Squeeze Pumps: A Gastrointestinal Analogy

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According to the 1966 edition of Ground Water and Wells, squeeze pumps, or peristaltic pumps as they are now called, were often used in the water works industry for purposes of chemical addition. The pump operates using positive displacement to move a variety of fluids. The fluid moves within a flexible tube fitted inside a circular pump casing. A rotor with a number of “rollers” turns, the part of the tube under compression is pinched closed (or “occludes”), forcing the fluid to be pumped through the tube. Typically, two or more rollers trap the fluid and then force it toward the pump outlet. Because this process resembles peristalsis, the biological digestive process, this pump type is called a peristaltic pump.

 

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Here is a drawing of a mid-century squeeze pump:

squeeze pump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern “squeeze pumps” operate on the same principle, and do not look too different from their predecessors:

176px-Peristaltic_pump_head (1)

“Peristaltic pump head” by Andy Dingley – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peristaltic_pump_head.jpg#/media/File:Peristaltic_pump_head.jpg.