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Useful Information / Technical Support

Which pump is suitable for your container?

When a customer sends their enquiry, it’s vital that we offer the right pump for the application. The Flux technical team will ask questions to ensure no details are overlooked and the most cost effective solution is put forward.

When a customer sends their enquiry, it’s vital that we offer the right pump for the application. The Flux technical team will ask questions to ensure no details are overlooked and the most cost effective solution is put forward.

Let’s delve into the typical containers our pumps are used with and provide some useful information about installing drum and container pumps.

What is the height of the container to be emptied?

This will determine the pump immersion length required:    

Tanks 1200-3000 mm

IBC 1200 mm

205-225 litre drums 1000 mm

50-70 litre drums 700 mm

25-50 litre drums 500 mm

Does the drum have a removable lid (open-topped), or is it closed (tight-head)?

Open-head drums are widely used in the food & cosmetics industries for transporting powders, granular materials and high viscosity liquids. More common tighthead drums are available from several manufacturers, in many sizes and materials. Drums are available with openings (or bungholes), of different sizes and thread types. We need to understand which is the preferred connection point (or insertion point) for your pump.

What is the container material?

Drums and barrels are commonly available in the following materials:

Painted or epoxy-coated steel, stainless steel, re-inforced fibreboard, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and wood.

Steel drums are ubiquitous world-wide, most commonly in the 205 litre (55 gallon size), and in open-topped or tight-head styles. They are used for storing a wide range of products, but typically oils, fuels, solvents, chemicals and food products.

Fibreboard drums are lightweight and environmentally friendly. Primarily used for transporting food products and powders, they require a liner for use with liquids.

Polyethylene drums are very common, again in open-topped or tighthead styles, and typically blue or black in colour. Blue drums are used for chemicals, oils, food products and cosmetic ingredients. Less common black conductive drums are used for flammable liquids.

Wooden open-topped barrels are widely used in the beverage industry, for storing and maturing products such as whisky, cognac and port.

IBC containers are typically constructed from HDPE with a surrounding steel cage for protection from handling damage. Conductive black HDPE, steel, fibreboard and collapsible plastic IBC’s with in-liners are also available. In recent years, environmentally friendly, re-useable single and double-walled IBC’s have been introduced. These containers are constructed from roto-moulded polyethylene and deliver 10 x longer life than traditional IBC’s.

The container material can provide a guide to which pump material might be most suitable for the liquid.

Does the container have a liner (in-liner)?

Drums used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food & beverage applications sometimes have a polyethylene liner installed. This guarantees product integrity and eliminates contamination risk. When selecting the most appropriate pump, it is important to consider whether the pump might cause damage to the liner. Flux offers optional inlet protection devices and strainers to stop the in-liner being drawn into the pump.

What is the diameter of container opening?

Tight-head drums and barrels typically have two openings (or bungholes) in the top. Traditional drum pumps are inserted vertically through one of the bungholes.

All steel tight-head drums have 1 x 2” BSP female bung-hole and 1 x 0.75” BSP female bung-hole. Easy! Polyethylene drums can have a range of different diameter bung-holes, with different thread types and pitches. This makes selection of larger diameter high viscosity drum pumps challenging.

Traditional polyethylene IBC’s and single-walled re-usable IBC’s have a 150 mm diameter opening at the top and a plastic low-level outlet valve with coarse S60 x 6 male thread. Some steel IBC containers have larger 225 mm diameter top opening. Standard 1200 mm long IBC pumps are inserted vertically into these containers. Alternatively, our Miniflux or F430 TR series pumps are connected to the low-level outlet. This is useful when IBC’s are stacked, or there is limited space overhead.

Full containment re-usable IBC’s, eg. Varibox, have a top mounted automatic vent and CDS quick-release couplings with an internal dip tube. There is no low-level outlet.  These IBC’s need a self-priming pump to draw liquid up the dip tube from the bottom of the IBC, eg. an air-operated diaphragm pump, or the Flux Safetec pump system.

Is a barrel clamp, compression gland, or fume gland required?

A clamp is recommended to secure the pump in an open-head drum. A compression gland secures a vertical pump in a drum bunghole or IBC cap. This stops the pump moving or sliding during operation and reduces the risk of a dirt or foreign material entering the container. The gland must be sized correctly ie. to match the drum/IBC cap thread type and the outer diameter of the pump. Compression glands are available in different materials to suit the application.

Fume glands serve a similar purpose, however, the pump is completely sealed in the container. This eliminates vapour emissions – useful when pumping hazardous chemicals or flammable solvents. Standard Flux fume glands are fitted with an automatic air inlet valve that opens to stop a vacuum forming in the drum. Fume glands are available in brass, stainless steel and polypropylene materials.

Fume glands are also available with a gas compensation connection, for use with an inert dry gas feed, eg. nitrogen. This is known as a nitrogen blanket.  This is useful when the liquid is susceptible to degradation when exposed to air or moisture, or to reduce the risk of an explosion when pumping very highly flammable liquids. As liquid is pumped out, the inert gas will fill the space in the drum above the liquid.

What about expensive or dangerous residual liquids left in the container?

The Flux 99.9% emptying pump is ideal for these applications. The pump is fitted with a manually adjustable foot-valve, operated by two operating levers at the top of the pump tube. When the container is empty and as much residual liquid has been drawn into the pump as possible, the operator closes the valve and turns off the drive motor. This ensures no liquid can drain back into the container, or be spilled, during container changes.

Will the pump be mobile or integrated into a fixed pipework system?

Most Flux pumps are portable and are designed to be moved easily between containers. They are typically connected to a flexible discharge hose that can be moved easily by the operator, eg. to fill smaller containers or mixing vessels. Sometimes the flexible hose is connected a fixed pipework system, allowing fluids to be pumped to adjacent rooms or different areas of a factory. The short flexible hose allows the pump to be moved between containers without disconnection.

Compact Flux TR series pumps are designed for direct installation into fixed pipework. They can also be mounted on a baseplate or trolley, for connection to low-level tank or IBC outlets, again using a short length of flexible hose.

To discuss your application and pumping requirements, get in touch with the Flux sales team today @ sales@flux-pumps.co.uk or visit our website www.flux-pumps.co.uk


Contact and information:

FLUX Pumps Intern. (UK) Ltd.
12 Enterprise Park
Blackmoor Road
Verwood, Dorset BH31 6YS
Phone. +44 1202 823304
Fax +44 1202 813387

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