Unveiling the Definition and Function of a Barrel Pump
Barrel pumps, also known as drum pumps, offer a convenient and secure method for transferring or dispensing a wide range of chemicals from containers like barrels or drums. These pumps come in various models, tube lengths, and accessories to cater to different needs in industries. They can be operated manually using handles, levers, or plungers to facilitate fluid dispensing.
Unveiling the Mechanism Behind Barrel Pumps
Manufacturing and processing facilities commonly employ barrels, usually with a capacity of 100 or 200 litres, for the storage and transport of chemicals and reagents. These barrels are too cumbersome to tilt for the purpose of dispensing or emptying liquids without risking safety. To facilitate the safe and efficient transfer of fluids from such containers, barrel pumps are utilised.
Barrel pumps consist of three main components: the motor section, the immersion tube, and the pump section. The motor is positioned on top of the immersion tube, which is inserted into the container through an opening on the top. Depending on the depth of the container, different tube lengths and material options are available. The pump section is located at the lower end of the immersion tube and is operated by an extended shaft protected by a sealed column. The liquid to be pumped flows between the sleeve and the tube, eventually reaching the discharge port at the motor end of the immersion tube.
Barrel pumps used for fluids with low to medium viscosity usually utilise centrifugal pumps that have extended impellers, which can be single, double, or multiple. The impeller rotation forces the liquid to travel up through the tube and exit through a port located at the upper section of the immersion tube.
For medium and viscosity fluids, positive displacement pumps are more suitable. PTFE screw-type lifting compressors are often used for medium-viscosity fluids (up to 2000cP). Typical applications include the transfer of inks, paints, solvents and food products. Typical applications of high-viscosity liquids (up to 100,000cP), include the transfer of oils, resins, solvents, waxes, adhesives, gear lube, glycerine, silicone, lotions, polymers, honey, juice concentrate, hair and bath gel, corn syrup. For these types of products a progressive cavity design is more suitable.
Key Components of a Barrel Pump Explained
A barrel pump consists of various elements that come into contact with the fluid being pumped, apart from the material of the outer pump tube. It is crucial to ensure that these parts can withstand corrosion and, if the fluid is flammable or combustible, can be used safely at the operating temperature. Generally, pump tubes and other components are offered in different materials such as polypropylene, 316 stainless steel, PVDF, CPVC, and pure polypropylene, which are resistant to corrosion.
In various environments, a broad range of materials that have been exposed to moisture can resist chemical corrosion.
Manufacturers typically provide a selection of motors and immersion tubes with different lengths for barrel pumps. This allows for customization based on the specific containers and operating conditions. In general, the motors can be easily and swiftly disconnected from one pump tube and used with another. In situations where there is no access to an electrical supply, air-powered motors can serve as an alternative. Additionally, these pumps can be disassembled in the field, and individual parts can be replaced as needed.
The length of the tube is dependent on the size of the container. To illustrate, a typical barrel with a volume of 200 litres or 45 gallons necessitates a tube measuring 100 centimetres in length. Smaller lengths are used for containers with capacities of 15 and 30 gallons.
In most cases, barrel pumps are used for straightforward fluid transfers that don’t necessitate high flow rates or head pressure capabilities. However, there are pump models designed specifically for situations that require these features. For instance, they may be employed for swiftly draining larger tanks, transferring liquids to elevated positions, or pumping substances with higher viscosity.
Exploring the Pros and Cons of a Barrel Pump
One of the key benefits of using a barrel pump is its ability to eliminate the various hazards associated with manually handling containers. These risks include the potential for injuries, such as chemical splashing, leaks, and exposure to toxic fumes. Moreover, Barrel pumps are designed to be lightweight and portable, making them highly convenient for transferring liquids between containers.
There are various pump designs available for different applications. Centrifugal pumps come in single, double, or multiple impeller designs, which are suited for fluids with low viscosity. Positive displacement pumps with screw-type designs are ideal for liquids with medium viscosity and those that contain small particles. Progressive cavity pumps are suitable for viscous fluids and can achieve low pulsation while maintaining gentle flows.
Barrel pumps are typically set up to fit a particular container size. For instance, if the immersion tube is not long enough to reach the bottom of another container, it will not be able to empty it. However, the components of a barrel pump can be exchanged, making it relatively simple to adapt it for a different purpose. Likewise, a barrel pump designed for one type of liquid may not be capable of transferring another due to variations in viscosity or chemical compatibility.
