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Peristaltic Pumps

What is a peristaltic pump?

A pump that is designed to use positive displacement to squeeze a leak-proof tube or hose, forcing the pumped fluid through the hose. It is one of the few types of pumps in which the fluid being transported does not come into direct contact with any parts of the pumping mechanism. This makes it ideal for pumping fluids that either need to be sterile or should not leak into the environment.

Peristaltic pumps generally work within the following ranges:

  • Flow rate ranges between .2 and 200 gpm
  • Total head (pressure) ranges between 10 and 250 psi
  • Horsepower ranges between 0.125 and 40 hp

How do they work?

There are two main parts inside the pump: the hose and the rotor. The hose, which must be made of a tough, chemical-resistant material that allows no leakage of air or liquid, runs along the outer wall inside the circular pump chamber. The rotor sits in the middle of the pump chamber and moves in a circular motion. As the rotor turns, rollers or shoes that are attached to the rotor compress the hose, thus forcing the fluid toward the outlet of the pump while creating a vacuum that draws more fluid into the pump inlet. Most peristaltic pumps are electrically powered. Depending on the size of pump and the method that is used to squeeze the hose, there may be oil inside the pump chamber to lubricate the outside of the hose as it is squeezed.

The selection of the correct hose type and material is the most critical aspect of the proper application of peristaltic pumps. The hose must be of the correct material so that it won’t corrode or wear prematurely as the hose is squeezed, which could cause a leak in the hose. Normally, the hose can be replaced when it is worn.

Where are they used?

Peristaltic pumps are used in applications where leakage of the pumped fluid can’t occur, or where the fluids are aggressive or potentially dangerous. They are used in some chemical metering applications, such as pumping chlorine for disinfection of swimming pools, as well as a variety of medical applications, such as IV pumps and dialysis machines. Peristaltic pumps are also used in industrial and municipal applications involving corrosive and abrasive liquids. They’re useful in scientific research handling hygienic or volatile fluids, and they are used in smaller sizes for applications such as pumping ink in commercial sized multi-color printers.

Here are a few peristaltic pump manufacturers to consider.

Other related pump types include: sanitary pump, chemical pumps, industrial pumps.

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