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What is a Sand Pump?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 17, 2024
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A sand pump is a unit used most commonly in oilfield and land-moving applications. A sand pump is generally the primary means of moving solid matter from one place to another in the most efficient means possible. Sand pumps work through a process called centrifugal motion. This means a sand pump may also be classified as a centrifugal pump.

Sand pumps work through the use of a textured or grooved disc. The disc is rotated around a central axis, creating a force of movement through the grooved disc’s rotation. The action forces the movement of any material that comes into contact with the grooved disc, because of the draw/release action created by the movement of the grooves.

A sand pump can be used in a number of different instances and move a number of different substances, but they are referred to as sand pumps because they are most often used to move sand deposits from one point to another. Sand pumps are generally placed in fluid or oil tanks that have sunken or become filled with sand, and then move sand through a series of pipes and junctions. They may possibly even move sand through other pumps that may be incorporated to maintain the material pressure through the entirety of the system.

Sand pumps are most commonly used in systems that move materials a long distance. The sand pump becomes necessary because the piping in these systems can become bound with the materials if the pressure at the end of the system is not sufficient to push the material through the end. Pumps being placed in sequence for use in longer systems also provide a way to relieve the initial pump of the heavy work load these types of pumps often incur.

The benefits of using sand pumps to move solid materials from one place to another through a piping system often outweigh the typical cost of one of these systems, in large part because moving solid earthly materials involves either manual or motored equipment. The ease of use and continued application benefits once the system is installed and integrated also are a benefit.

There are disadvantages to these systems as well. Moving sand at high pressures or speeds often compresses the abrasive materials and grinds them against the disc. This grinding action often results in the disc requiring replacement in long-term applications, and may also require the introduction of water to the system to make the material more pliable as it moves through the system.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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