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The Centrifugal Pump

The centrifugal pump is by far the most widely used type in the chemical and petroleum industries.It will pump liquids with very wide ranging properties and suspensions with a high solids content including ,for example ,cement slurries ,and may be constructed from a very wide rang of corrosion resistant materials .The whole pump casing may be constructed from plastic such as polypropylene or it may be fitted with a corrosion-resistant lining .Because it operates at high speed ,it may be directly coupled to an electric motor and it will give a high flow rate for its size .

In this type of pump ,the fluid is fed to the center of a rotating impeller and is thrown outward by centrifugal action .As a result of the high speed of rotation the liquid acquires a high kinetic energy and the pressure difference between the suction and delivery sides arises from the conversion of kinetic energy into pressure energy .

The impeller consists of a series of curved vanes so shaped that the flow within the pump is as smooth as possible. The greater the number of vanes on the impeller, the greater is the control over the direction of the liquid and hence the smaller are the losses due to turbulence and circulation between the vanes. In the open impeller, the vanes are fixed to a central hub, whereas in the closed type the vanes are held between two supporting plates and leakage across the impeller is reduced. As will be seen later, the angle of the tips of the blades very largely determines the operating characteristics of the pump.

The liquid enters the casing of the pump, normally in an axial direction, and is picked up by the vanes of the impeller, In the simple type of centrifugal pump, the liquid discharges into a volute, a chamber of gradually increasing cross section with a tangential outlet. A volute type of pump is shown in Fig.(a). In the turbine pump Fig.(b) the liquid flows from the moving vanes of the impeller through a series of fixed vanes forming a diffusion ring.

This gives a more gradual change in direction to the fluid and more efficient conversion of kinetic energy into pressure energy than is obtained with the volute type.The angle of the leading edge of the fixed vanes should be such that the fluid is received without shock.The liquids flows along the surface of the impeller vane with a certain velocity whilst the tip of the vane is moving relative to the casing of the pump.The direction of motion of the liquid relative to the pump casing and the required angle of the fixed vanes—is found by compounding these two velocities.
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