Fluid Metering Inc. Blog

Conquering Cavitation & Removing Bubbles: Why Valveless Piston Pumps Reign Supreme Over Gear Pumps

Apr 17, 2024 7:00:00 AM / by Colin Rademacher

Above Video Copyright: Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, © 2017


In the life sciences industry, precision and reliability are paramount. Fluid Metering understands this, and that's why we offer world-class pumps that don’t require valves. Our reciprocating piston pumps are specifically designed to eliminate a critical threat to IVD, genomic, instruments and dialysis machines: cavitation.


Why Cavitation Matters in Life Sciences:

Cavitation is the formation and violent collapse of vapor bubbles within a liquid, creating unfilled voids and unwanted movement. This phenomenon wreaks havoc in life science applications:


  • Compromised Test Results: Bubbles can disrupt delicate fluid flow, impacting the accuracy and consistency of diagnostic tests.
  • Increased Field Service Costs: Cavitation-related breakdowns lead to unplanned downtime, negatively impacting reliability and productivity while delaying critical healthcare services. Cavitation damage necessitates pump replacements, driving up maintenance expenses.
  • Increased Test Costs: The more costly the required field service, the more expensive tests and treatment will be for both the healthcare providers and their patients. This makes the OEM less competitive in the marketplace.


The Gear Pump Conundrum:

Traditional gear pumps, a mainstay for many years, introduce a significant risk of cavitation. Their inherent design (gears with voids between them) creates localized pressure drops. Since most gear pumps require check valves, bigger filters, more fittings, and thus more tubing, it adds to the pressure drop, resulting in more cavitation.


The Valveless Piston Pump Advantage:

Fluid Metering's valveless piston pumps address these concerns head-on. Unlike gear pumps, our design requires fewer components, allowing for simplified fluidics architecture. Removing valves, gears, and alternate complex components eliminates voids, preventing the pressure drops that trigger cavitation. This translates to:


  • Reduced Pulse for Precise Fluid Flow: Consistent, accurate delivery for reliable test results.
  • Less Shear Stress: Protects sensitive biological samples from damage.
  • Minimized Gas Ingress: Prevents bubble formation for consistent performance.
  • Extended Pump Life: No cavitation-induced flow disruptions leads to longer pump lifespan and lower maintenance costs.
  • Quiet Operation: Reduced noise levels for a more controlled environment.
  • Fewer Failures: Less components means less potential leak points and potential failure modes.


Investing in Reliability:

By choosing Fluid Metering's valveless piston pumps, OEMs in the life sciences gain a crucial edge. Our pumps ensure the consistent, reliable fluid flow critical for accurate diagnostics and efficient operations. This lends to cost savings for labs and hospitals, ultimately enabling OEMs to gain a competitive advantage against their competition.


Contact Fluid Metering today to learn how our innovative pumps can elevate your life science equipment to a new level of performance and reliability.


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Tags: OEM Pumps

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Written by Colin Rademacher

Colin Rademacher - Author for Fluid Metering, Inc. Blog