Chemical production has greatly benefited the United States economically, as well as the rest of the world. In 2016, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the U.S. chemical output value equaled more that $767 billion. Despite the monetary gains it creates, though, chemical production also carries risks. Chemicals can harm people and the environment.
Fortunately, proper planning and excellent equipment mitigates much of that risk. One of the best ways to avoid site contamination or employee injury is by using the correct chemical pump.
What Is a Chemical Pump?
“Chemical pump” is not an official industry term, but it does have a generally agreed-upon meaning. A chemical pump should:
- Resist the corrosive effects of multiple chemicals at various temperatures; and
- Avoid any unintended emissions that could harm operators or the surrounding area.
That’s an intentionally broad definition, because chemical pumps can be crafted from any number of materials and for numerous industries. But before applications of the equipment, let us consider how it works.
When researching chemical pumps, a company may find numerous types of pumps listed. Some of those may include powder diaphragm pumps, electro-polished pumps, eccentric screw pumps, barrel pumps, and peristaltic pumps. However, know that most chemical pumps fall into one of two categories: magnetic drive pumps and air-operated diaphragm pumps.
Magnetic drive pumps are centrifugal pumps. (That is they use a rotation motion to facilitate fluid flow.) Air-operated diaphragm pumps are positive displacement pumps (meaning that they use air suction to trap a certain amount of fluid and discharge it in a fixed amount). These chemical pumps have different advantages and disadvantages, but they share one thing in common: They do not have a shaft seal.
Shaft seals have the highest change of failure in any pump assembly. Omitting them means that a pump will run without leaking so long as operators correctly select, use, and maintain it.
A surprisingly large number of industries require chemical pumps, some of which include …
- Computer Cooling
- Ice Makers and Ice Flakers
- Producers of Refrigeration Systems
- Chemical Manufacturers
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Producers of Reserve Osmosis Filtration Systems
- Semiconductor Manufacturers
How do companies competing in these and other fields use chemical pumps? They employ them for …
- Drum Transfer
- Chemical Toting
- Carbon Arc Furnace Cooling
- Electrostatic Painting
The chemical pump that a company selects will depend on the composition of the material it wants to move. Pumps come in any number of materials, such as cast iron, stainless steel, PTFE, polypropylene, and more. However, chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite would quickly erode pumps made out of metal. But Kynar would prove far more compatible. In the case of a substance such as sodium hydroxide, though, polypropylene would be a better choice.
It all depends on a company’s specific needs, and a March Pumps engineer can help select the perfect pump for you.
Although all chemical pumps claim to resist corrosion and remain sealed, understand that they aren’t all created equal. Some manufacturers …
- Use less expensive plastics, O-rings, or bushings
- Design the pump in such a way that it doesn’t stand up to poor pumping conditions
- Fail to use UL-listed motors, which may result in a shorter product life or unsafe conditions
- Lack the expertise properly design a long-lasting pump or to select the correct pump for a particular end user
At March Pumps, we use quality American materials, have decades of experience, supply motors with UL file numbers, and employ engineers whose sole goal is to serve you.