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Everything You Need to Know About Drum Pumps

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What is a Drum Pump?

A drum pump is a portable device that transfers fluids from storage tanks, barrels or drums. These devices are also known as barrel pumps. They are available in a wide array of configurations and designs that suit different types of fluids, containers and power supply outlets.

How do Drum Pumps Transfer Liquids?

Many production plants use liquids delivered in 100 or 200 litre barrels that are too heavy to be safely tipped up to empty them out. Also, many industries use large tanks or intermediate bulk containers to store feedstocks. Drum pumps perform the safe and effective transfer of media from such containers.

All drum pumps include a pump section, a motor section and an immersion tube. The motor is located on top of the immersion tube on the exterior side of the container. The immersion tube has the same length as the depth of the container and it fits through a whole on the upper part of the container. More often than not it is sealed to the top of the container.

By the lower end of the immersion tube sits the pump section. An extended shaft encapsulated into a sealed column drives the pump by connecting its rotor to the motor. The liquid gets pumped and forced to flow between the tube and the sleeve to pass through the discharge port located by the end of the immersion tube. Immersion tubes are available in a wide range of lengths to suit different container heights. The media to be pumped determines the material construction of the immersion tube.

Low or medium viscosity fluids call for extended centrifugal pumps featuring single, double or multiple impellers. As it rotates, the impeller forces the fluid up the immersion tube and out a special port.

What are the Most Important Characteristics of a Drum Pump?

A drum pump includes a series of components that will be in contact with the fluid that needs pumping. It is mandatory that all wetted elements have excellent anti-corrosion properties. In addition, if the fluid is combustible or flammable, all of these elements must be safe to use at the operating temperature. polypropylene, pure polypropylene, 316 stainless steel, PVDF and CPVC are among the most common materials of pump tubes and other components.

What are the Advantages and the Drawbacks of a Drum Pump?

The first and foremost advantage of a drum pump is that doesn’t require the manual handling of the fluid. This eliminates the risk of injuries, toxic fumes inhalation, and chemical leaks and splashes. As drum pumps are usually portable and lightweight, they are easy to transfer between tanks.

Drum pumps come in a wide variety of configurations that cater to virtually any application. Many of these designs are sold by companies like Flux Pumps. There are special designs of centrifugal pumps for low viscosity fluids, screw-type, positive displacement pumps for medium viscosity liquids, as well as progressive cavity designs that work best for high viscosity fluids. Also, there are pump designs that allow to achieve a gentle, low pulsation flow.

The configuration of a drum pump must match the size of the container to be used with. For instance, if the immersion tube is too short to reach the bottom of the container, the pump won’t be able to drain it. Nevertheless, drum pumps are built with flexibility in mind, with interchangeable elements that allow to easily repurpose them whenever needed.

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