A pump is a mechanical device for moving a fluid from a lower to a higher location, or from a lower to a higher pressure area. The fluid can be any type of liquid or gas, and pumps may be classified in many number of ways according to their purpose, specifications, environment, design, etc. Pumps are used in a wide range of industrial and residential applications. Pumping equipment is extremely diverse, varying in type, size, and materials of construction.

Classifications and Types

Pumps may be classified on the basis of the applications they serve, the materials from which they are constructed, the liquids they handle, and even their orientation in space. All such classifications, however, are limited in scope and tend to substantially overlap each other. A more basic system of classification, first defines the principle by which energy is added to the fluid, goes on to identify the means by which this principle is implemented, and finally delineates specific geometries commonly employed. This system is therefore related to the pump itself and is unrelated to any consideration external to the pump or even to the materials from which it may be constructed.

Figure 1. Types of pumps. (Courtesy of Hydraulic Institute.)

Types of pumps