Peristaltic pump 101

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What is a peristaltic pump?

Peristaltic Pump is a type of positive displacement pump used for pumping fluids contained within a flexible tube fitted inside a circular pump casing. They are also commonly known as roller pumps. The peristaltic pump used a mechanism called peristalsis to transport fluids through the tubing. Typically, a rotor with two or more rollers attached to the external circumference of the rotor compresses a flexible tube alternately. As the rotor turns, the part of the tube under compression is pinched closed (occlusion) thus forcing the fluid to be pumped through the tube to the outlet. As the tube opens to its natural state after the passing of the cam (restitution), fresh fluid is induced into the tube from the inlet.

Why should you choose a peristaltic pump?

  • There is Minimum Contamination to the fluids through the peristaltic pump. Because the only part in contact with the fluid being pumped is the interior of the tube. A surface inert tubing can be selected to transport the fluids and the tubing can be sterilized and cleaned before each use.

  • The peristaltic pump can handle complex type of fluids including high solid content slurries, viscous, shear-sensitive and chemically aggressive fluids due to its nature.

  • Since a fixed amount of fluid is pumped per revolution of the rotor, the peristaltic pump can be used to precisely measure the amount of fluid being transferred.

  • The peristaltic pump design prevents backflow and siphoning, therefore requires no check valve installation.

  • The peristaltic pump requires Minimum Maintenance during the entire life span of the operation. No valves, seals, and glands are equipped with the peristaltic pumps to make them comparatively inexpensive to operate.

Most critical things you need to be aware of when using a peristaltic pump.

  • Depending on the construction materials and the interactions with the rollers, the flexible tubing tends to degrade over time and requires periodic replacement.

  • Pulsation effects are an intrinsic property of the peristaltic pump. The pulsation is determined by many factors, such as flow rate/rotor speed and fluid properties. Higher flow rate requires high rotor speed, therefore adds higher frequency pulsation to the fluid being transferred. Higher fluid density increases the pulsation impacts due to the stronger interactions with the rollers. Therefore, the peristaltic pumps are less suitable where a smooth consistent flow is required. An alternative type of positive displacement pump, such as a gear pump should then be considered.

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