What is a Centrifugal Pump?

Industrial Goods and Services

If you are in the processing business, you may need to use several types of pumps to keep materials moving through your facility. One of the most common and effective pump types is called centrifugal pumps. You can find a wide range of them from your Ampco pumps distributor. But what are these things and how do they work? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Spinning Action

When something spins, it creates centrifugal force. If you grab a bucket of water and swing it quickly over your head, it won’t spill on you because of the force applied from the rotation of the bucket. In fact, the earth spinning on its axis creates a force called gravity that holds us to the ground and makes life on planet earth possible. So how does this effect centrifugal type Ampco pumps?

A centrifugal pump uses a spinning impeller inside of a casing. When liquid enters one end of the mechanism, the impeller rotation sucks in the liquid and expels it out the other end. Although this is a very simple process, it is highly effective for moving liquids from one area to another.

Different Than Positive Displacement Pumps

Some pumps move materials by pushing them with gears or pistons. For example, when a plunger moves backward it creates suction that pulls liquid in (intake port). As the plunger moves forward, it pushes the liquid out of an exhaust or exit port. The plunger (piston) moves back and forth due to the reciprocating action of a crankshaft, flywheel, or spring.


Centrifugal Ampco pumps can move large amounts of liquids within a relatively short time period. The pumping action is directly proportional to the speed of the impeller rotation. This lets you throttle the flow rate without the need for a pressure relief valve (as with positive displacement pumps).