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Machine for moving liquids and gases. Its two major parts are the impeller (a wheel with vanes) and the circular pump casing around it. In the most common type, called the volute centrifugal pump, fluid enters the pump at high speed near the centre of the rotating impeller and is thrown against the casing by the vanes. The centrifugal pressure forces the fluid through an opening in the casing; this outlet widens progressively in a spiral fashion, which reduces the speed of the fluid and thereby increases pressure. Centrifugal pumps are used for many purposes, such as pumping liquids for water supply, irrigation, and sewage disposal systems. They are also used as gas compressors.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on centrifugal pump, visit Britannica.com.