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OBJECTIVE: Understand the construction and operating principles of commonly used

PUMP is device which adds to the energy of a liquid or gas causing an increase in its
pressure and perhaps a movement of the fluid. There are many forms of energy, but
when pumps are being considered, use can be made of the energy equation as
A simple pumping system consists of a suction branch, a pump & a discharge branch.


Pump only adds to the energy of the fluid in the system. Energy
required to bring the fluid to the pump is an external one and in most
practical conditions is provided by the atmospheric pressure. .Reference to
the figure, even though liquid on suction side is below the pump center
line, still liquid will rise up to the pump center because of external
atmospheric pressure acting on surface of liquid; & no pressure acting on
other side (i.e. at pump center).

Portable Positive Displacement pump (variable speed)







Marine pumps fall into two broad classes:

1. Displacement (self priming)
2. Dynamic
Liquid or gas is displaced from suction to the discharge by the
mechanical variation of the volume of a chamber or chambers. All
displacement pumps are self-priming pumps. These
pumps include Reciprocating pump, Gear pump, and Screw pump.
Dynamic (Centrifugal pumps, Axial pumps) :
These dynamic pumps are basically radial flow or axial flow type.
Centrifugal pump: Flow through the pump is induced by the centrifugal
force imparted to the liquid by the rotation of an impeller or impellers.
These pumps are not self-priming pumps and must be primed by gravity
supply or by priming equipment external or internal with the pump.

Heart (Pump)



(Single Acting piston Pump)

Reciprocating motion of bucket

(piston) is obtained through a
connecting rod and crank
mechanism from an electric motor
drive or directly from a steam
reciprocating engine. On downward
stroke suction valve lifts up against
spring and discharge valve remains
shut and upward travel discharge
valve against spring opens and
suction valve remains shut.

If the level of liquid to be pumped is below the pump center line, the initial strokes of
bucket will draw out air (gas, in case liquid is volatile) from the suction pipe into
discharge pipe, creating a low pressure (vacuum) in the suction line. Liquid now rises
into suction pipeline under atmospheric pressure, (If the liquid is say water it will
theoretically rise up to 10.3 meter and hence pump can theoretically handle a suction
lift of 10.3 meter; However in real practice the pump can handle only upto 6 meter of
suction head) once liquid gets into the chamber, it will get discharged under pressure
through the discharge valve into discharge line. Pumping will continue in subsequent
upward strokes (it is therefore a self-priming pump).


(Double Acting piston Pump)

Relief valve

Double acting piston pump

Double acting piston pump

Double Acting piston Pump


To get discharge of even flow we

utilize bottom water chamber
also by not keeping it open to
atmosphere; instead using this
chamber along with one more
set of suction and delivery valve
in similar way as explained for
top chamber. It is therefore
called a double acting pump;
which means that liquid is
discharged from both top and
bottom side of the bucket.

A relief valve is always fitted between the pump suction and discharge
chambers as shown in the figure, to protect the pump, should it be operated with
closed discharge valve. Otherwise damage may occur to the pump being a
positive displacement pump. Further, an air vessel is provided, whose function
is to reduce the pressure fluctuations, which result from up an down strokes of
piston (bucket). This is illustrated in the above diagram.

Effect of providing air vessel at the discharge of a double acting

Without Air vessel

With Air vessel

Advantages of Reciprocating Pump

1. Ability to handle large portion of air, vapour or gas which enable them
to deal with volatile or hot liquids. Hence, these pumps are used as
cargo stripping pump for oil, chemical or gas tanker. Also used as
boiler feed water pump.
2. As these pumps are self-priming and can handle high suction lifts, they
can be used effectively as priming pumps, engine room bilge pumps,
cargo hold bilge pumps or cargo stripper pumps.
Disadvantages of Reciprocating Pump

Construction is complicated due to presence of suction valve,
discharge valve, air vessels and relief valve. All positive displacement
pumps need a relief valve to prevent excess built up of pressure under
closure of delivery lines.

