Shearing is a significant factor to consider when it comes to pump selection. Sometimes shearing is necessary, and the pump may be paired with a macerator or shredder to process difficult materials through the pump system. In many other cases, shearing is something you want to avoid. You don’t want your process materials to be damaged or overly agitated when pumped.
A good example of this may be the food industry. It’s very common for solids suspended in fluid to be pumped through food production systems. The manufacturer wants any shearing effects to be as minimal as possible to keep the solids intact. This is one crucial feature offered by low-shear and no-shear pump equipment. Low-shear pumps are used in different industries for food, dairy, polymers, flocculants, emulsions, slurries, and other materials where shearing needs to be minimized.
The Basics of a Low-Shear Pump
Low-shear pumps can be found in both centrifugal and positive displacement (PD) pump categories. They may use a rotating element, such as an impeller or rotor, to produce centrifugal force with minimal turbulence, or they may use a gentler displacement design to transfer fluids and solids through the pump system. Low-shear pumps generally operate at lower speeds and offer higher passages for the materials to pass through. Variable speed controls and variable frequency drives (VFDs) are also common features.
Low-Shear Pump Examples
Many types of low-shear pumps are available, with many specialty models ideally suited for specific low-shear applications. Some of the most popular styles include:
• Progressive Cavity Pumps
• Peristaltic Pumps
• Diaphragm or AODD Pumps
• Lobe Pumps
• Screw Centrifugal Pumps
• Sanitary Twin Screw Pumps
Benefits of a Low-Shear Pump
Low-shear pumps are ideal for certain processing applications that require a more delicate pumping motion. This is because they offer unique benefits you might not find with standard pumps. Here are five of the best advantages of a low-shear pump:
- Preservation of Fluids and Solids
The first benefit is the most obvious one. Low-shear pumps provide minimal shearing effects. This means less agitation for process fluids and no significant maceration of solid materials. Any liquids or solids moving through the pump system are kept intact and protected from any turbulence or shear-causing forces. Many industries have delicate liquids, polymers, or chemicals that need to be transferred very gently. A low-shear pump ensures the fluid properties remain the same through the pumping process. The result is higher quality products.
- Cost Efficiency
On average, low-shear pumps offer good cost-effectiveness. They are energy-efficient and simplistic in design. There are fewer maintenance requirements, and there is less risk of breakdowns. When paired with a VFD and quality control system, you can optimize your production time and operating costs with low-shear pump systems.
- Consistent Flow Rate
A key feature of low-shear pumps is they produce a consistent flow rate. If you have an application that demands an accurate and constant flow rate, you can easily achieve this with the right low-shear pump equipment.
Low-shear pumps are able to handle a wide range of fluids, viscosities, and solids. They can be adapted to many different processing applications.
Many general-use low-shear pumps are available. A great number of highly specialized low-shear pump designs are also on the market. These are suited for specific applications, fluids, solids, and shear-prevention results. This is why it is important to find the right low-shear pump that’s best for your specific application.
The Best Low-Shear Pumps
DXP Pacific is partnered with the world’s leading pump manufacturers, including those who specialize in low-shear pump designs. To learn more about the benefits of low-shear pumps or to find the best equipment for your application, please contact us today.