displaced liquid into the
discharge system, the pressure is increased. The pressure will continue to increase until it meets the
requirement of the system. However, if the system pressure requirement is not controlled, the pressure will
continue to build up until something ruptures in the system or the pump or the driver of the pump stalls out.
Power pumps should be equipped with a pressure relieve device to prevent the over-pressurization of the
system beyond its recommended limits.

Power pumps are typically used for low viscosity chemicals, oils, high pressure cleaning, ore slurries, drilling
mud, reverse osmosis, saltwater injection, hot oil applications, blow out preventers and subsea applications.

Figure 1. Power End for a Power Pump


Figure 2. Liquid End for a Power Pump

Air operated diaphragm pumps combine the reciprocating motion of a flexible membrane, called a diaphragm,
with check valve mechanisms to transfer fluid. These pumps typically have two diaphragms connected to a
reciprocating shaft in which one side of the diaphragm is in contact with the liquid being pumped and the
other side is in contact with the compressed air. The reciprocating motion is created by an air motor that
alternates pressurization of the two diaphragms. Fluid pressure is usually equivalent to the supply air pressure
of the pump; however, amplification devices allow specialized pumps to operate at pressures up to three times
the supply pressure.

Diaphragm pumps are available in many materials of construction, have no rotating seals, are physically
compact and require no electricity connected to the pump for operation (see Figure 3). These characteristics
make air operated diaphragm pumps ideal for the transfer of corrosive and abrasive fluids and operation in
volatile environments, installations where space is limited and portability is required. Other benefits of these
pumps are the ability to self prime, run dry and pass solid entrained fluids.
Figure 3. Diaphragm pump

Air operated piston pumps use a reciprocating piston and check mechanisms to produce fluid flow and
pressure. As they have the ability to produce fluid pressures in excess of 6,500-psi, these pumps are popular
for pumping viscous fluids such as sealants, adhesives, inks and lubricants. Piston pumps typically meet the
needs of unique applications that require equipment designed for a particular dispensing, metering or fluid
transfer job. As a result, piston pumps are built in many styles and configurations to serve specific needs of
users.

The air motor and lower end (see Figure 4) are the two major components that control the flow rate and
pressure of the pump. The air motor converts compressed air into a reciprocating motion and is available in
several sizes that are defined by the diameter of the air piston. The air motor consists of a major piston
connected to the lower end. Driven by the air motor, the lower end uses the reciprocating motion of a smaller
diameter piston to create fluid pressure and flow. The ratio of the larger area of the air motor piston to the
smaller lower end piston allows for the amplification the fluid pressure over that of the supply air pressure.
For example, if the pump is being operated by 100-psi supply air and the air motor piston is four times the
area of the lower end, then the fluid pressure would be 400-psi.

Figure 4. Air operated piston pump

Power diaphragm pumps are designed to combine important advantages of reciprocating plunger and
diaphragm pumps. This is done by providing two separate liquid paths, one for the fluid being pumped and
one for hydraulic fluid that pressurizes the pumping fluid (see Figure 5). This eliminates the dynamic seal in
the pumped fluid loop required with reciprocating plunger pumps and enables leak free operation.
Figure 5. Hydraulic power circuit on right (blue) and pumped fluid circuit (left)

A diaphragm separates these two fluid circuits; suction and discharge valves control the flow in the pump
fluid circuit. The diaphragm is the pumping element and its reciprocating motion is induced by the plunger
displacing hydraulic fluid. Pumped liquid leakage can occur if a diaphragm is ruptured, but this is prevented
by the use of multilayered diaphragms with integral alarm functions. These features allow the fluid to be
contained in the pump even when one diaphragm is damaged.

Power diaphragm pump designs are modular, allowing for electric motor driven power frames with multiple
pumping heads. Configurations can be simplex, duplex, triplex (see Figure 6), quadrauplex or septuplex. In
multi-head configurations, common suction and discharge manifolds provide a reduction in pulsation due to
partially overlapping flows. Standard pump configurations are available from manufacturers; however, highly
customized units are common with special valves, heating/cooling jackets and wetted parts materials such as
titanium, duplex steel or Hastelloy®.
Figure 6. A triplex power pump configuration

Power diaphragm pumps provide efficient leak free pumping to 1,200-bar (18,000-psi) on a broad range of
fluids including fluids that are environmentally damaging, valuable, abrasive or viscous (up to 250-kcSt).
These pumps have proven their safety and reliability in numerous applications including chemical process,
nuclear, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, biological processes, foodstuffs, and onshore and offshore petrochemical
installations.

Pump Selection and Application Analysis

Pump selection is a complex and highly technical process that should be completed by a trained professional.
The reciprocating pump-training module addresses the individual considerations required for selection of each
type of reciprocating pump. There are some common guidelines for specifying a reciprocating pump for an
application. Three common categories requiring consideration are fluid properties, environmental conditions
and system requirements.