Barrel pumps need to have a compact and light design to ensure that both the flow rate and head pressure remain within acceptable limits. The usual flow rates range from 20 to 151 litres per minute, with the highest rates achieved when using low-viscosity liquids and powerful electric motors. However, when dealing with more viscous fluids and air-driven motors, the maximum flow rates are typically around 60 litres per minute. On the other hand, the Flux battery pump with brushless motor FBM-B 3100 is the ultimate lightweight, cordless solution for emptying containers, barrels and even IBC’s.
The fluid being pumped needs to flow upwards through the immersion tube and along the outer surface of the elongated drive shaft in order to reach the discharge port. Due to the limited space resulting from the external tube’s diameter, which is approximately 50mm, barrel pumps are not capable of handling solids or slurries. In situations where the presence of solids or slurries is anticipated, strainers and filters are typically installed in barrel pumps.
Barrel Pump Uses
|Chemical industry, research laboratories
|Reagents, acids, bases, detergents
|Fuels, oils, greases
|Electric generating plants
|Metal-plating, Electronics manufacturing
|Food manufacturing, hospitals
|Coolants, cleaning solutions
|Swimming pool treatment
Understanding the Head and Flow Requirements
If you require a motor, it is essential to determine whether your application necessitates a basic transfer or if you require higher flow rates and higher head capabilities. This knowledge will assist you in selecting a motor that is suitable for your needs.
What fluid are you transferring?
Based on the fluid you are transferring, you must ensure that the barrel pump tube materials are compatible with the fluid being pumped. Chemical resistance guides will help you select the correct outer tube material that is resistant to the material being pumped. Is the fluid flammable or combustible? Different barrel pumps have different capabilities when pumping fluids that have a specific gravity greater than 1.0 or a viscosity greater than 1 cP. The capabilities are based on the pump design and the motor driving the pump.
How hot or cold is the liquid?
For safe operation immersion tubes have upper temperature limits.
How big is the container?
In the realm of general knowledge, it is quite common for a standard 200 litre/45-gallon barrel to employ a pump tube measuring 100 cm in length. However, when it comes to 15- and 30-gallon containers, the pump tube lengths are smaller in comparison.
Unveiling the Energy Origin
To ascertain the preferred motor style of the site, it is essential to determine whether they prefer electric motors, explosion-proof electric motors, or air-powered motors. In the case of electric motors, it is important to verify the required voltage. Manual barrel pumps can be operated using levers or plungers, and some models may even offer a double-action mechanism where fluid is delivered on both strokes of the lever.
Essential Accessories You Must Have
Manufacturers frequently offer a wide selection of accessories to customise a barrel pump for a particular use. These accessories can be useful in various applications, including business writing, academic assignments, and more. The aim is to inform a knowledgeable audience about the availability of customization options and the benefits they offer.
- Flexible hoses are versatile and adaptable tubing that
- Static protection kits are essential for ensuring the safe transportation of flammable or combustible liquids. These kits are specifically designed to be used in conjunction with stainless steel tube pumps and air or explosion-proof electric motors. By utilising these kits, the risk of static discharge and potential accidents are significantly reduced, promoting a safer working environment.
- Barrel adapters guarantee a secure and precise attachment of the tube within the barrel, effectively eliminating any potential issues related to leakage or emission of fumes. They are readily available in a wide range of construction materials, catering to various preferences and requirements.
- Flow meters allow the accurate measurements of the liquid being pumped
- Filter/lubricator assemblies are designed to guarantee a consistently dry and lubricated air supply to effectively operate air drive motors.
- Nozzles offer the ability to regulate the movement of liquid.
- Strainers serve the purpose of safeguarding pumps from potential harm caused by foreign objects.
A barrel pump is a compact and convenient device created specifically for the secure and effective movement of liquids from barrels. While it is commonly used with 200-litre barrels, it can also be used with containers of various sizes, such as 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 1250 litres.
Various designs and pump configurations are accessible, which rely on the container’s size and type, the nature of the pumped media, and the available power supply. For smaller applications or situations where power is not accessible, hand-operated pumps can be used.