Flexible Impeller Pump Guide

What is a Flexible Impeller Pump?

A Flexible Impeller Pump is a type of Positive Displacement Pump that you might not have heard much about, they are also sometimes known as a Flexible Vane Pump. 

How does a Flexible Impeller Pump work?

How does an Impeller Pump work?

The Flexible Impeller Pump distributes the fluid being pump in a positive manner. This is achieved due to the design of the pump forcing fluid forwards after being trapped between the impeller vanes of the pump. The impellers rotate within the pump which forces the liquid towards the outlet from the discharge port within the pump and allows for a discharge pressure of up to 4 Bar.

What are the benefits of using an Impeller Pump?

  • A Flexible Impeller Pump can self-prime up to 6m, this allows the pump to be used for unloading sumps, tanks, drums and IBCs. Due to the positive displacement design of the pump, there is no need for the pump to be manually primed or to be fitted with a non-return valve.
  • The design of an Impeller Pump allows for pulse-free operation due to the impellers within the pump rotating at a steady rate, meaning that a Flexible Impeller provides a smoother flow output than other pumps on the market.
  • A Flexible Impeller Pump can operate bi-directionally. This is controlled as easily as flipping a switch which will be located on the terminal box of the motor. This allows the product to be returned to the tank from inside the pump and means the pipes can be emptied easily, making an Impeller pump perfect for CIP and refilling once completed.
  • The pump head on an Impeller Pump can be rotated into 5 different positions to fit your specific installation design. See the adjoining image for pump head positioning.
Flexible Impeller Pump head rotation options
Flexible Impeller Pumps for viscous fluids

What are the benefits of using an Impeller Pump?

  • Flexible Impeller Pumps can self-prime up to 6m, this allows the pump to be used for unloading sumps, tanks, drums and IBCs. Due to the positive displacement design of the pump, there is no need for the pump to be manually primed or to be fitted with a non-return valve.
  • The design of an Impeller Pump allows for pulse-free operation due to the impellers within the pump rotating at a steady rate, meaning that a Flexible Impeller provides a smoother flow output than other pumps on the market.
  • A Flexible Impeller Pump can operate bi-directionally. This is controlled as easily as flipping a switch which will be located on the terminal box of the motor. This allows the product to be returned to the tank from inside the pump and means the pipes can be emptied easily, making an Impeller pump perfect for CIP and refilling once completed.
  • The pump head on an Impeller Pump can be rotated into 5 different positions to fit your specific installation design. See the adjoining image for pump head positioning.

What can a Flexible Impeller Pump be used for?

Flexible Impellers can be used for a variety of applications as they are an extremely versatile design of pump capable of handling viscous fluids, up to 50’000 cPs that contain solids, and shear sensitive liquids, without causing damage to the pump or the product.

Impeller Pumps can be used in the following industries:

  • Oenological, including wines and stemmed grapes
  • Food, including fruit pump, brine, honey
  • Chemical, including starch and rubber latex
  • Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical, including shampoo and liquid soap

Important things to note

  • You cannot dry run an Impeller Pump. If the pump is left dry running for anything longer than 60 seconds, the impeller and seal will burn and melt.
  • For food applications, an Impeller Pump can be fitted with mechanical seals and impellers (NBR & EPDM) that are food grade. We also supply a Certificate of Conformity with all pumps and equipment supplied for use with food products.
  • The impellers in your pump can be manufactured from a range of materials to suit your application. See the table below for details

Impeller Material

Application

NBR Oil & fat resistant, FDA approved
CR Best balance between chemical & mechanical resistance
EPDM Best for hot products, CIP, acid & alkalis. FDA approved.
NR Highest mechanical resistance, ideal for water-based fluids at room temperature.
VMQ Best for high temperature, low mechanical resistance

Different types of Flexible Impeller Pumps

 

If you’re in the market for a Flexible Impeller Pump for your application, it’s important to know which one of the many out there will work best for your application. Below is a list of some of the most popular Flexible vane pumps that TS Pumps can supply worldwide.

 

  • Close Coupled Flexible Impeller Pump  – One of the most popular choices of self priming impeller pumps  due to its close coupled design, featuring an on/off reversing switch for easy transferring, filling and emptying operations.
  • Gear Box Drive Pump – Designed to pump shear sensitive or medium/high viscous fluids like glue with its ability to perform low operating speeds.
  • Bare Shaft and Hydraulically driven Pump – Best suited to agricultral and transportation industries using large vehicles for loading and offloading operations.
  • Miniverter on-board VSD Flexible Impeller Pump – Similar in design to the close coupled impeller pump, although it also features potentiometer for variable speed control making it a highly versatile Pump
  • V-Belt Drive Flexible Impeller Pump – With a belt driven design, the motor is protected from overloading making it ideal for pumping highly viscous fluids or solids. 
  • Mechanical Speed Variation & Inverter Drive – Similar to a Gearbox Drive Impeller Pump with an additional mechanical speed variation to control the output, fitted onto a trolley system and features an inverter control panel for easy maintanance.
  • For more information on the TS Pumps range of Flexible impellers, take a look here

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Is an Impeller Pump easy to maintain?

The simple answer? Yes. The fluid being transferred through your pump and the pressure being used will affect the wear and tear of the pump and will differentiate the schedule of maintenance for your pump.

Check the oil level in your pump regularly using the indicator positioned on the side of the pump. If your pump has a mechanical speed variator, we recommend that you replace the lubricating oil after 3000 working hours.

Your Impeller Pump should be cleaned after use to preserve the mechanical and sanitary features of the pump.

Flexible Impeller Pump

Troubleshooting

The pump body leaking – O-Ring and or the mechanical seal are worn out and will need to be replaced

Loss of capacity – Problems with the impeller and the front cover of the pump, this may be the issue if the loss of capacity isn’t due to electric failure. The front cover can be dismantled easily to check the condition of the impeller wings and the cover.

2. Is it easy to change the port orientation of an Impeller Pump?

One of the benefits of using a Flexible Impeller Pump is the ease with which the port orientation can be changed. Typically when using other pumps with impellers, like Centrifugal Pumps, the motor needs to be above the impeller, however, with a Flexible Impeller, the pump motor can go in any fitting to suit your installation.

Interested?

Interested in viewing the whole range? Visit the Flexible Impeller Pumps page.

Get in contact with the team today!