The fluid being pumped is evaluated for viscosity, specific gravity, temperature, solids content and its
compatibility with the pump's materials of construction. All components that come in contact with the fluid
must resist corrosion including pump casing materials, seals, packing, diaphragms, plungers and valves. The
specified materials of construction for the pump are often the main drivers of its cost. Highly corrosive fluids
may require more expensive materials like stainless steel, Alloy C, PVDF, PTFE and Viton®; more inert
fluids can be compatible with less expensive materials like aluminum, steel, synthetic rubber and thermo
plastic elastomers.

Similar to fluid properties, environmental conditions can affect the pump's construction. Atmospheric
conditions may require special material pump materials to resist corrosion or ensure groundability in volatile
environments.

System parameters such as piping configuration, inlet elevation, outlet elevation, power availability, operating
pressure and flow rate are used to determine the best reciprocating pump type and size for the application.
These system characteristics in combination with the fluid properties allow for validation that the
reciprocating pump will be able to prime and deliver the specified amount of flow and pressure. Specification
criteria such as net positive suction head available (NPSHA) from the system, net positive suction pressure
required (NPSHR) by the pump and discharge head required by the system are influenced by the above
parameters.

When the demands required by the system are calculated and understood, then the pump types that best fit the
application can be selected using a range chart (see Figure 7). It is often the case that more than one type of
reciprocating pump is suitable for an application; it is then up to the preference of the user to assess the
unique features and benefits that each technology has for the application.
Figure 7. Range chart for the reciprocating pumps
With the development of Positive Displacement Pumps: Fundamentals, Design
and Applications, HI has again reached a new level in its role of serving
member companies and pump professionals. Recently debuted by Hydraulic
Institute, PumpLearning.org was created to serve as the ultimate "go to" center
for information on pumps and pumping technologies, and provides knowledge
seekers with a panoply of sources and opportunities to gain state-of-the-art
intelligence.

Offerings presented on the new user-focused website include: e-Learning


Courses (now featuring HI's latest course, Positive Displacement Pumps:
Fundamentals, Design and Applications, and the updated course, Rotodynamic
[Centrifugal] Pumps: Fundamentals, Design and Applications), webcasts,
conferences and special programs jointly sponsored by renowned industry
experts. The site is constantly updated to present users with the latest news,
activities and connections to the industry.

Hydraulic Institute is the largest association of pump producers in North


America and the "value-add," standard-setting resource for member
companies and pump users worldwide.

This course has been created by Positive Displacement Pump experts and HI
Sponsors:

Ingersoll Rand ARO Fluid Products


Colfax-IMO & Warren Pump
Flowserve Pump Division
Grundfos Pumps Corporation
Iwaki America Incorporated
Leistritz Corporation
LEWA Inc.
Milton Roy Americas
Moyno, Inc.
Roper Pump Company
Siemens Water Technologies
CLYDEUNION

PD Pump Fundamentals, Design and Applications (Part Five): Metering Pumps


Written by Hydraulic Institute PD Pump Members
Pumps and Systems, June 2009

Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of five articles based on the Hydraulic Institute's new
Positive Displacement (PD) Pumps

Metering Pump Market Overview

When Robert Sheen invented the metering pump in the 1930s, the core of his invention was a
method of controlled volume that was inherent to the pump. The metering pump did not depend
on a bypass valve after the discharge; speed changes to the pump by replacing belts, pulleys or
motors; changes to the pump size to limit the amount of chemical dosed to a specific application
of boiler feed or cooling tower chemicals; or the operator diluting the chemicals to match the
pump's application rate. The means of controlled volume easily limited the pump's actual output
while providing dependable accuracy and reducing performance monitoring and labor time in
the chemical feed industry.

Since the original controlled volume pump, the terms metering pump, controlled volume
metering pump and dosing pump have emerged as popular synonyms for this category. During
the past 75 years, there have also probably been more inventions related to metering pumps than
any other pump type. These inventions have typically related to producing a controlled
limitation of flow rather than improving flow inducement. Electronics and robotics have most
recently advanced controlled volume metering pumps. The level of the pump's self-contained
flow management and automatic capacity correction will be further advanced in the decade
ahead.

All of this innovation in the metering pump market is due to the many industries with needs for
repeatedly sustainable accuracy in chemical dosing. In the various applications for metering
pumps, process pressures can range from atmospheric pressure up to 50,000 psig (3500 Bar).
Pump capacities per head vary from 10 milliliters per hour up to 5,000 gallons per hour. To meet
this wide range of requirements, several types of metering pumps have evolved for each
application. Figure 1 summarizes the various drives, control methods and liquid end
combinations designed to handle the full scope of applications.

Figure 1

Accuracy on three levels has become the primary benefit of this type of pump in the delivery of
additives to automated processes, as well as those with the simple mission of maintaining
accurate constant flow. Different versions and forms of metering pumps have sustainable,
accurate capacity control inherent to the pumps themselves, which is distinguishable from
pumps installed with speed control motors and pumps in systems with control valves to divert or
limit flow to the injection point.

