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Different Types of Positive Displacement Pumps: A Detailed Overview

Are you in the market for a positive displacement pump? Do you want to know more about the different types of positive displacement pumps and their working principles? If so, read on! This blog will introduce you to the various types of positive displacement pumps and help you make an informed decision about which pump to buy. Along the way, we’ll also discuss the advantages and applications of these pumps. 

If you have any questions about positive displacement pumps or would like to speak to our pump specialist team, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!

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What are Positive Displacement Pumps?

Positive displacement pumps are an important part of industrial applications. They are designed to ensure that any pumping action is forward (positive), which prevents cavitation and the pump from wearing down. PD pumps can be of rotary or reciprocating positive displacement design with differing internal parts. 

Understanding their characteristics is important if you’re looking to buy one for your business or project. There are many types of positive displacement pumps available on the market today – from small handheld units to large factory-grade machines. They can be found in various industrial applications, such as oil & gas production, water treatment, food processing and fertilizer distribution. So, if you’re in the market for a pump, make sure you know the types available and the applications in which they are best suited.

what is Positive Displacement Pump - Vacculex

How Does a Positive Displacement Pump Work?

Positive displacement pumps are essential for moving fluid substances in a variety of applications. They work by drawing fluid into a chamber, or cavity, which in turn creates a vacuum. This pressure then increases until it’s high enough to discharge the fluid through the discharge port. Different types of PD pumps come in different sizes, styles, and power options, so be sure to find the right one for your specific needs.

Additionally, positive displacement pumps can be used in a variety of industries, from the chemical and food industries to the water and oil industries. So whether you’re trying to move a fluid substance or just need a pump to help with your work, positive displacement pumps are the perfect tool for the job

What are the Types of Positive Displacement Pumps?

Pumping is an essential process in many industrial and domestic applications. Positive displacement pumps are used in a variety of applications, including water treatment and sewage treatment. There are 7 types of positive displacement pumps:

Rotary Vane Pump

Rotary vane pumps are the most common types of pump and are used to move liquids or air. They work by turning a rotor, which creates suction in the pump chamber. This suction is able to draw molecules of air from the container or area being pumped and compress them for easier removal. Rotary vane pumps are usually faster but reciprocating piston pumps are more efficient when it comes to transferring liquids. 

However, rotary vane pumps have one major drawback – they can be noisy due to their rotation.

Rotary Vane Pump - Vacculex

Screw Vacuum Pump

Screw vacuum pumps are the most common type used in industrial and commercial applications. They use screws to create a negative pressure, which in turn causes the displacement of fluids. Unlike rotary vane pump types, screw pumps don’t need any gearbox or external power source – they operate solely on the rotation of two rotors. This makes them perfect for low-vacuum applications as they’re smaller in size and less noisy. 

Furthermore, screw pump performance is not affected by changes in ambient temperature or pressure as compared to other types of pumps

Dry Screw Vacuum Pump - Vacculex
VSP Series Screw Vacuum Pump

Roots Pump

Roots pumps are a common type of pump that is used for different purposes, such as irrigation, drainage and water removal. 

They come in various types and have many advantages over other types of pumps. One of the main advantages of Roots pumps is their robust and economical dry running modular design process. This makes them safe and reliable to use in industrial settings. Additionally, they are often cheaper than other types of pumps in similar applications.

MB Series Mechanical Vacuum Booster - Vacculex
MB Series Mechanical Vacuum Booster

Scroll Pump

Scroll pumps are rotary vane pump types that use two co-wound spirals of different sizes to move fluid. They are used in a variety of applications, but are particularly well suited for pumping and compressing gases. The working parts of a scroll pump consist of two co-wound spiral-shaped scrolls contained within a vacuum-housing with an exit valve at the centre of the scroll assembly. One spiral is fixed whilst the other (the “orbiter”) moves eccentrically without rotating, against the other. The characteristics of scroll pumps vary depending on many factors, including the unit size, speed of operation and more. 

Scroll pumps are most frequently employed in applications such as gas compression or discharge from storage tanks etc., but they can be found in various other industries too where their unique operating characteristics offer benefits over traditional piston displacement types

Scroll Pump - Vacculex

Claw Vacuum Pump

Claw vacuum pumps and compressors are one of the most popular types of pump in industrial applications. They feature two claw-shaped rotors that extract, compress and expel the pumped medium. The rotors are mounted in a cylinder and move in opposite directions, creating a high degree of suction while minimizing clearance between them and the chamber housing. This results in improved internal seal pressure which is essential for efficient pump operation under hazardous conditions. 

These pumps are often driven by directly flange-mounted motors, making them ideal for mining, oil production & gas handling applications where liquid flow is constant or intermittent

Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump

If you’re in the market for a pump that can handle dirty and dangerous gas, then you’ll want to consider investing in a liquid ring vacuum pump. These pumps are rotary positive displacement pumps, which means they use liquids as the sealing fluids between the plunger and suction chamber. This makes them ideal for handling processes with high levels of gaseous contamination or when water is not an option due to industrial restrictions. 

Another advantage of liquid ring pumps is their simplicity of operation – making them perfect for applications where speed and reliability are crucial factors. Due to these features, liquid ring vacuum pumps have become popular among industries such as oil refining, chemical manufacturing, food processing, etc.

