Difficulties When Pumping High Viscosity FluidsFluid viscosity is an important property of fluids that cannot be overlooked. Learn what viscosity means for your pump selection. Browse Our Slurry PumpsContact Us For a Fast Quote
Pump performance can be substantially impacted when pumping high viscous fluids. It is important to understand the viscosity of the fluid to be transferred prior to purchasing a pump. The EDDY Pump Corporation is a premier industrial pump manufacturer. EDDY slurry pumps are specifically designed for highly viscous applications, and they excel in extremely harsh environments.
This article includes:
- Types of Viscosity Found in Fluids
- The Difficulty Pumping High Viscosity
- How to Determine the Right Pump for Viscosities
- Choosing Pipe Sizes
- More Information on Slurry Pumps
Types of Viscosity Found in Fluids
In simple terms, liquid generally can be divided into two categories: Newtonian liquids and Non-Newtonian liquids. Non-Newtonian liquids can be further divided into two categories, depending on their properties: Thixotropic or Dilatant.
Liquids that exhibit constant viscosity regardless of shear rate or agitation. These fluids have a linear relationship between viscosity and shear stress and viscosity is only affected by temperature. Water or alcohol would be prime examples of Newtonian fluids.
Thixotropic or Shear Thinning
Liquids that exhibit reduced viscosity when agitated or mixed are referred to as shear thinning or thixotropic. Paint is a good example of a shear thinning liquid.
Dilatant or Shear Thickening
Liquids that exhibit increased viscosity when agitated or mixed are referred to as dilatant or shear thickening. Quicksand is a famous example of a dilatant.
The Difficulty Pumping High Viscosity
For high viscosity fluids, centrifugal pumps are not ideal because of the close critical tolerances and lack of ability to mix thixotropic materials to provide a shear thinning effect. Without this thinning effect, the viscosity is not naturally reduced by the action of the pump, causing the pump to require more and more power as the viscosity is increased.
As the viscosity increases, the pump performance needs to be adjusted to match the properties of the liquid and the resistance to shear. Pumping viscous liquid usually means a reduction in flow and head, as well as a significant increase in power needed to move the fluid.
Typical Liquid Viscosities
Below is a list of substances and their viscosities; these are to be used as comparison examples only. To pump some of these specific materials listed require certifications due to the critical nature and requirements of the substance.
|No. 4 fuel oil||12.6||15.7||80|
|SAE 10 oil||88||110||500|
|SAE 30 oil||352||440||2,000|
How to Determine the Right Pump for High Viscosity
First, you should try to determine the viscosity of the material you need to pump. The best way to accomplish this is to use a device called a viscometer. However, viscometers only measure viscosity under a single flow condition. For liquids with viscosities that can vary depending on flow, an instrument called a rheometer is used. Therefore, rheometer can be considered as a special type of viscometer.
The process of measuring viscosity with a rheometer is done by applying a force to the fluid and determining how long it takes for the fluid to move a specific distance. The end result is a method for measuring viscosity so that the most suitable pump can be chosen for an application.
The EDDY Pump makes a great choice for pumping highly viscous material. The EDDY Pump’s geometric rotor acts as a mixer on thixotropic materials and provides a shear thinning effect enabling the pump to move high viscosity liquids much more efficiently than other pumps. The EDDY Pump’s ability to pump concentrated solids is perfect for moving viscous materials with less than 5% free liquid; an impossible task for traditional centrifugal pumps.
Choosing Pipeline Size
Viscosity is critical in determining the selection and sizing of piping, valves, and motors. Using a friction loss chart will detail friction loss data for a given flow rate, pipe size, and fluid viscosity, helping you select the right components for your job. This information combined with available viscosity data will allow a proper analysis of the fluid process system characteristics. Once the fluid process system has been designed and the pump operating parameters defined, the proper pipeline selection can be made. When handling viscous fluids, it can be challenging to determine how they behave. Experience is paramount, as there is no substitute for actually working with these materials out in the field and seeing how they operate.
More Information on Slurry Pumps
The EDDY Pump Corporation offers a full line of products that are specifically designed for high viscous fluids. If you are pumping slurry, high solids, extremely viscous material, paste, high abrasives (sand & gravel) and material filled with solids, then you found the best-suited pump for the job. Go to:
More Information on Slurry Pumps
The EDDY Pump Corporation offers a full line of products that are specifically designed for high viscous fluids. If you are pumping slurry, high solids, extremely viscous material, paste, high abrasives (sand & gravel), and material filled with solids, then you found the best-suited pump for the job. Go to: https://eddypump.com/products/slurry-pumps/ Or Call Us!
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