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Pump Design: Understanding its different part and design

Pumps are essential industrial equipment as they play a pivotal role in pushing liquids or gases from one location to another. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the basics of pump design to ensure that they can operate effectively and efficiently.

Pumps typically consist of three main parts: a housing, an impeller, and a motor. The housing is the pump’s mainframe, which supports the impeller and contains the pumped fluid. The impeller is a rotating set of blades that helps move the fluid through the pump. And finally, the motor provides the power needed to rotate the impeller and create suction.

Importance of Right Pump Design

It is important to note that there are many different types of pumps, and each one is designed to accomplish a particular task. For example, centrifugal pumps move fluids by accelerating the fluid rapidly through a tube that narrows in diameter at some point along its length. In contrast, positive displacement pumps move fluids using a mechanism that physically traps and transports the fluid as it passes from one place to another.

Following are the significant advantages of getting the pump design right

1. Designing a well-functioning pump can save you time and money in the long run.
2. A well-designed pump can minimize downtime and increase productivity.
3. A good pump design can improve the efficiency of your operations, leading to lower energy costs.
4. Proper pump design can help reduce wear and tear on the pump parts, extending their lifespan.
5. Getting the pump design right can create a safer work environment by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

What are the Different Parts of Pump Design

While many factors influence how well a pump performs, the construction of its components is perhaps the most important. Understanding these basic principles can help you ensure that your pumps operate effectively and efficiently for years to come.

1. Impeller
The impeller is the most important and central part of pump design. It is responsible for producing the pumping action that moves water or other fluids through the system. The impeller’s shape, size, and design determine how well a pump will perform.


2. Shaft

The shaft is another important pump part, as it transmits power from the motor to the moving parts inside the pump housing. Most pumps have either a simple straight shaft or an offset shaft in one form or another to optimize performance.


3. Casing

The casing houses all of the internal components of a pump and forms its outermost shell. Casing designs vary depending on whether they are dry-pit pumps or submersible pumps, but both types should be designed for optimal functionality and performance.


4. Sealing

The seal is a vital part of any pump design because it helps protect the internal components from damage or overheating by preventing water from entering the shaft housing area. Different seals are used based on the pump design and the pump application.

5. Bearings

The bearings are important pump parts that allow the rotating shaft to turn smoothly while transferring power to other moving parts within the system. Modern pumps typically use either ball bearings or roller bearings, which vary in their durability, efficiency, and other properties.


6. Couplings
The coupling serves as an intermediary between the motor and pump shaft, allowing them to rotate together without slipping or producing too much vibration or noise. Couplings are usually made from plastic, rubber, or metal and come in various shapes and sizes, depending on their application.


7. Suction Nozzle
The suction nozzle is what draws water into the pump housing so that it can be pressurized and moved through the system. Most nozzles have a specific shape to optimize flow rate, efficiency, and other performance characteristics, but they are also highly customizable for different applications. Getting the design of the nozzle is important to ensure that the pump serves its application in the right way.


8. Discharge Nozzle
The discharge nozzle is responsible for controlling the direction and velocity of the pressurized water being pumped out of the system, which directly affects how much force will be applied to whatever needs to be moved by the pump. Therefore, specific pump design details should be considered when selecting a nozzle type for a particular application.


9. Check Valve
An important pump part, the Check Valve, is a special one-wave valve that stops water or other fluid from flowing back into the pump housing after discharge. This is an important safety feature that protects the pump from damage and ensures that it continues to operate correctly.


10. Strainer
The strainer is a device that helps remove solid particles from the water or the fluid before they can enter and damage the pump components. It is typically located near the pump’s inlet so that water must pass through it before entering the system. The size and quality of the strainer play an essential role as it guards the pump.

