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A peristaltic pump, also known as a roller pump, is a type of positive displacement pump used to move various fluids through a flexible tube using a mechanism that mimics natural peristalsis seen in biological systems, such as the gastrointestinal tract. This pump is particularly valued for its ability to handle a wide range of fluids, including those that are viscous, abrasive, or contain particulates, without contamination or damage to the fluid.

Working Principle

  1. Tube Compression:

    • A flexible tube is placed inside a circular pump casing.

    • A set of rollers or shoes attached to a rotor compresses the tube at intervals as it rotates.

  2. Fluid Movement:

    • The compression of the tube creates a sealed space that traps a portion of the fluid.

    • As the rotor turns, the rollers move along the tube, pushing the fluid forward toward the discharge end.

    • Once the rollers pass, the tube returns to its original shape, creating a vacuum that draws more fluid into the tube from the inlet.

Key Components

  1. Flexible Tube: The main pathway for fluid, usually made from materials like silicone, Tygon, or other elastomers that can withstand repeated compression.

  2. Pump Head: Contains the rollers and holds the tube in place.

  3. Rollers/Shoes: Attached to the rotor, these compress the tube and move the fluid.

  4. Rotor: The rotating component that drives the rollers or shoes.

  5. Casing: The outer structure that supports the tube and rollers.

Types of Peristaltic Pumps

  1. Hose Pumps: Designed for higher pressure applications, using a reinforced hose.

  2. Tube Pumps: Typically used for lower pressure and flow applications with a simple flexible tube.


  1. Medical and Laboratory: For pumping sterile fluids, blood, and precise dosing of reagents.

  2. Food and Beverage: Handling of viscous, shear-sensitive, or particulate-laden fluids without contamination.

  3. Water Treatment: Dosing of chemicals such as chlorine or other disinfectants.

  4. Pharmaceuticals: Precise and contamination-free transfer of sensitive fluids.

  5. Industrial: Transfer of abrasive slurries, corrosive liquids, and viscous materials.


  1. Contamination-Free: The fluid only contacts the inside of the tube, preventing contamination.

  2. Gentle Handling: Suitable for shear-sensitive fluids and materials.

  3. Versatility: Can handle a wide range of fluids, including those that are viscous, abrasive, or contain particulates.

  4. Self-Priming: Capable of creating a vacuum sufficient to lift fluids from a lower level.

  5. Easy Maintenance: Simple tube replacement without the need for complex disassembly.


  1. Limited Pressure and Flow Rate: Generally, lower pressure and flow capabilities compared to some other pump types.

  2. Tube Wear: The tube or hose is subject to wear and needs regular replacement, especially in high-duty cycles.

  3. Pulsation: The nature of the peristaltic action can cause pulsating flow, which might require dampening in sensitive applications.