This section provides an overview for snake pumps as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 9 snake pump manufacturers and their company rankings.
Table of Contents
A snake pump is a pump that pumps liquid by means of a distinctive spiral shaft (rotor) that rotates inside the pump tube in the shape of a snake.
Another name for this pump is the uniaxial, eccentric screw pump. This pump is used as an alternative pumping mechanism for pumping materials that are difficult to discharge with other pumps, such as plunger pumps (when pumping highly viscous materials or materials that contain solids, etc.).
Snake pumps are used to discharge and pump fluids that contain highly viscous and concentrated materials or solids because they generate strong internal propulsive force. Examples include slurries (muddy plasma, a mixture of minerals and sludge in a liquid with high viscosity), processed foods (fish meat, ground meat, etc.) that cannot be pumped by conventional pumps, liquids containing fibers, etc., and cosmetics manufacturing.
In the automotive industry, snake pumps are also used to pump highly viscous liquids and mixtures such as lubricants, abrasives, and silicone resins.
Snake pumps are classified as a rotary pump among positive displacement pumps and consist of a metal rotor corresponding to a male thread and a stator made of elastic material corresponding to a female thread. The rotor is twisted like a screw and rotates inside the stator to pump liquid without pulsation and at a fixed volume.
When the rotor is mounted on the stator, the tangent line between the two creates a sealed helical space. When the rotor is rotated, it rotates and reciprocates inside the stator, and the liquid filled in the space is transferred from the suction side to the discharge side by piston motion.
Since the discharge volume varies with the rotation speed, the discharge volume can be easily changed simply by changing the rotation speed. In addition, since the discharge pressure varies by changing the length of the rotor and stator, if high pressure discharge is required, it can be achieved by using a longer rotor and stator if there are no restrictions due to the length.
When selecting snake pumps, the choice should be based on the application for which it will be used. The points to be checked are as follows:
Discharge volume varies depending on the rotor shape and rotor diameter. It can also be changed by the rotor speed, but if the pump is always operated at high speed, it will deteriorate due to abrasion and be limited by the viscosity of the liquid, so it is necessary to select a model that is appropriate for the discharge volume to be used.
The allowable rotor speed, which affects the discharge volume, is largely related to the properties of the liquid to be pumped (viscosity and wear). The higher the viscosity will result in a lower allowable rotor speed.
Single-phase fluids containing only liquids can be used at high rotational speeds due to their low wear characteristics, but two-phase or multiphase fluids containing hard solid particles, etc., can be used at lower rotational speeds.
Elastic materials are used for the stator section, and these are made of various rubber and resin materials. They should be selected according to their resistance to substances contained in the fluid to be pumped.
This is an important item because a wrong selection can result in fatal failures such as stator breakage or melting.
Discharge pressure is proportional to the length of the rotor-stator, i.e., the number of steps (number of spirals). If high pressure is desired, the length of the equipment needs to be increased, and space is more limited.
The major drawback of snake pumps is the rotor and stator are in constant contact with each other, making them susceptible to wear. Therefore, the rotor can easily be damaged if dry operation is accidentally implemented.
In particular, if chips and other debris that have peeled off due to rotor damage are discharged along with the liquid being pumped, it is highly likely to lead to a major problem in the food industry due to contamination by foreign matter.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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