Need help finding the best product for your application?Contact us today for a FREE Estimate.

(781) 932-3030 |

Piston / Plunger Pumps


Piston & Plunger Pump Overview

The piston and plunger pumps use positive displacement pumps that use a piston mechanism to move media through the chamber. Depending on their use, we also call these piston and plunger pumps “well service pumps,” “high-pressure pumps,” or high viscosity pumps. These pumps produce high pressures and can propagate solid and viscous material with media. Piston pumps have a disc-shaped design and piston that slides into the circular body. The system creates a to and fro motion within a cylinder, sealing the circle’s perimeter or other closed curved bodies in the mechanism. The piston pumps have a seal that moves back and forth in the setup, making them ideal for low-pressure tasks compared to plunger pumps.

Piston & Plunger Pump Brands

Ideal Cat Applications:
  • Portable utility
  • Mixing

Operation and Working

The piston and plunger pumps are positive displacement pumps, which mean they use a contracting and expanding mechanism to move the fluids within the system. What makes these pumps unique is they do not move in a circular motion, making them ideal for all sorts of industrial applications. The two pumps create a reciprocating motion along their axis, creating pressure within the system, or the barrel, which pushes the liquid out of the system. This pressure moves the valves at the discharge and suction points.

Piston and Plunger Pumps: Differences

Users can differentiate between the two types of pumps based on their style, number of cylinders, or pump-action systems.


All piston and plunger pumps have at least one moving piston within a sealed cylinder, which has two types of axial and radial piston pumps.

  • Axial

Pumps containing multiple pistons in a cylindrical box, moving in the direction of the centerline of the block, are the axial type. Users can control most of the flow and pump internally, which allows simple functioning. Axial pumps are quite similar to a simple hydraulic system.

  • Radial

The radial-pump contains pistons positioned like spokes on a wheel, wrapped around a cylindrical block. A cylindrical block controlled and moved by a drive shaft operates the pump and pushes the piston or slings. The best part about these pumps is their noiseless operations, high efficiency, low speeds, and high load-bearing capability.

Pump Action

The pump-action determines the direction of the fluid within the pump, producing the fluid discharge or suction. Single-acting pumps have a single valve on each end, where the suction and discharge occur in different directions. On the other hand, the double-acting pumps include two valves, which allow suction and discharge. The double-action pump provides movement in both directions.