Figure 2

Metering Pump Drive Systems

Controlled volume pumps have never been greatly impacted by changes in system conditions,
and the newest technologies in metering pumps automatically adjust to keep the output accurate
to the set point, even when discharge pressure changes. At the same time, recent innovations
have made it easier for the operator to set metering pumps to the desired discharge rate with
minimum or no need to calculate between capacity change due to stroke length setting versus
capacity.

Many controlled volume pumps today incorporate both stroke length and stroke frequency/speed
in order to provide the user with up to 100 to 1 capacity variation. Today's electronics enable
wider speed variation and extreme accuracy, eliminate the need to vary the stroke length and
avoid the hydraulic difficulties inherent to running pumps at less than full stroke length.

The first controlled volume metering pumps incorporated an electric motor with a belt and
pulley drive. The drive types commonly used today include standard AC motors. Solenoid drive
systems are probably the most popular today due to competitive pricing. AC and DC variable
speed motors are used in conjunction with stroke length control in some types. Pneumatic and
hydraulic power sources are found in specialty applications like natural gas and agriculture.
Advanced electric motors, taken from the robotic and computer industry (i.e., stepper motors),
have recently eliminated the need for stroke length control, simplifying setup and operation.
In the original metering pump, capacity was changed by adjusting the stroke length of the piston,
which was located on the outside of the pump. Figure 3 is essentially the same concept, but
represents a technology introduced about 30 years after the first metering pump. In this concept,
the stroke length adjustment function was moved to an internal, oil bathed gear system. This
drive type is readily available today.

Figure 3

The choice of drive system is important to the application as it relates to durability, accuracy,
automation levels, maintenance availability and cost. From the simplest timed triggering of a
solenoid to electric motor driven drives as depicted above, all incorporate some capacity change.
While speed was initially a secondary control method introduced to extend the turndown ratios
from the 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 limits and up to 10 to 1, speed was immediately seen as a preferred
capacity control in some applications. Speed brought problems for relative accuracy.

The Value of a Metering Pump

Within the applications best served by dosing or metering pumps, economics should be
considered to select the best value for a particular application. Unlike most other pumps, cost of
ownership or life cycle cost of dosing pumps is usually not heavily influenced by power
consumption and repair costs. A more likely case can often be made for savings in the cost of
chemicals metered due to high level accuracy or the quality of a final product.

Users choosing metering pumps are often attracted to the simple convenience of a pump with a
compact package and a built-in capacity adjustment. Factors such as steady state accuracy (see
Figure 2), repeatability and linearity represent even greater value in the majority of applications
where dosing pumps are found today. Today's controlled volume pump accuracy can dispense
the desired amount of liquid during extended periods of time, even as the process requires the
pump's discharge rate to be changed. The capacity ranges as much as 1,000 to 1 in some styles
of these pumps.
While convenience of flow rate adjustment can cause an engineer to initially consider variable
capacity pump systems, the value diminishes quickly if the operator cannot depend on the pump
repeatedly metering the same or planned variance of chemicals at the predetermined settings
necessary to the process. The costs of compensating for variable capacity pumping systems that
have low accuracy rates can be extremely high in the form of extra components in the system or
poor quality results in the process (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

Conclusion

Matching the right liquid end to the right drive mechanism is how this class of pumps provides
operators with precise delivery of liquids. The metering pump has evolved from the original
packed plunger heads to diaphragm liquid ends that incorporate sensors as a means of
monitoring operation and accuracy.

With the development of Positive Displacement Pumps: Fundamentals, Design and


Applications, HI has again reached a new level in its role of serving member companies and
pump professionals. The entire five-module course is now available at
www.PumpLearning.org. Recently debuted by Hydraulic Institute, PumpLearning.org was
created to serve as the ultimate "go to" center for information on pumps and pumping
technologies, and provides knowledge seekers with a panoply of sources and opportunities to
gain state-of-the-art intelligence.
Offerings presented on the new user-focused website include: e-Learning Courses (now
featuring HI's latest course, Positive Displacement Pumps: Fundamentals, Design and
Applications, and the updated course, Rotodynamic [Centrifugal] Pumps: Fundamentals,
Design and Applications), webcasts, conferences and special programs jointly sponsored by
renowned industry experts. The site is constantly updated to present users with the latest news,
activities and connections to the industry.

Hydraulic Institute is the largest association of pump producers in North America and the
"value-add," standard-setting resource for member companies and pump users worldwide. For
more information, go to www.Pumps.org .

This course has been created by Positive Displacement Pump experts and HI Sponsors:

Ingersoll Rand ARO Fluid Products

Colfax-IMO & Warren Pump

Flowserve Pump Division

Grundfos Pumps Corporation

Iwaki America Incorporated

Leistritz Corporation

LEWA Inc.

Milton Roy Americas

Moyno, Inc.

Roper Pump Company

Siemens Water Technologies

CLYDEUNION