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Piston Pumps

Piston Pumps, Piston Pump Heavy duty

Piston pumps and plunger pumps are positive displacement pumps that use a plunger or piston to move media through a cylindrical chamber. They are also called well service pumps, high pressure pumps, or high viscosity pumps because they can provide high pump pressures and are capable of handling both viscous and solids containing media

Piston pumps Operation

Piston pumps and plunger pumps are positive displacement pumps, which means they use contracting and expanding cavities to move fluid. Specifically, they are reciprocating pumps, which have cavities that expand and contract in a reciprocating (back and forth, up and down) motion rather than in a circular (rotary) motion. For more information on this range of pumps, see Engineering 360. Go to the Positive Displacement Pump Selection Guide page.

Piston pumps and plunger pumps use a mechanism (usually rotational) to create a reciprocating motion along an axis, which then Piston pumps pressure into a cylinder or working barrel to force gas or fluid through makes. The pressure in the chamber activates the valves at both the suction and discharge points.


Piston Pump Heavy duty and plunger pumps can be distinguished by design based on type, pump action, and number of cylinders.


There are a variety of piston pump and plunger pump designs, but they all rotate at least one piston in an enclosed cylinder. Typical types of designs include axial and radial piston pumps.

An axial Piston Pump Heavy duty consists of a number of pistons attached to a cylindrical block that move in the same direction as the center line (axial) of the block. Most of the pressure and flow control circuitry can be incorporated internally, allowing reliable operation and simple design of the associated hydraulic system.

  • Radial piston pumps have pistons arranged like wheel spokes around a cylindrical block. A drive shaft rotates this cylindrical block which pushes or slings the piston, causing compression and expansion. The eccentricity between the piston housing and the cylinder block centerline determines the piston stroke. These pumps have low noise level, very high load at lowest speed and high efficiency.
  • Single acting Pumps have a valve at each end, where suction and discharge take place in opposite directions.
  • Double acting Pumps use two valves at each end, allowing suction and discharge in both directions.
  • Number of Cylinders
  • The range of pump cylinders is that the number of pumping cylinders within the pump. The pump capability will increase because the range of pump cylinders will increase.
  • Simplex pumps have one cylinder.
  • Duplex pump consists of 2 cylinders.
  • Multiplex pumps have quite 2 cylinders.

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