This is a rotary displacement or rotary positive displacement pump. Two toothed
wheels, shown, mesh together and are a close fit in casing.. Initially the air or gas is
trapped between each pair of two consecutive teeth and same is dragged along the
casing from suction to discharge side till no more air is left on the suction side. Liquid
from the tank will thus rise up into suction line under atmospheric pressure.
Subsequently this liquid will now be trapped between each paid of two consecutive
teeth and dragged along the casing into discharge side and pumping of liquid will
commence. The working principle just explained is what makes the pump a selfpriming pump. Further if the liquid level on suction side is at a higher level, the liquid
will flow into suction side on its own at first instant itself.
Usually the pump is electric motor driven through a chain or wheel drive. Control
of flow rate is achieved by a by-pass valve or by controlling speed of prime-mover.
A number of such pumps in series can be used to due to develop high pressure.
Such pumps are efficient (i.e very little losses) and smooth running.
These pumps are used for duties as a lube oil pump, boiler fuel oil pump, fuel oil
transfer pump, main engine driven lube oil pump. As a main Engine driven lube oil
pump it will have a set of suction and discharge valve to gave same side discharge
at all times irrespective of ahead or astern movement of the main engine.


Gear Pump



Gear Pump (3 lobe)


Two screws are driven in phase by timing gear. (Unlike gear pump where one
gear drives the other). This ensures that correct clearance is maintained at all
times between the screws, thereby preventing over heating and possible seizure.
Pumping is effected by the two intermeshing screws rotating within a pump
casing. Each screw shaft has a right and a left-had screw, see figure
When the screws rotate, their close relation to each other creates pockets in
the helices; these pockets move axially and have the same effect as a piston
moving constantly in one direction.
The pump initially draws in air or gas (from volatile liquids) if liquid level is
below pump center, creates vacuum; liquid rises up under atmosphere pressure
filling pump casing.
Displacement or pumping takes place when the screws are further rotated
and liquid is drawn into the screws at the outer ends and pumped inwards to
discharge into the pump outlet.
Relief valve prevents built up of excessive pressure due to obstruction on
discharge line and thus protects the casing against possible damage.

Helical Rotor, Eccentric Screw Pumps(single screw)

Double Screw Pump

and working
of screw

Advantages of screw pumps

Since pumps are self-priming and able to pump liquid and vapour
without loss of suction they are particular useful when draining tanks of
high vapour pressure liquids (Chemical / liquefied gases).
Pumps are well suited for tank draining and where fluid supply in
intermittent, such as may occur in lubricating oil supply to engines, with
the vessel rolling and pitching.
They are suitable for operation at high rotational speed (3500 rpm;
1000 Lts /Min.) and can thus be driven by electric motor.
Can handle high viscosity (4000 centistrokes) find. Pumps are quiet,
smooth running and reliable.



The pump consists of rotating impeller within a stationary casing. The impeller
construction has two discs joined at in between surface by a set of internal curved
vanes. Impeller has an eye (opening) at the center and is mounted on shaft, which
is driven by an electric motor, steam engine through crank mechanism or turbine, or
other prime mover.
Opening in the sides of the impeller near the shaft, called eye, communicates with
the suction branch as shown in figure
Assume there is a certain amount of fluid at the eye of the rotating impeller. The
fluid will flow radially outwards (because of centrifugal action) along the curved
vanes in the impeller, increasing its linear velocity.

When the pump impeller rotates the fluid leaves the impeller. The high velocity fluid
is collected in specially shaped casing (volute casing), where some of the
kinetic energy of the fluid is converted into pressure energy. Fluid under
pressure now leaves the impeller producing a drop in pressure behind it at the
eye of the impeller. This causes fluid from the suction pipe to flow into pump
under atmospheric pressure. However, if initially there is not liquid at the eye,
there will be no pumping action as explained.

Centrifugal pump therefore is not a self-priming pump. In such case, where

normally at start of the pump the level of the liquid is below the eye of the
centrifugal pump, we have to prime the pump.

Centrifugal pumps
Horizontal pump




Vertical pump


Prime the pump: Use an air pump initially to draw out air from the suction branch &
thus make liquid rise to the eye under atmospheric pressure.
Eg: Emergency fire pump. Bilge and ballast pump.


In absence of liquid, air (sometimes also vapour) will be present at the eye, and
owing to its light density air could be thrown out under centrifugal force only if rpm of
the impeller is very high (Turbo charger blower).

Automatic arrangement for pumping out bilges, using a centrifugal pump is shown
above, where the air (vane) pump will get engaged automatically and draw out any
air at the start or during running. Once air is drawn out it will get disengaged

In case of pumping out engine room bilges using a centrifugal pump we

can prime the pump by initially drawing in water from outside sea, level of
which is higher. Once water runs into the eye of rotating impeller, the suction
branch of pump can be switched over from sea to engine room bilges and
pumping out of bilges can now commence.

Similar (previous) method can be used when stripping a cargo tank. Initial
liquid can be drawn from an oil tank, level of which is higher than the pump.

Performance Characteristic Curves of a Centrifugal Pump

From above it is clear

That if the pump discharge head is lesser the flow rate of liquid is
higher and therefore pumping of liquid is faster.
Pump if run at normal duty flow rate by maintaining normal duty discharge
head the liquid will be pumped utilizing least possible rate of energy by the
pump (at this point
of the pump is maximum).


This stand for net Positive Suction Head. If the pressure exerted by atmospheric air ( or
any other atmosphere which is surrounding the liquid on suction side) is H0 and is more
than the three losses mentioned below :
Loss of head because of friction in the suction line H1.
Loss of head because of volatility of liquid H2.
Loss of head in raising the liquid to the pump suction H3.
Only then will the liquid rise up to the pump. However the liquid can be discharged
effectively and without cavitations of the pump only if this left over head called
available NPSH is greater than the required NPSH provided by the pump manufacturer.

This process of the formation and subsequent collapse of vapor bubbles in a pump is
called cavitation.Cavitation causes
1. Degrades the performance of a pump - fluctuating flow rate and discharge pr.
2. Destructive to pumps internal components.
- When a pump cavitates, vapor bubbles form in the low-pressure region directly
behind the rotating impeller vanes. These vapor bubbles then move toward the
oncoming impeller vane, where they collapse and cause a physical shock to the
leading edge of the impeller vane. This physical shock creates small pits on the
leading edge of the impeller vane. Each individual pit is microscopic in size, but
the cumulative effect of millions of these pits formed over a period of hours or
days can literally destroy a pump impeller.
3. Excessive pump vibration.
Vibration could damage pump bearings, wearing rings, and seals.
Noise is one of the indications that a centrifugal pump is cavitating.
A cavitating pump can sound like a can of marbles being shaken. Other indications
that can be observed from a remote operating station are fluctuating discharge
pressure, flow rate, and pump motor current.

Cavitation damage to propeller


Axial flow pump is one in which
a screw propeller is used to
create an increase in pressure
by causing an axial
acceleration of liquid. The
velocity increase is then
converted into pressure by
suitably shaped outlet passage
and guide vanes. Pump works
similar to an idea of a propeller
working in a closed duct.
When conditions like large
capacity and relatively low
discharge head of upto 12 m
have to be met, a horizontal or
vertically arranged axial pump
is most suitable.
These pumps are used as sw circulating pumps for main condenser, which
flow rate has to be large and discharge head to be low (as pumping is from
sea to sea). Also used for the duties of heeling and trimming of ships. This is
again because the pump is of reversible flow and high through-put type.

Diaphragm pump

Double Acting Diaphragm


Multistage Centrifugal pump

Duplex pump

Axial piston pump

Radial piston pump



Rotary VANE Pump

1) Piston Block
2) Cylinder Drum
3) Piston Shaft
4) Five degree angled
control surface
5) End Plate
6 & 7) Ports
8) Drive Shaft
9) Piston Head
1) Piston Block
2) Cylinder Drum
3) Piston Shaft
4) Five degree angled
control surface
5) End Plate
6 & 7) Ports
8) Drive Shaft
9) Piston Head