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Positive Displacement Pump Characteristic Curve
Positive displacement pumps deliver a definite volume of liquid for each cycle of pump operation. Therefore, the only factor that effects flow rate in an ideal positive displacement pump is the speed at which it operates. The flow resistance of the system in which the pump is operating will not effect the flow rate through the pump. Figure 21 shows the characteristic curve for a positive displacement pump.
The dashed line within the illustration below, shows actual positive displacement pump performance. This line reflects the fact that as the discharge pressure of the pump increases, some amount of liquid will leak from the discharge of the pump back to the pump suction, reducing the effective flow rate of the pump. The rate at which liquid leaks from the pump discharge to its suction is called slippage.