Different Types of Centrifugal Pumps and Their Applications

Ensuring you are using the right centrifugal pumps is central to keeping the production of oil and gas going. To know which one you need, it is important to learn what the different types of centrifugal pumps are and how these centrifugal pump types work.

Centrifugal pumps are categorized by several factors, including the type and number of impellers, suction, and the output they produce. Thus, it is essential to know the basics to compare types and applications for the best results.

Centrifugal Pumps and How They Work

These mechanical devices use centrifugal force — the fictitious or apparent force that points opposite of the force that keeps an object on its circular path. Centrifugal pumps help transfer various liquids, and fuel is one of the most common types of liquids that centrifugal pumps help to transport.

With a prime mover, such as a gasoline engine, centrifugal pumps transfer the energy from it to the pumped liquid. This energy is in the form of velocity, which is then converted to pressure thanks to the rotating system where the energy is directly derived.

Common Centrifugal Pumps and Their Applications

There are several types of centrifugal pumps that are useful for transferring fuel and other types of liquid, including radial and axial centrifugal pumps.

Radial centrifugal pumps facilitate a flow that is sped up in an outward motion via a pump impeller. The energy is transferred to a chamber, which then allows the fuel to exit the pump into downstream piping.

These types of centrifugal pumps are also differentiated via their vertical and horizontal shaft orientation, and they offer different applications and restrictions. For example, a horizontal centrifugal pump is easy to maintain thanks to easily accessible internal mechanisms, while a vertical centrifugal pump’s maintenance can be more challenging.

On the other hand, axial centrifugal pumps produce flow from the impeller vane’s propelling or lifting effect.

ANSI Pumps vs. API Process Pumps

Some of the most common types of centrifugal pumps are radial and set by industry standards, including ANSI and API pumps:

  • ANSI pumps. When quality counts, it is vital to use a pump that meets essential industry standards. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) pumps are designed to fulfill these needs. These types of centrifugal pumps are interchangeable with other similar sized-ANSI-accredited pumps thanks to a set dimensional standard. These pumps have an impeller design that is simple and made of one impeller to streamline maintenance. You can use ANSI pumps if you have a low rate of fuel flow. These pumps are instrumental for lightweight services.
  • API process pumps. American Petroleum Institute (API) pumps are radial centrifugal pumps that are also based on standards set by an accrediting organization that define the dimensions of the pumps. Some of the dimensions impacted include the hold-down bolt placement on the pump and pump coupling height. These pumps are useful in heavy-duty services, such as the transfer of crude oil and hydrocarbons in pipeline and refinery processing services.

Final Thoughts

From crude oil pumping to refineries, centrifugal pumps play an important role in the creation of oil and gas products. Being able to identify the type of centrifugal pump you need is essential to produce the desired results when you’re producing oil or gas.


Contact DXP today to learn about our selection of ANSI and API pumps.