Chemical manufacturing facilities work with a variety of valuable chemical compounds. Acids, caustics, solvents, and polymers are all widely used throughout these facilities, and they must be managed effectively to ensure a safe and productive manufacturing environment. There are four main types of chemical pumps used to meet the fluid management needs of the chemical industry: centrifugal pumps, diaphragm pumps, positive displacement pumps, and turbine pumps.

Common Pumps Found in the Chemical Industry

Types of Pumps Used in the Chemical Industry

The liquids used in the chemical industry feature various levels of corrosiveness, abrasiveness, and viscosity. To handle them efficiently without the risk of breakdowns or stoppages, one of four pump varieties is typically used:

  • Centrifugal pumps. The most common type of pump used in the chemical industry, centrifugal pumps are highly efficient and simple in operation as well as design. Compared to other pump varieties, they are generally less expensive.
  • Diaphragm pumps. These are a type of positive displacement pump capable of moving liquid-gas mixtures or liquids using a reciprocating diaphragm. They are available in metal and plastic materials and are particularly compatible with certain types of chemicals that metal-constructed pumps are unsuitable for.
  • Positive displacement pumps. These are all types of rotary pumps and include piston, rotary vane, screw, and gear pumps. They are more efficient at moving high-velocity fluids than centrifugal pumps and can deliver higher pump pressures. They can also move low-vapor-pressure fluids that flow at lower speeds, creating more resistance.
  • Turbine pumps. Featuring turbine-like impellers, these pumps use radially oriented teeth to move liquid. They combine the versatility of a centrifugal pump with the high discharge pressure of positive displacement pumps. However, they are unsuitable for transporting liquids containing solid content.

Pump Selection Considerations

Since many types of pumps are used in the chemical processing industry, identifying the most suitable option for a given application requires consideration of several factors, including:

  • Amount of solid materials present in the liquid
  • Liquid corrosiveness
  • Liquid viscosity
  • Liquid abrasiveness

The type of liquid being processed plays a key role in pump selection. For example, liquid-gas mixtures require pumps capable of handling them without stoppages or breakdowns. Liquids containing large amounts of solid materials require heavy-duty solutions to perform efficiently in harsh conditions and reliably transport these mixtures.

Liquid characteristics also play a critical role in choosing pump construction materials. Corrosion is a key consideration for the chemical industry, and the materials used to construct pumps must be compatible with the materials being pumped. For example, when transporting highly corrosive substances, such as acids, stainless steel pump construction is required.

Why Stark Tech?

Stark Compression, formerly Glauber Equipment Corporation, has over 60 years of experience meeting the needs of the chemical industry. We offer a diverse variety of pumps for chemical applications including:

  • Air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD)
  • Centrifugal pumps
  • Chemical metering pumps
  • Positive displacement pumps
  • Peristaltic pumps

We work closely with each client to develop reliable, long-lasting solutions. Our facility features everything needed to design and build custom-fabricated products, including overhead cranes, state-of-the-art welding and fabrication equipment, and a paint booth. All of our piping fabrication and assembly is performed by union pipe fitters and we perform on-site unit testing up to 400HP, as well as flow and pneumatic testing. To learn more about our chemical pumps, reach out to our team today.

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