Sanitary Pump 101: High Viscosity Products & Waukesha Rectangular Flange Pumps- What are they and when to use them

Into today’s edition of Sanitary Pump 101, we’re going to take a look at high viscous products and rectangular flange pumps. Waukesha Universal series of pumps are world renowned for their ability to handle highly viscous products- up to 1,000,000 CPS. But in order to pump these products, we need to be able to get them into the pump. So in today’s post, we’re going to look at some tips and tricks on handling highly viscous products and how we feed the pumps in these applications.

So let’s say we’re pumping a heavy starch paste to make licorice. The base material comes in a 55-gallon drum that even if you flip the drum over, the product won’t flow out. So… can we pump it? The answer is yes, but we need to consider a few tings first.

Waukesha Universal 2 Pump w/ Rectangular Flange

First, we need to open up the inlet of the pump as much as possible. This means using a rectangular flange. A rectangular flange is available on the Universal 1, Universal 2, Universal 3, and Universal Twin Screw Pumps in most sizes. You know you’ve selected or been quoted a rectangular flange pump because it will be designated with a number “4” in the model number. For instance, a Universal 1 Model 130 with rectangular flange will be a model Universal 1 Model 134.

The rectangular flange on a Waukesha Universal Pump expands the inlet throat and prevents bridging, allowing more product to enter the pump. This is perfect for applications like fish offal, starch pastes, and mechanically deboned meats. Really any product that can bridge or is difficult to get into the pump.

So now that we have a rectangular flange on our pump, we’re going to be able to pump licorice, right? Not so fast. There are a few other things we want to consider. First, we’re going to want to look at how product is flowing into the rectangular flange. A lot of times, we’ll see the pump fed from a hopper with the rectangular flange in the vertical, eliminating an inlet elbow and making the most of gravity. With hopper fed pumps, it’s important to make sure that the hopper is independently supported to eliminate stress on the pump.

Mepaco Screw Feed System w/ Waukesha Pump

Still having trouble getting the product to flow into the pump? If so, we’ll want to look at a screw or auger feed. There are a number of OEMs that Triplex can refer you to (contact a sales engineer today!). But just hooking your Waukesha pump up to an auger feed is not enough. We still need to consider how we drive the pump.

Whether we’re auger feeding or not, with rectangular flange pumps, we’re going to want to run them slow- less than 100 RPM- to give the viscous product as much time as possible to get into the pump. We’re also going to want to double and triple check our duty torque to make sure we’ve sized the pump correctly. Finally, we highly recommend downstream line protection for all system components in the event of a flow obstruction or other high-pressure event.

So if you’re trying to make the world’s longest licorice rope or handling any high viscosity product, start by asking if a rectangular flange is the best choice for your application (look for the number 4 in the model number). If you’re using a hopper, make sure it’s supported and isn’t loading the pump. Run the pump slow- less than 100 RPM- to give the product as much time as possible to get into the pump and if you’re still having trouble, consider and auger feed. And as always, if you have any questions about your Waukesha Universal Pump Application, contact a Triplex Sales Engineer today.

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