Pumps move liquids or gasses from one point to another. A pump is made up of an inlet, a casing and an outlet, liquid enters the inlet into the casing and is discharged through the outlet of the pump. The inside of the pump contains a component that moves the liquid through the pump increasing the pressure and flow.
What Makes a Pump a Centrifugal Pump?
For a pump to be classified as a centrifugal pump however it needs to have two specific components, an impeller and a volute casing. An impeller is a rotating a disc with vein like curves on the surface. The volute casing houses the impeller and the fluid that is being pumped.
When the fluid enters the pump, it causes friction between the impeller causing it to start rotating, thus propelling the fluid out towards the outlet.
The impellers speed and size and the viscosity of the fluid all impact the pressure and flow that the liquid will be discharged at.
Properly Priming a Pump
The pump’s impeller must always be fully submerged in liquid, the impeller can’t pump air, so it is important to flood the volute casing with liquid before the pump is switched on, this process is called priming.
It is best to place the pump below the source of the tank holding the fluid, this avoids the pump being starved of fluid resulting in cavitation.
The casing of the centrifugal pump is called a volute casing because of its spiral shape. The discharge outlet and the volute chamber are separated by the cutwater which purpose is to ensure that the liquid leaves the pump.
The size of the volute chamber dictates the flow of the liquid, the bigger the chamber the slower the flow will be, this follows the Bernoulli’s Principle, the slower the flow of the liquid the higher the pressure will be and the faster the flow the lower the pressure. The pressure allows the liquid to move achieving the desired outcome of the pump.
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