A positive displacement pump makes a fluid move by trapping a fixed amount and forcing (displacing) that trapped volume into the discharge pipe.
Some positive displacement pumps use an expanding cavity on the suction side and a decreasing cavity on the discharge side. Liquid flows into the pump as the cavity on the suction side expands and the liquid flows out of the discharge as the cavity collapses. The volume is constant through each cycle of operation.
Positive displacement pump behavior and safety
Positive displacement pumps, unlike centrifugal or roto-dynamic pumps, theoretically can produce the same flow at a given speed (RPM) no matter what the discharge pressure. Thus, positive displacement pumps are constant flow machines. However, a slight increase in internal leakage as the pressure increases prevents a truly constant flow rate. in case.
A positive displacement pump must not operate against a closed valve on the discharge side of the pump, because it has no shutoff head like centrifugal pumps. A positive displacement pump operating against a closed discharge valve continues to produce flow and the pressure in the discharge line increases until the line bursts, the pump is severely damaged, or both.
A relief or safety valve on the discharge side of the positive displacement pump is therefore necessary. The relief valve can be internal or external. The pump manufacturer normally has the option to supply internal relief or safety valves. The internal valve is usually only used as a safety precaution. An external relief valve in the discharge line, with a return line back to the suction line or supply tank provides increased safety.
A screw pump is a more complicated type of rotary pump that uses two or three screws with opposing thread — e.g., one screw turns clockwise and the other counterclockwise. The screws are mounted on parallel shafts that have gears that mesh so the shafts turn together and everything stays in place. The screws turn on the shafts and drive fluid through the pump. As with other forms of rotary pumps, the clearance between moving parts and the pump's casing is minimal.