VLRC series liquid ring vacuum pump
VLRC Series Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump

Diaphragm Pump

Diaphragm pumps are positive displacement pumps that are used in wet commercial pumping applications. They rely on the action of a piston to move the fluid and can be classified based on the type of air pump they use- electric or compressed air. The diaphragm pump is by far the most commonly used pump, with an average industrial installation rate of 80%. It operates using compressed air pressure and is widely used in industries such as oil & gas, chemical, food processing, water treatment etc. Electric diaphragm pumps play a major role in agricultural spraying applications where high viscosity liquids need to be sprayed accurately and efficiently.

Diaphragm Pump ​ - Vacculex

Advantages of Positive Displacement Pumps

There are a number of positive displacement pumps on the market, each with its own advantages. One of the most popular types of positive displacement pumps is the PD pump. These pumps operate at reduced speeds, which means they are less likely to wear down and are capable of handling high pressures. Additionally, they provide a constant pressure at pressures up to several bar higher than the required duty point, meaning they can be used to pump fluids with a high viscosity. 

Another great advantage of PD pumps is that they reduce wear and ensure that the liquid remains unaffected by the pumping motion, preserving its characteristics. Overall, PD pumps are a great choice for applications that require high pressure and viscosity throughput.

What are the Main Applications of Positive Displacement pumps?

Positive displacement pumps are one of the most versatile types of pumps out there. They are commonly used in various applications such as pumping high viscosity fluids, like oil, paints, resins or foodstuff. Unlike centrifugal pumps, which are affected by pressure, the output of a positive displacement pump is not affected by pressure. This makes them the perfect pump for applications where accurate dosing or high pressure output is required.

 Additionally, positive displacement pumps are often preferred in any situation where the supply is irregular. Most are self priming and have a lifespan of many years. If you’re in the market for a pump that can handle a variety of applications, positive displacement pumps are the perfect option.

Contact Our Pump Specialist Team:

Positive displacement pumps are a critical part of any water system, and for good reason. They’re versatile, efficient, and reliable. If you’re in the market for a pump, don’t hesitate to contact our pump specialist team. We have experts who can help you select the right pump for your application. In addition, we have a wide range of pumps in stock that are sure to meet your needs. So don’t wait any longer and contact us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between positive displacement pumps and piston pumps?

Positive displacement pumps have a number of advantages over piston pumps. The most notable of which is their lower noise level, which makes them ideal for high-traffic areas or locations where peace and quiet is important. They also have the advantage of being more environmentally friendly as they use less energy and do not produce oil fumes. 

Most importantly, positive displacement pumps can handle higher volumes than piston pumps without breaking down. Piston pumps require oil to function and can be dangerous if not used properly – positive displacement pumps do not need any lubrication. Positive displacement pumps are known for being more energy efficient as they use less power. Lastly, positive displacement pumps have a longer lifespan due to their design – piston pumps tend to wear out faster.

How do I select a positive displacement pump?

When it comes to selecting the right pump for your needs, you’ll want to consider a few things first. 

  1. Purpose of the pump: You’ll need to decide what you will be using the pump for. This includes knowing the type of pumping you will be using it for (such as suction or displacement), and the pressure range you will need. 
  2. Type of application: Once you know the purpose of the pump, you’ll need to look at the type of applications that the pump can be used in. This includes understanding suction and displacement pumps, positive displacement pumps versus negative displacement pumps, positive displacement pumps versus positive displacement rotary pumps and positive displacement pumps versus positive displacement centrifugal pumps. 
  3. Pressure range: After knowing the types of pumps, you’ll need to understand the pressure ranges that each pump can handle. This information is typically found in pump ratings, reviews and compatibility information. 
  4. Compatible pumps: Make sure to select a pump that is compatible with other equipment in your workplace, such as your suction and displacement pump controllers, discharge lines, discharge valve types and other pump-related components.

Can positive displacement pumps be used in water systems?

Yes, positive displacement pumps can be used in water systems to remove contaminants and excess salt. They are also a great choice for removing sediment and other impurities from water. PDPs are energy efficient and have low operating costs, making them a great choice for water systems of all types. 

Their most common applications include: moving fresh water, wastewater, and irrigation; emptying reservoirs or deflating balloons.

What is the best type of positive displacement pumps?

When it comes to positive displacement pumps, rotary pumps are the most common type. They provide a higher level of power and efficiency, making them the perfect pump for industrial applications like water treatment, mining, oil and gas production, and chemical processing. However, diaphragm pumps are also great for residential use as they provide a softer feel while pumping the water. 

So, whichever pump is best for your needs is up to you to decide – just make sure to pick the right one for your application!

What are the basic types of positive displacement pumps?

There are two main types of positive displacement pumps: piston and rotary. Piston pumps are more commonly used as they have a lower energy consumption and greater pumping capacity. Rotary pumps, on the other hand, offer better performance at high pressures but require more power to operate.


As you can see, Positive Displacement Pumps are essential for a variety of applications. By understanding the different types positive displacement pumps, you can make the best choice for your specific needs. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact our pump specialist team. We would be happy to help you in any way possible!


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