Classification of Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal Pump Classification by Flow
Centrifugal pumps can be classified based on the manner in which fluid flows through the pump. The manner in which fluid flows through the pump is determined by the design of the pump casing and the impeller. The three types of flow through a centrifugal pump are radial flow, axial flow, and mixed flow.

Radial Flow Pumps

In a radial flow pump, the liquid enters at the center of the impeller and is directed out along the impeller blades in a direction at right angles to the pump shaft. The impeller of a typical radial flow pump and the flow through a radial flow pump are shown in Figure 6.

Fig 6 Radial Flow Centrifugal Pump

Axial Flow Pumps

In an axial flow pump, the impeller pushes the liquid in a direction parallel to the pump shaft. Axial flow pumps are sometimes called propeller pumps because they operate essentially the same as the propeller of a boat. The impeller of a typical axial flow pump and the flow through a radial flow pump are shown in Figure 7.

Fig 7 Axial Flow Centrifugal Pump

Mixed Flow Pumps

Mixed flow pumps borrow characteristics from both radial flow and axial flow pumps.
As liquid flows through the impeller of a mixed flow pump, the impeller blades push the liquid out away from the pump shaft and to the pump suction at an angle greater than 90o. The impeller of a typical mixed flow pump and the flow through a mixed flow pump are shown in Figure 8.

Fig 8 Mixed Flow Centrifugal Pump

Multi-Stage Centrifugal Pumps

A centrifugal pump with a single impeller that can develop a differential pressure of more than 150 psid between the suction and the discharge is difficult and costly to design and construct. A more economical approach to developing high pressures with a single centrifugal pump is to include multiple impellers on a common shaft within the same pump casing. Internal channels in the pump casing route the discharge of one impeller to the suction of another impeller.

Figure 9 shows a diagram of the arrangement of the impellers of a four-stage pump. The water enters the pump from the top left and passes through each of the four impellers in series, going from left to right. The water goes from the volute surrounding the discharge of one impeller to the suction of the next impeller.

A pump stage is defined as that portion of a centrifugal pump consisting of one impeller and its associated components. Most centrifugal pumps are single-stage pumps, containing only one impeller. A pump containing seven impellers within a single casing would be referred to as a seven-stage pump or, or generally, as a multi-stage pump.

Fig 9 Multi Stage Centrifugal Pump


Engineer said…
This is very good information about centrifugal pumps. Thanks!
gareth batty said…
Centrifugal pumps, are a sub-class of dynamic axisymmetric work-absorbing turbo machinery. Centrifugal pumps are used to transport liquids/fluids by the conversion of the rotational kinetic energy to the hydro dynamics energy of the liquid flow.

thanks a lot for sharing
kaivan shah said…
nice posting.Centrifugal pumps are used to move liquids in the pipe lines and its main applications are in petrochemical industries, chemical plants, process control industries and water treatment plants.

Centrifugal Pump||Centrifugal Water Pump
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Unknown said…
This page published good information about centrifugal pump.
Centrifugal pumps are considered one of the easiest forms of motor pumps. Its main intention is to button the power of an engine or an electric-powered into kinetic energy or rapidity, which will produce pressure to force the liquid to come out.
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