Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) often require versatile, cost-effective, compact and reliable pumps for their equipment. All these qualities are often very difficult to find in one pump type, and it is in these situations where flexible impeller pumps shine.
Flexible impeller pumps have a unique design whereby the impeller is made from rubber and manufactured too small to fit fully inside the pump casing. This means that the impeller bends as it rotates inside; this design is what gives the pump special characteristics, such as the ability to self-prime from dry up to 6m vertically, handle solids, handle high-viscosity fluids and provide a non-pulsating gentle pumping action for shear-sensitive fluids.
These pumps have numerous other advantages that set them apart from other pump types: they are compact, can be installed in various positions and the pump head can be rotated to allow the inlet/outlet connections to be positioned how the operator desires. They can handle thin liquids such as water and diesel; however, they are also capable of handling high-viscosity fluids up to 50,000cp, such as toothpaste and cream. The motor can be run at full speed for thin liquids, or a larger pump can be used in conjunction with a gearbox or inverter drive to slow the speed when handling thicker liquids.
They are used in a wide range of industries including chemical, cosmetic, food, beverage and pharmaceutical; this is because the casing can be manufactured in either 304 or 316 stainless steel and the impellers can be manufactured in various materials including NBR, Neoprene, EPDM, Silicon and Natural rubber depending on the nature of the fluid. In addition to this, these pumps are FDA approved and the connections are available in various configurations, including DIN, BSP Male and Female, Triclover, SMS, RJT, Friederich, Garolla and Macron.
Convenience for the operator is paramount in the design of this equipment. These pumps can also be operated in reverse for applications such as tanker loading/offloading; this is performed by simply flicking switch on the motor. Maintenance is simple as there are only eight main parts in total, and only four of these are wearing parts. The drive type is also very flexible as they can be supplied in either bare shaft form without motor or mounted to an electric motor, hydraulic motor, geared motor with pulley, mechanical speed variator or variable speed drive mounted directly on the motor. Accessories can be installed for ease and system protection; these include control panel, bypass valve, carry handle, level sensors, motor shroud, remote control, flow meter and dry run protection.
It is easy to see how advantageous flexible impeller pumps are, and with so many special characteristics, variations, material types and accessories, it is not surprising that machine builders throughout the world are installing them.
Follow the link for more information about the range of flexible impeller pumps from North Ridge Pumps.