What are Drum Pumps?
They are portable pumps that are designed specifically to allow for the efficient and safe transfer of fluids from storage tanks, drums or barrels. Drum pumps are sometimes referred to as barrel pumps. There are many different pump configurations and designs that are available depending on the type and size of the container, the on-site power supply and the media that is being pumped.
How Do Drum Pumps Work?
Many of the liquids that are used in processing and manufacturing plants come in 100- or 200-litre barrels. They weigh too much to safely tip up and empty out. Many industries also store feedstock in big tanks or Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), for which an ibc stirrer may be needed. Drum pumps make it possible to transfer media from large containers like these in an effective and safe way.
A drum pump is comprised of a pump section, an immersion tube and a motor section. The motor is on the outside part of the container over the immersion tube. The immersion tube – running the entire depth of the container – fits through and frequently is sealed to one of the openings on the top part of the container. Inside the lower part of the immersion tube is the pump section. The pump gets driven by the other side of the immersion tube through the use of an extended shaft that is protected by a sealed column. Pumped liquid flows in between the tube and sleeve into the discharge art on the section of the immersion tube where the motor is. Various lengths of tubes are available to meet various depths of containers and different materials constructions are offered depending on the type of media that needs to be pumped.
Drum pumps for medium or low viscosity fluids tend to use extended centrifugal pumps that have multiple, double or single impellers. When the impellers are rotated, they discharge the liquid through out of a port located on the top part of the immersion tube.
The Main Features of Drum Pumps
There are several components contained in a drum pump that come into contact with pumped fluid beyond the outer pump tubing material. It is very important for the wet parts to be resistant to corrosion. Also, if the fluid is combustible or flammable, it needs to be safe to use at its operating temperature. Usually, pump tubes as well as other parts are available in pure polypropylene, CPVC, PVDF, and 316 stainless steel.
What Are the Main Limitations and Advantages of Drum Pumps?
The major advantage is drum pumps eliminate many of the risks associated with handling containers manually: toxic fumes, leaks, chemical splashing and injuries. Drum pumps are portable and lightweight, which makes it easy to transfer them in between containers.
There are pump designs available for all applications: centrifugal pumps with multiple, double or single impeller designs for low viscosity fluids, screw-type, positive displacement pumps that are ideal for medium viscosity liquids and those with progressive cavity designs and small particulates that are well-suited for viscous fluids and that can achieve gentle, low pulsation flows.
Drum pumps can be configured for specific sizes of containers. For example, sometimes the immersion tube might be too short to reach the bottom of a container which means it won’t be able to drain. However, since parts have been designed to be interchangeable, it is fairly easy to re-purpose drum pumps.