Peristaltic pumps are positive displacement pumps that move water and other fluid through tubes. The tubes are acted upon by a roller or a series of rollers, squeezing the tube and pushing the fluids through. They are called peristaltic pumps because they imitate the process by which we swallow and transport food and waste through our bodies, called peristalsis.
Peristaltic pumps are used mostly for two materials that are quite different from each other: sterile fluids like water or aggressive fluids and chemicals. The reason is because the only component of a peristaltic pump that comes in contact with the fluids is the tube. This prevents any possibility of cross-contamination of any fluid. It also keeps aggressive fluids from deteriorating pump components.
General applications include aggressive chemicals, IV fluids, slurries with high concentrations of solids and other materials that must be separated from their environments. They are also used during heart surgery in heart-lung machines for blood circulation.
Specific Applications for Peristaltic Pumps
Peristaltic pumps are used in medicine for medical infusion pumps, dialysis machines and open-heart bypass pump machines we mentioned earlier. They are used for testing and research for applications such as carbon monoxide monitors, auto analysers, analytical chemistry experiments and media dispensers.
They are also used for agriculture in “sap-sucker” pumps to extract maple syrup. There are a number of food and beverage application, including beverage dispensers, liquid food dispensers such as those for liquid cheese and food service washing machine fluid pumps.
They can be used for nearly any chemical but are mostly used for paint, pigments, printing, pharmaceutical production, aggressive chemicals of all kinds and dosing systems for laundry and dishwashing chemicals.
The manufacturing and engineering sectors use peristaltic pumps for paper and pulp plants, concrete pumping and minimum quantity lubrication. They are used in the waste and water industries for sewage sludge, water purification chemical treatments and calcium reactors in aquariums.