How does viscosity affect centrifugal pump performances?


Pump users are sometimes confronted with the problem of applying an existing centrifugal pump to viscous liquids. Published pump performance curves are normally based on liquids with a viscosity of one centistokes (cSt). When this viscosity is increased, the performance of centrifugal pumps is affected in the following ways:

  1. A marked increase in power consumption
  2. Reduction in head
  3. Reduction in capacity.

The resulting impact of viscosity can be:

  • An undersized pump which will not produce the desired flow and/or head; and
  • Overloading of the electric motor.

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