Mixed Flow Pump Working Principle and Uses
Mixed flow pumps are the lesser-known variants of centrifugal pumps with the addition of a mixed flow impeller. The fluid flow within these pumps undergoes both axial and radial pumping action. Although these pumps are less common in residential applications, they are a staple in many industrial applications. Read on to find out how mixed flow pumps work, their applications, and their pros and cons.
What are Mixed Flow Pumps and How Do They Work?
In terms of basic function, mixed flow pumps are just one type of centrifugal pump. In other words, they work by creating suction using a rotating impeller. Once the impeller sucks in the fluid, it gets pushed out towards the exit due to the centrifugal force created by the impeller.
Based on the orientation, centrifugal pumps are broken out into 3 categories:
- Axial pumps
- Radial pumps
- Mixed flow pumps
What sets mixed flow pumps apart from other types of centrifugal pumps is that they borrow design characteristics from both axial and radial pumps. Primarily, their design includes a diagonally operating impeller that uses centrifugal force to direct the water out of the pump and give it an axial pushing action. This dual pumping action enables mixed flow pumps to have high flow rates and high discharge pressure.
Mixed Flow Pump Pros and Cons
Dual action provides mixed flow pumps with many unique qualities:
Pros of mixed flow pumps
- Mixed flow pumps have a high flow rate
- They can pump both clear liquids as well as contaminated or turbid liquids
- Combines the higher mass flow rate of axial pumps with higher pressure of centrifugal pumps
Cons of mixed flow pumps
- Comparatively low pressure head
Applications of Mixed Flow Pumps
The unique features of the mixed flow pump enable its use in some of specialized applications where other types of centrifugal pumps falter, specifically the range between radial flow pumps and axial flow pumps. Mixed flow pumps are used for pumping:
- Industrial Waste
- Paper Mills
The unique diagonal design of the impeller enables mixed flow pumps to work with contaminated or turbid liquids. Hence, mixed flow pumps are often used to pump sewage or industrial liquids with suspended solids. Mixed flow pumps are also used for dewatering and pumping seawater. Another application of mixed flow pumps is in pumping pulp in paper mills.
If we look at the pump characteristics, a mixed flow pump has specific speeds between axial and radial configurations. Therefore, mixed flow pumps are ideal for any application that requires the pumps to operate within the gap left between axial and radial pumps.
Learn More about Mixed Flow Pumps
Mixed flow pumps are often overlooked when considering the many different types of pumps available today. However, their unique build allows them to work within use cases that are not met by the mainstream centrifugal pumps – axial pumps and radial flow pumps. Being exceptional in moving liquids with suspended solids, they are more suitable for industrial applications.
If you need to know more about mixed flow pumps or need assistance in selecting the correct pump for your specific application, get in touch with our specialists today!