What Is a Progressive Cavity Pump and How Does It Work?

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A progressive cavity pump can be one of the most important equipment in various manufacturing companies and industries. This equipment is commonly used to pump different kinds of liquids. For consumer purposes, a food-grade progressive cavity pump should be used to comply with food safety standards.

How a PC Pump works

Progressive cavity (PC) pumps fall under the rotating displacement pump group. It uses a rotor that has a helix-shaped metal that continuously rotates inside a stator. You may think using this equipment is complicated. However, you will realize how simple and even beautiful to see how it actually works.

Aside from being used in liquid, PC pumps are also used in agriculture applications. For one, this equipment is also used to move berries and fruits without causing damage to them. When used in various fluids, it can also be helpful especially if the liquid is shear sensitive and/or abrasive.

The pump size depends on the type of fluid that will be processed. The more abrasive the liquid is — meaning, containing minerals and other substances — the better it is to use a larger pump. At the same time, the pump should be run slower than smaller pumps. Likewise, the pressure should be reduced if it is an abrasive liquid — around 20 psi as per experts.

It is also important to determine the right material and operating speed of the equipment to ensure a smooth, cost-efficient, and reliable operation. It has been used around the world as early as the 1930s and was originally intended as a jet engine compressor.

Benefits of using PC pumps

PC pumps have provided several benefits for various industries ever since the concept was conceived back in the 1930s. For one, PC pumps can handle all types of liquids including viscous and fragile ones. Also, the fluid’s flow rate complements the pump’s speed, in which the former can be adjusted by adjusting the pump’s speed.

In addition, PC pumps are self-priming and have a high suction feature. This means you can save time from cleaning the equipment or forgetting to clean and maintain it in the first place. Plus, PC pumps can also reverse-flow depending on their needs.

As already mentioned, PC pumps are easy to maintain, especially when using viscous liquids. For one thing, this type of liquid can already serve as a lubricant which can help in maintaining the equipment. A well-lubricated machine means longer usability and lifespan.

PC pump maintenance

woman monitoring the pump system

Some important reminders in maintaining PC pumps include the following.

  • For every two stators replace on a PC pump, make sure to replace the rotor as well.
  • Make sure to review the instructional manual to determine rotor wear and when it’s time for repair or replace.
  • Before the routine maintenance, flush out the product remnants in the pump for easier cleaning. Check the user guide for other cleaning and maintenance tips.
  • Use an appropriate lubricant during rotor installation. Check what the right lubricant to use for food grade PC pumps.

Aside from pumping food and drinks, progressive cavity pumps are also used for different purposes. This includes using it for sewage pumping, pumping thick chemicals, oil and slurry pumping among a few. In addition, progressive cavity pumps are also used in oil field drilling (except that the rotating movement is reversed), as well as other industrial purposes

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