These are just a few essential pump parts that make up a typical pump design. We need to acknowledge that pumps are complex machines with many moving parts. The auxiliary pump parts include the inlet and outlet check valves, the recirculation valve, the priming valve, and the pressure relief valve. These parts are essential for ensuring that the pump operates properly and efficiently. It is vital to ensure that these pump parts are always in good working condition to rely on your pump for years to come.

Pump Design

Pump Design

Megan McDonough

For many nursing moms, investing in a breast pump is a must. You may be heading back to work or, perhaps you are looking for more flexibility in terms of when and where you pump. There are several factors to consider here, such as whether or not it’s lightweight and durable, but before that, let’s do a rundown of the pump's main parts. 

From flanges to valves, here’s what to expect from your breast pump. Don’t forget, our Lilu Massage Bra is not a pump, but it works with your pump to make breast pumping more efficient. Think of it as your pump's new sidekick.

Breast shields (flanges)

A flange, or breast shield, is the part of the breast pump that positions directly over the nipple and forms a vacuum seal over the areola, drawing your nipple into the tunnel for milk extraction. When you’re pumping, the flange is what secures over the breast for suction and release. 

Flanges are essential for pumping, so you’ll want to make sure you get one that fits your nipple just right. Most pumps come with flanges to fit the 24mm size. You can test this out to see if it works for you and if not, many companies sell sizes ranging from 21mm - 36mm. 

Pumping Tip: Flanges come in different sizes! A flange that is not properly sized can make it difficult and uncomfortable to pump enough milk. There should be some wiggle room between the nipple and the flange, enough so your nipple doesn’t rub tightly against the flange, but not so much that the areola is drawn inside the flange. Ideally the flange should be ~2mm wider than your nipple after a pumping session. 

Breast pump valves

Breast pump valves, as well as backflow protector membranes (see below) are made of a flexible silicone material. This is partly because the valves stretch and release each time your breast pump sucks in, therefore creating the suction you feel when nursing your infant. 

Because of this stretching and releasing, valves will eventually wear down and become less efficient. For this reason, you’ll want to replace your breast pump valves on a regular basis. Of course, this depends on how often you pump but usually you will have a pretty good idea of when it’s time to get new valves because your milk output will decrease. 

Backflow protectors

As their name suggests, backflow protectors protect backflow from entering the breast pump motor. In short, they act as a physical barrier between your milk and the pump motor, as well as to ensure that your milk supply is sanitary. 

Similar to breast pump valves, your backflow protector diaphragms should be replaced regularly. How often depends on how frequently you pump. Spectra suggests replacing backflow protectors every 2-3 months if you pump once a day, and every 6-8 weeks if you pump more than once per day. Just keep an eye on this part and notice if it’s torn or damaged. 

To clean your backflow protectors, wash it in hot, soapy water and then let it air dry. Before use again, make sure the protectors are completely dry. 


The pump motor vacuums in the air that travels and is displaced through the tubes. A common misconception when you first see a breast pump is that the milk travels through the tubes, when that isn’t the case. 

The FDA also notes that it’s not necessary to clean breast pump tubing unless it comes in contact with breast milk. However, if there’s any condensation in the tubing after you’ve pumped, then make sure to dry the tubes. If you notice any milk in the tubes, you’ll want to replace them altogether, as mold can grow pretty quickly. 


This is the part of the breast pump that connects the tubing, breast shield, valve and. Membranes and milk storage containers to each other. Depending on what pump you buy, the connector might come attached to the breast shield; in other cases, it will be separate.

It’s totally up to you preference on which type you buy, but keep in mind that when the connector comes separate from the shield, it makes for easier cleaning.



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Lilu is a Women’s Health company building tech-enabled devices to empower new moms. Our first product, the Lilu Massage Bra, mimics compression massage, so you can empty your breasts fully to establish, increase and maintain your milk supply. Pump up to 50% more milk each session, all while going hands-free.

Lilu Massage Bra

Pump Design: Understanding its different part and design

Everything you Need to Know about Breast Pump Parts – Lilu


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