Pumped medium

The liquid to be pumped (pumped medium) has a fundamental influence on the selection and configuration of a pump.

In particular, the following criteria must be taken into account:

(1) General suitability of the pump type
In principle, centrifugal pumps are only suitable up to a certain viscosity, which depends on the size. A positive displacement pump should be selected for very high viscosities.

(2) Pump characteristics
The pump characteristics are usually measured with water under standard conditions. If the density and viscosity are different, the characteristics must be converted accordingly. This is usually done automatically by the pump selection software if it is a Newtonian fluid.

(3) Material selection
The selection of suitable materials is extremely important, especially if the pumped medium contains abrasive or aggressive components. Many manufacturers offer media resistance information for this. For such use, however, direct contact with the manufacturer is definitely recommended.

(4) Seal selection
In addition to the media-material resistance, the characteristics of the pumped medium must be taken into account when selecting a suitable seal. In the case of dangerous substances (e.g. toxic or explosive media) or particularly valuable fluids, it is usually necessary to use a leak-free solution. Pumps without a shaft seal with a canned motor or magnetic coupling are ideal here.

(5) Solid or gas fractions
If the pumped medium contains solid and / or gas components, special pump designs that are intended for this must be selected. For example, suitable impellers prevent the pump from blocking when there are solid or fibrous components. Gas proportions affect the suction behavior of centrifugal pumps. A higher gas content leads to an increase in the required NPSH value and thus to the earlier occurrence of cavitation.

More articles on this topic


The density is an important fluid property that depends on the temperature. The density of the pumped medium has a direct influence on the power requirement of the pump.

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Newtonian Fluid

A fluid is classified as being Newtonian if it conforms to NEWTON’s friction law, i.e. if viscosity remains constant with agitation or varying shear rate and its shear rate being proportional to the velocity gradient vertical to the direction of flow. That means, that the viscosity is only affected by temperature changes.

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