Centrifugal Pumps Review

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Centrifugal Pumps Review

Centrifugal pumps basically consist of a stationary pump casing and an impeller mounted on a rotating shaft. The pump casing provides a pressure boundary for the pump and contains channels to properly direct the suction and discharge flow. The pump casing has suction and discharge penetrations for the main flow path of the pump and normally has small drain and vent fittings to remove gases trapped in the pump casing or to drain the pump casing for maintenance.

The illustration directly below, is a simplified diagram of a typical centrifugal pump that shows the relative locations of the pump suction, impeller, volute, and discharge. The centrifugal pump casing guides the liquid from the suction connection to the center, or eye, of the impeller. The vanes of the rotating impeller impart a radial and rotary motion to the liquid, forcing it to the outer periphery of the pump casing where it is collected in the outer part of the pump casing called the volute. The volute is a region that expands in cross-sectional area as it wraps around the pump casing. The purpose of the volute is to collect the liquid discharged from the periphery of the impeller at high velocity and gradually cause a reduction in fluid velocity by increasing the flow area. This converts the velocity head to static pressure. The fluid is then discharged from the centrifugal pump through the discharge connection.

Centrifugal pumps can also be constructed in a manner that results in two distinct volutes, each receiving the liquid that is discharged from a 180 degrees region of the impeller at any given time. Pumps of this type are called double volute pumps (they may also be referred to a split volute pumps). In some applications the double volute minimizes radial forces imparted to the shaft and bearings due to imbalances in the pressure around the impeller. A comparison of single and double volute centrifugal pumps is shown below.

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