Triplex Pumps Review

Pump Application and Operation

What are they?

A type of reciprocating positive displacement pump; they are used to move both thin (e.g. water) and viscous (e.g. oil) fluids. The pump is named for its triple mechanism, which typically consists of three pistons or plungers operating in cylinders that are all driven by a single power source.

Tri-Plex Pump

How do they work?

The triplex pump mechanism contributes to a smooth flow, reduced pressure pulsations, and reduced fatigue loading on the mechanical components of the pump; the achievable pressure and flow of the pump is also increased. This has an advantage over single piston pumps or plunger pumps, the reciprocating motion of which creates significant pulsations in the discharge pressure and subjects the driving mechanism to severe cyclical loads that can cause premature failure of bearings and other mechanical components.

A standard triplex pump is driven by an A.C. Motor with a crank-shaft and connecting rod assembly to convert the rotation of the motor shaft to the reciprocating motion of the pistons or plungers; the mechanics are similar to that of an internal combustion engine. Some piston and plunger pumps feature more than three cylinders; a quintiplex pump, common in oil production pumps, contains five cylinders. Typically a pump has one set of check valves per cylinder, one at the inlet and one of the outlet; this is standard for all reciprocating positive displacement pumps.

Where are they used?

Different sizes of triplex pumps are useful in various settings. Smaller versions are commonly used as high pressure wash pumps, or pressure washers, while very small versions are also used as residential power washers. Larger versions of both piston and plunger type pump are typically used in oil drilling and oil well service applications. Regardless of size, all types can be very effective in handling a variety of heavy, viscous, and corrosive fluids, such as abrasives, slurries, and solids-laden liquids.

 Contributed by PumpScout staff

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