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Plunger pumps: advantages and disadvantages

In-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of Plunger pumps


Plunger pumps: advantages and disadvantages

The plunger pumps are mechanical devices used in a variety of industrial sectors and are designed to convert mechanical energy into fluid energy.

The plunger pumps offered by Emiltec are specifically designed to pump high-pressure water and are very popular in application fields such as high-pressure washing, pipe unclogging, reverse osmosis, misting, and fire prevention.

In this article, we will discuss the features of high-pressure water plunger pumps and examine both the benefits and potential drawbacks they entail.

What are plunger pumps?

Before delving into the advantages and disadvantages, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the plunger pump concept. As we explored in this article, plunger pumps are devices capable of moving liquids or fluids through the reciprocating movements of one or more pistons. These movements create a change in pressure within the pump chamber, pushing the fluid through the inlet and outlet valves.

The advantages of plunger pumps

Let's now explore the main advantages of plunger pumps that make them the focal point in washing applications and industrial processes. Each listed advantage significantly contributes to optimizing production processes, reducing operational costs, and ensuring reliable performance across various sectors.

Ability to handle high pressures and flow rates

Among the key benefits offered by plunger pumps is their ability to provide high pressure and excellent flow rates. These attributes prove essential in various industrial contexts that demand the delivery of a large quantity of high-pressure water. In application fields such as fire fighting, misting, or pipe unblocking, it is indeed necessary to combine high pressure with large water flow rates.

Materials and durability

High-pressure water plunger pumps tend to be quite durable due to their design and the limited number of moving parts. The piston is the main moving component and is made of hard materials like ceramic to resist wear. The head of high-pressure water plunger pumps is typically made of brass or stainless steel, both of which are durable and corrosion-resistant.

Consistent efficiency

One of the most remarkable advantages of piston pumps is their outstanding efficiency, which remains constant regardless of water pressure and flow rate. This distinctive feature stems from the design of plunger pumps, which utilize the reciprocating motion of the pistons to generate steady and consistent flows. Unlike other types of pumps, where performance can vary based on operating conditions, plunger pumps maintain a constant efficiency level.

Higher energy efficiency compared to centrifugal pumps

A significant benefit of plunger pumps lies in their exceptional energy efficiency, which distinctly sets them apart from centrifugal pumps. With equal flow rates, plunger pumps require approximately 40% less electricity than their centrifugal counterparts (Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide Pumping Systems). This efficiency translates into reduced operational costs and a lower environmental impact, crucial factors for companies aiming to optimize their production processes and pursue sustainability.

The disadvantages of plunger pumps

Concerning the drawbacks of piston pumps, it is essential to note that, like any technology, these machines also have some limitations that are crucial to consider when evaluating their use.

Pulsating Flow

One aspect to consider among the drawbacks of piston pumps is the pulsating flow they produce during the pumping process. This pulsation in the flow can result from the alternate action of the pistons within the cylinders. While the pulsating flow might not be an issue in many industrial applications, it could adversely affect some processes that require an extremely consistent and uniform flow. For instance, in precise dosing systems or in the transfer of materials sensitive to pressure variations, the pulsating flow might necessitate the use of pulsation dampening devices to achieve optimal results. It is crucial to carefully consider the specific needs of the application and evaluate whether the pulsating flow is a limiting factor or if it can be effectively managed through appropriate engineering solutions.

Water Quality and Minimum Feed Pressure

Unlike other types of pumps, high-pressure water piston pumps must operate with clean and specially filtered water. Any solid residues present in the water could irreparably damage the internal parts of the system and the pump itself.

Furthermore, high-pressure water piston pumps are not self-priming. This means that, depending on the conditions, they require a certain minimum feed pressure.

Specialized Maintenance

Another aspect to keep in mind among the drawbacks of piston pumps is the need for scheduled maintenance. Due to their complex design and detailed internal components, piston pumps require an adequate level of maintenance to ensure the pump's longevity.

Although specialized maintenance might involve additional costs, it is a necessary investment to ensure the durability and reliable operation of these pumps in any application.

Choose the best of plunger pumps with Emiltec

In this landscape, we at Emiltec have become an international benchmark for the supply of high-pressure plunger water pumps, and not only that. Our long-standing experience in the sector allows us to offer a specialized consultancy service, aimed at assisting our clients in selecting the product that best suits their needs.

Contact us now for personalized support in choosing the best suited plunger pump for your applications!