Pros and Cons of Progressive Cavity Pumps

Progressive cavity (PC) pumps are great for gentle dosing of difficult media like solids and abrasives – even at high pressures and viscosities.
Self-priming and valve-less, they have unique capabilities. They can handle both low and highly viscous material, as well as solids like fruit and vegetables.
Thanks to high process liability and suction capacity, they are often used for continuous, gentle conveyance and the precise dosing of difficult media such as abrasive and corrosive fluids.

Pros of Progressive Cavity Pumps

  • Good for solids and other difficult media
  • Can handle air entrained, multiple phase and abrasive fluids
  • Precise dosing
  • Suited to high and low viscosity applications
  • Allows continuous, gentle and low-pulsation flow
  • Self-priming
  • Does not vapor lock
  • Very accurate as a metering pump
  • High suction capacity
  • Reverse rotation and flow
  • Can be operated vertically
  • Quiet

Cons of Progressive Cavity Pumps:

  • A fluid film is needed to keep the sliding (contacting) surfaces lubricated. These pumps fail when run dry.
  • Progressive cavity pumps are slower moving and don’t produce large amounts of flow. This can be addressed with VFD (variable frequency drives) and/or gear reducers that increase installation costs. Depending on the application, a VFD could be disadvantageous.
  • The volumetric efficiency of the pump can be affected when viscous fluid doesn’t flow quickly enough into the pump. This means that speed limits for the given fluid and viscosity are important (and should be carefully checked and adhered to).
  • PC pumps can only pump a limited distance.
  • Slippage rates can be high due to the rotor/stator fits, causing the pump to be less efficient.

Best applications for a Progressive Cavity Pump

Progressive cavity pumps are used in many applications, from wastewater treatment, to oil or food and beverages. They are well suited to solids, fluids with low to high viscosity, abrasive and toxic or corrosive media. Here are just a few of the potential applications for a PC pump:

  • Slurry and sludge transfer
  • Oils (non-lubricating and lubricating)
  • Cosmetics, creams, and lotions
  • Paint, varnish
  • Adhesives
  • Shear-sensitive fruits and vegetables

The progressive cavity pump suits many applications across a wide spectrum of industries. If you’d like to get advice on whether a progressive cavity pump is a good fit for your application, call our toll-free number 1-800-367-4180. We have experts on hand to help you choose, install, and maintain a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.