How do you pump high viscosity fluids?
For high viscosity fluids you’re going to need a pump that can handle the higher pressures required to move heavy, viscous fluids. Where a centrifugal pump is good on water or juice, it will not pump caramel or tomato paste!
Use a big pump and run it slowly.
Using a pump with a large inlet and large internal cavities makes things easier by reducing resistance … passing a camel through the eye of the needle is not easy! Running at low speeds not only protects shear-sensitive fluids or entrained particles but it also helps the pump to grab hold of the liquid and pump continuously without cavitating.
Size matters! Use large bore discharge pipe or hose.
The bigger the internal bore of your discharge pipework, the lower the resistance caused by friction. Bottom line – use as fat a pipe as possible and keep the pressure down!
Keep the discharge distance to a minimum.
As mentioned, size matters, so, discharge pipework length needs to be as short as possible and have as few bends as possible.
Provide a positive feed to the pump inlet
If you’re relying on gravity to feed the pump inlet from the bottom outlet of a large tank or vessel, make sure there is a minimum length of big bore pipework between the pump inlet and the supply of product. Ideally, you should connect the pump inlet directly to the tank outlet.
Viscous Pumps to ‘lift’ high viscosity fluids
In some scenarios, you may need the pump to suck (self-prime) from an open-top drum or IBC. For very high viscosity, non-flowing media, the pump can be mounted on a priming plate that pushes down into the drum or IBC and primes the pump as the assembly moves down into the container. Our PowerPrime, MaxiPrime and MegaPrime systems are designed for this type of application.