Home - Machines Theory - Difference between dynamic and positive displacement pump

Difference between dynamic and positive displacement pump

The various types of pumps are categorized into dynamic and positive displacement pumps. A pump which is a mechanical device is used in transporting fluids (liquids or gasses). Its work is achieved by mechanical action converted from electrical energy into hydraulic energy. The dynamic and positive displacement pumps are seen as a device that expends energy in order to raise, transport or compress fluids.


Today you’ll get to know the difference between dynamic and positive displacement pumps. It will also be presented in tabular form.

Read more: Things you need to know about pump

Dynamic (Centrifugal) pump

Dynamic types of pumps use centrifugal force to create velocity in the liquid being handled. This velocity is then converted to pressure. Kinetic energy is decreased and the pressure will be increased. This difference in pressure drives the fluid through the system or plant.

A dynamic pump contains a rotating impeller that creates a vacuum that helps in moving fluids. This impeller is enclosed in housing as it reduces pressure at the inlet. The motion created is what drives fluid to the outside of the pump’s housing. The pressure increases at this stage so that it can send it out the discharge.

Centrifugal pumps are the most common type of pump that can transfer fluid of low viscosity at a high flow rate. Also, low-pressure installations, making them perfect for applications that require pumps to deal with large volumes. Initially, centrifugal pumps are designed for the transfer of water but now used for pumping thin fuels and chemicals.

Finally, dynamic pumps have a simple design and fewer moving parts, which result in lower maintenance requirements and costs. With this, the pump is suited for applications that work daily or continuously.

Read more: Understanding centrifugal pump

Diagram of dynamic pump:

centrifugal pump diagram

Watch the video below to learn the working of dynamic (centrifugal) pump:

Positive Displacement Pump

With the different positive displacement pumps available, it uses the reciprocating motion of pistons, plungers, or diaphragms to move the liquid through the pump. The discharge of fluid here is in pulses instead of smooth flow of liquid. The positive displacement pumps operate by trapping fluid at a fixed volume, usually in a cavity. This trapped fluid is then forced into the discharge pipe.

Positive displacement pumps are used based on their ability to handle high viscosity fluid at high pressure. it can also handle relatively low flows because its efficiency is not affected by pressure. this pump can handle more difficult conditions where dynamic pumps may fail.  They can even run at any point on their curve. However, positive displacement pumps have a complex design.

Also, a positive displacement pump can handle variations in pressure, flow, and viscosity to remain efficient. Centrifugal pumps don’t operate well off the center of their curve. As the flow rate remains constant in this pump (proportional to the speed of operation), smooth and low pulsating is still achieved despite the change in pressure. peristaltic, piston, and diaphragm are types of positive displacement pumps. They are perfect solutions for dosing applications because of their accurate metering.

Read more: Understanding reciprocating pump

Diagram of positive displacement pump:


Watch the video below to learn the working of positive displacement pump:

Difference between Dynamic and Positive Displacement Pumps in tabular form:

Factor Dynamic (Centrifugal) Pump Positive Displacement Pump
Mechanics Impellers pass on velocity from the motor to the liquid which helps move the fluid to the discharge port (produces flow by creating pressure). Traps confined amounts of liquid and force it from the suction to the discharge port (produces pressure by creating flow).
Performance The flow rate varies with a change in pressure. Flow rate remains constant with a change in pressure.
Viscosity Flow rate rapidly decreases with increasing viscosity, even any moderate thickness, due to frictional losses inside the pump. Due to the internal clearances, high viscosities are handled easily and the flow rate increases with increasing viscosity.
Efficiency Efficiency peaks at a specific pressure; any variations decrease efficiency dramatically. Does not operate well when run off the middle of the curve; can cause damage and cavitation. Efficiency is less affected by pressure, but if anything tends to increase as pressure increases. Can be run at any point on their curve without damage or efficiency loss.
Suction Lift Standard models cannot create suction lift, although self-priming designs are available and manometric suction lift is possible through a non-return valve on the suction line. Create a vacuum on the inlet side, making them capable of creating a suction lift.
Shearing A high-speed motor leads to the shearing of liquids. Not good for shear-sensitive mediums. Low internal velocity means little shear is applied to the pumped medium. Ideal for shear-sensitive fluids.

Read more: Understanding hydraulic pump


That is all for this article, the difference between dynamic and positive displacement pumps. We’ve explained their working principle in a diagram and video format. The difference between dynamic and centrifugal pumps is also presented in tabular form.

I hope you got a lot from this article, if so, kindly share it with other students. Thanks for reading! See you next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *