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Types of Pumps that Can Be Used to Pump Slurries

Jun. 06, 2022

Slurries are special compounds found in many processing industries, including sanitary industries such as food, dairy, beverage processing and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Slurries combine the properties of both liquids and solids, so specialized consideration must be given when determining the type and size of slurry pumps to be used with them.


This article will focus on.


Defining what a slurry is

Types of pumps that can be used to pump slurries


What are slurries?

A slurry is a mixture of solids and liquids, with the liquid acting as the transport mechanism used to move the solids. The size of the particles (or solids) in a slurry range from one micron in diameter to hundreds of millimeters in diameter. Particle size significantly affects the ability of the pump to move the slurry through the process pipeline.

Ceramic Slurry Pump

Ceramic Slurry Pump


All slurries have five basic characteristics.


  1. More abrasive than pure liquids.

  2. Higher consistency than pure liquids.

  3. May contain significant amounts of solids (measured as a percentage of total volume).

  4. Solid particles typically settle out of the slurry's sediment relatively quickly when not in motion (depending on particle size).

  5. Slurries require more energy to move than pure liquids.

Slurries are further divided by industry into four categories based on their corrosiveness - category 1 being the least corrosive and category 4 being the most corrosive. Pumping of slurries can have the following wear effects on pump and piping components.


  • Abrasion: including air shaving, high stress grinding and low stress grinding (for settled slurries only).

  • Erosion: loss of surface material due to the action of particles in the slurry being pumped. Erosion occurs mainly during the pumping of settled slurries.

  • Corrosion: caused by the action of electrical currents in the pumped fluid. Certain types of slurries (e.g., highly acidic or alkaline compounds) have a greater effect on component corrosion than more moderate slurries.

Ceramic Slurry Pump

 Ceramic Slurry Pump


Types of slurry pumps

As described below, there are several types of pumps that are suitable for pumping slurries. However, before considering which technology to use, we must address several key issues.


The size and nature of the solids in the liquid: The size and nature will affect the amount of physical wear on the pump and its components, and whether the solids will pass through the pump without damage.

One problem with centrifugal pumps is that the velocity and shear forces within the pump may damage the slurry/solids. Typically, twin-screw pumps do the least damage to solids in the slurry.


Corrosiveness of the liquid or slurry mixture: More corrosive slurries will wear pump components faster and may dictate the choice of pump manufacturing materials.


Slurry pumps are typically larger than standard pumps, with more horsepower and stronger bearings and shafts. The most common type of slurry pump is the centrifugal pump. These pumps use a rotating impeller to move the slurry, similar to the way aqueous liquids move through a standard centrifugal pump.




Compared to standard centrifugal pumps, centrifugal pumps optimized for slurry pumping typically have the following features.


Larger impellers made of more material. This is to compensate for the wear caused by abrasive slurry.

Fewer and thicker vanes on the impeller. This makes it easier for solids to pass through than the 5-9 vanes on a standard centrifugal pump - typically 2-5 vanes.


For certain types of slurry pumping conditions, a volumetric pump may be a more appropriate choice than a centrifugal pump.


These conditions include


Low slurry flow rates

High head (i.e., the height at which the pump can move the liquid)

Desire to provide higher efficiency than centrifugal pumps

Improved flow control

For more information about the best slurry pump selection, welcome to contact us at +86 189 3294 4358 or write to us at We will be happy to help you out!

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