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What are the Most Commonly Used Pump Types?

Pumps are one of the most widely used mechanical devices in the world, finding use in a diverse range of applications, from fire protection to chemical manufacturing. While pumps may seem to have a simple operating theory at first, there are several types of pumps that are generally specialized for the industries they serve. In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about the various types of pumps in use today.

Axial Flow Pumps

Axial flow pumps typically make use of an impeller that is driven by either an electrical or gas-powered motor. Usually placed at a right angle to the receiving end, axial flow pumps may be used to increase the pressure and velocity in a pipe immensely. While creating a superior flow rate for their size, this pump type struggles with high-viscosity fluids.

Diaphragm Pumps

Diaphragm pumps contain a housing with a two-sided diaphragm made from Teflon, thermoplastic, or rubber. These diaphragms push outwards on the media as it passes, thereby increasing pressure and velocity. With several options for diaphragm material, these pumps may be compatible with a variety of media, including those which are high in temperature and corrosive. They are also highly efficient, reaching up to 97% when installed correctly.


As the name suggests, this pump type uses two or more tightly fitting gears to move media through a pipe. Commonly made of metal or other durable materials, gear pumps can handle viscous liquids with ease. Additionally, they are unique in their ability to pump the same amount of fluid with each revolution, leading to more accuracy when required.


One of the most commonly implemented designs across all industries is the centrifugal pump. Similar to the axial-flow design, impellers are used to increase fluid velocity and pressure. However, instead of pushing the media linearly, these pumps use a spinning impeller to create centrifugal force. Depending on the design, centrifugal pumps may be compatible with mid or low-viscosity fluids, and may be scaled to fit a variety of applications.

While generally versatile, centrifugal pumps do face some limitations. Primarily, they are prone to overheating when exposed to high viscosity fluids since the system depends upon continuous high-speed rotational momentum. Additionally, centrifugal pumps cannot function properly when not primed with fluid. Thus, they are only compatible with near-consistently present media. As such, centrifugal pumps are typically found in mining locations, construction sites, natural gas machinery, HVAC equipment, and chemical plants.

Mixed Flow

These specialized pumps combine design aspects from both centrifugal and axial-flow pumps to deliver a superior flow rate. Further, they are compatible with contaminated liquids, as well as liquid with suspended particles, making them the perfect choice for sewage sites, industrial waste sites, and paper mills.

Hydraulic Pump

A pump of any design that is used to displace hydraulic fluids is considered a hydraulic pump. The two primary industries that make use of hydraulic pumps are construction and aviation. In construction, hydraulic pumps are used to power heavy equipment, such as log splitters, lift jacks, and smaller hand-held tools. Meanwhile, hydraulic pumps are used to actuate control surfaces in aircraft equipped with such systems.


Industrials 360 is a premier supplier of components and equipment for the aerospace and industrial markets. With an inventory of over 2 billion items, we are strategically poised to meet the unique demands of our diverse customers. Whether you are looking for new, obsolete, or hard-to-find parts, the team at Industrials 360 can help you find them with ease. Additionally, we always offer expedited shipping to domestic and international customers alike. If you are facing even shorter time requirements, such as an AOG situation, please let our team know, to learn about our same-day shipping options. At Industrials 360, we are more than a trusted distributor, we are a strategic sourcing partner.


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