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Screw Type Positive Displacement Pump
There are many variations in the design of the screw type positive displacement, rotary pump. The primary differences consist of the number of intermeshing screws involved, the pitch of the screws, and the general direction of fluid flow. Two common designs are the two-screw, low-pitch, double-flow pump and the three-screw, high-pitch, double-flow pump.
Two-Screw, Low-Pitch, Screw Pump
The two-screw, low-pitch, screw pump consists of two screws that mesh with close clearances, mounted on two parallel shafts. One screw has a right-handed thread, and the other screw has a left-handed thread. One shaft is the driving shaft and drives the other shaft through a set of herringbone timing gears. The gears serve to maintain clearances between the screws as they turn and to promote quiet operation. The screws rotate in closely fitting duplex cylinders that have overlapping bores. All clearances are small, but there is no actual contact between the two screws or between the screws and the cylinder walls.
The complete assembly and the usual flow path are shown in Figure 17. Liquid is trapped at the outer end of each pair of screws. As the first space between the screw threads rotates away from the opposite screw, a one-turn, spiral-shaped quantity of liquid is enclosed when the end of the screw again meshes with the opposite screw. As the screw continues to rotate, the entrapped spiral turns of liquid slide along the cylinder toward the center discharge space while the next slug is being entrapped. Each screw functions similarly, and each pair of screws discharges an equal quantity of liquid in opposed streams toward the center, thus eliminating hydraulic thrust. The removal of liquid from the suction end by the screws produces a reduction in pressure, which draws liquid through the suction line.
Three-Screw, High-Pitch, Screw Pump
The three-screw, high-pitch, screw pump, shown in Figure 18, has many of the same elements as the two-screw, low-pitch, screw pump, and their operations are similar. Three screws, oppositely threaded on each end, are employed. They rotate in a triple cylinder, the two outer bores of which overlap the center bore. The pitch of the screws is much higher than in the low pitch screw pump; therefore, the center screw, or power rotor, is used to drive the two outer idler rotors directly without external timing gears. Pedestal bearings at the base support the weight of the rotors and maintain their axial position. The liquid being pumped enters the suction opening, flows through passages around the rotor housing, and through the screws from each end, in opposed streams, toward the center discharge. This eliminates unbalanced hydraulic thrust. The screw pump is used for pumping viscous fluids, usually lubricating, hydraulic, or fuel oil.