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How Do Peristaltic Pumps Work?

Easy to setup and maintain, peristaltic pumps are ideal for handling abrasive fluids and shear sensitive fluids in a range of applications

What is a peristaltic pump?

Peristaltic pumps are also known as hose pumps, tube pumps or roller pumps. They provide a reliable and simple solution for moving almost any fluid in a wide variety of markets and applications.

At the core of the pump is an elastomeric hose. This tube fully contains the fluid, virtually eliminating the possibility of product contamination. Albin Pump manufactures a variety of durable tube or hose materials to meet the chemical compatibility required for each application.

The external hose surface is not machined after extrusion, which enables better lubrication of the hose. The lubricant reduces friction on the hose during operation and reduces heat buildup. The result is longer hose life and less maintenance required.  

What is a peristaltic pump used for?

Peristaltic hose pumps can transfer, dose or meter a range of fluids, including cosmetic lotions, abrasive slurries such as lime milk in mining applications, or sodium hypochlorite at water treatment plants.

Peristaltic pumps offer a flexible solution for chemical processing, wastewater applications, food & beverage and more. When paired with variable speed drives or a PLC, pump flow can be adjusted to accurately meter or dose fluids.

Albin Pump offers a wide range of pumps that can be configured to meet your fluid transfer needs, regardless of industry. 

How does a peristaltic pump work?

Peristaltic Pump Working Principle

The pump hose is compressed successively by two pressing shoes assembled on a rotating wheel. The first shoe, by pressing the walls of the hose, will create a vacuum and attract the pumped liquid into the hose.

Once the pumped liquid has entered the hose, the second roller passes over the hose. This motion pushes the liquid toward the pump outlet. As the shoes are rotated, the hose section that was compressed begins to rebound to its nominal state, creating a vacuum that pulls fluid into the hose. 

When the shoe at the discharge side is detached from the hose, the opposing shoe is already compressed. This arrangement prevents any backflow. The pumped fluid is then successfully pulled in and pushed out due to the wheel rotation.

How to use a peristaltic pump

Peristaltic pumps are very simple to setup and use. They are built with specific hose materials to accommodate certain pumping applications and fluids. When you receive your pump, you should check the model number and piping material to ensure it meets your application requirements. The hose material can be verified at the connection points with easily identified color indicators.

Because peristaltic pumps can be quite large, it is important to secure the pump by bolting it to the ground or other rigid structure. Position the pump with sufficient room between the pump inlet/outlet and any fixed structures to allow for easy removal and installation of replacement hoses.

Suction and discharge connections should be flexible, not rigid piping. It is important that inlet/outlet piping be at least the same diameter or larger than the pump hose. If your outlet piping has many bends that could cause pressure loss or strong pulsation, we recommend installing a pulsation dampener with your peristaltic pump.

ALHX 40 with transparent front provides a view of hose performance
Peristaltic pumps are built with a specific motor, reducer and pump head designed to perform at a certain flow rate and pressure

How to control a peristaltic pump

Peristaltic pumps are built with a specific motor, reducer and pump head designed to perform at a certain flow rate and pressure. This simple design allows you to control the pump in a variety of ways. A simple way to control your peristaltic pump is with line start on/off controls. If you require more control, the peristaltic pump can be controlled through a PLC.

The peristaltic pump is an electric pump. For an even more superior level of control, it can be connected to a VFD (variable frequency drive) control to manipulate speeds.

Peristaltic Pump Advantages

  • Peristaltic pumps have fewer mechanical parts than other pump technologies, decreasing the service required for worn parts.
  • When needed, pump maintenance is quick and easy. Scheduled service consists of a simple hose change-out, yielding a lower total cost of ownership than many other pump technologies.
  • Fluid does not touch any part of the pump, except the inner surface of the hose or tube and the connectors.
  • The rollers or shoes move fluid through the hose or tube, so there is no need for degassing valves. The rollers squeeze the tube to prevent backflow and eliminate the need for mechanical seals, creating a seal-less system.
  • Flow can occur in either direction through the hose. This bi-directional flow enables a user to easily clean the hose by flushing the lines and the process piping system during a purge cycle.
  • Peristaltic pumps are designed to run dry, self-prime and offer a high suction lift (32 ft / 9.8 m). Their seal-less construction uses no mechanical seals or stuffing boxes, which can lead to fluid leaks.
  • Peristaltic pumps are easy to set up, operate and maintain without specialized training. These positive displacement pumps do not require compressed air or rely on valves that can clog. The peristaltic pumping action is ideal for handling abrasive fluids and shear sensitive fluids.
  • Albin Pump manufactures a wide range of tube materials and sizes, along with drive-options, pump accessories and connections. Contact your local distributor to learn more about our replacement hoses and accessories.