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Difference between Reciprocating and Rotary Pump

Difference between Reciprocating and Rotary Pump

Reciprocating and rotary pumps are two types of pumps used in many industries today. While they may look similar, there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at these differences and help you decide which pump is best for your needs. So, what are the differences between reciprocating and rotary pumps? Let’s find out!

What is Reciprocating Pump?

A reciprocating pump is a positive displacement pump that uses pistons driven by a crankshaft to move fluid through the chamber. Reciprocating pumps are typically used to transfer high-viscosity fluids, or fluids with particulates, at high pressures. Reciprocating pumps can be either single-acting or double-acting, depending on whether the pistons are driven on one side or both sides of the crankshaft. Single-acting pumps are less expensive and have simpler construction than double-acting pumps, but they are less efficient and can only achieve lower pressures. Reciprocating pumps are used in a variety of applications, including oil and gas production, automotive manufacturing, and water services.

What is a Rotary Pump?

Rotary pumps are positive displacement pumps, meaning they move fluid by trapping a fixed volume of fluid and then forcing (displacing) that trapped volume into the discharge pipe. Rotary pumps are usually used to move low-viscosity fluids at high flow rates.

  • Rotary pumps can be either internal or external gear type, lobe or vane type, lubricated or non-lubricated, single stage or multi-stage, and so on. The most common type of rotary pump is the gear pump, which uses two meshing gears to trap and move fluid.
  • Rotary pumps are also classified according to the principle they use to move fluid. The two most common principles are centrifugal and positive displacement.
  • Centrifugal pumps use centrifugal force to create flow, while positive displacement pumps rely on seals and chambers to trap fluid and then force it through the pump.

Rotary pumps are used in a variety of applications, from pumping oil and gas to moving food and beverages. Rotary pumps are also used in industrial settings for tasks such as moving chemicals, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

Difference between Reciprocating and Rotary Pump

  • Reciprocating and rotary pumps are two common types of pumps used in many industries. Reciprocating pumps work by using a reciprocating motion to move fluids through a pump chamber.
  • This type of pump is often used in applications where a high degree of head pressure is required, such as in water wells. Rotary pumps, on the other hand, use a rotating motion to move fluids.
  • These pumps are often used in applications where a large volume of fluid needs to be moved, such as in oil and gas pipelines. Reciprocating and rotary pumps each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to select the type of pump that is best suited for the application.


Reciprocating pumps are ideal for lower pressure applications while rotary pumps are perfect for high-pressure needs.

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