Positive Displacement Pump

Definition - What does Positive Displacement Pump mean?

Positive Displacement Pump is a type of pump used to displace or force oil and petroleum products into pipelines or into various equipment installed in refineries. The operation of this type of pump is holding a fixed volume of fluid that needs to be displaced and then forcing it from the inlet section into the discharge pipe. Some Positive Displacement Pumps make use of cavities which expand at the suction side (inlet) and decrease at the discharge site; the volume of fluid being constant in each operation cycle of the pump.

Petropedia explains Positive Displacement Pump

A Positive Displacement Pump is also known as a constant flow machine as the volume of fluid being displaced remains constant in each operation cycle of the pump. This means that the flow of fluid produced by this type of pump at a given speed (RPM) will be same regardless of the discharge pressure.

The Positive Displacement Pump can be divided into two broad categories:

1. Rotary Positive Displacement Pumps or simply rotary pumps. They include:

  • Gear Pumps
  • Screw Pumps
  • Rotary vane pumps

2. Reciprocating Positive Displacement Pumps or simply reciprocating pumps. They include:

  • Plunger Pumps
  • Diaphragm Pumps
  • Piston Pumps
  • Radial piston pumps
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