Valveless Pumps vs. Syringe Pumps – And The Winner Is…

Manufacturers of analytical instrumentation often use syringe pumps for many low-volume fluid dispensing applications. But, are syringe pumps the best choice? We say a resounding “NO.” We believe valveless pumps win for a variety of good reasons. Here’s a brief overview of our reasoning:

  • Possible double-trouble with syringe pumps. Yes, syringe pumps have proven to be accurate at very low dispense volumes, and they can provide a pulseless fluid stream at low-flow rates. However, syringe pumps fill and dispense through the same orifice, and as a result, uninterrupted flow requires at least two complete syringe assemblies. (While one syringe is dispensing, the other is filling…) Increasing components, especially those in contact with the fluid, raises the amount of routine maintenance required, and also increases the possibility of component failure.
  • Less operational expenses with valveless pumpsSyringe pumps are more expensive than valveless pumps to operate. Requiring at least two syringes for a single continuous-dispense operation (as outlined above) doubles the cost of the system. With syringe pumps, more components are required (syringes, valves, drivers, & driver boards) – and this brings us back to the “double-trouble component failure possibility” mentioned above! However, on the other hand, valveless metering pumps, with simple 2-port configuration and only one moving part (a ceramic piston), cost less to operate and require minimal maintenance. 
  • Millions of trouble-free cycles with valveless pumps. Miniature valveless metering pumps and dispensers are often used to replace syringe systems, reducing maintenance and costs, and providing reliability for the long haul. There are no valves to leak or clog, so you get increased throughput for reliable dispensing for millions of trouble-free cycles.

What do you think—do you agree that valveless pumps are more efficient and cost-effective than syringe pumps?                      

Valveless pump

Syringe pumps

Behind the Scenes: The Technology of the Valveless Metering Pump

The valveless, ceramic, piston metering pump. This patented technology has been the heart and soul of our company, Fluid Metering, Inc., for over fifty years, and continues to be the focus of our business. Originally created for more accurate fluid transfer, discrete dispensing, and fluid sampling, the valveless pump differentiates itself from other pump solutions, such as conventional piston, diaphragm, and syringe pumps. How so? The unique technology behind the pump.Valveless technology

Unlike conventional pump technologies, which rely on either internal or external valves to ensure unidirectional fluid flow, the valveless metering pump only uses one moving part—a rotating, reciprocating ceramic piston to accomplish both the pumping and valving functions. In the case of conventional pumps, valves need to be maintained on a consistent basis, and in some cases, completely replaced if not properly working. Having a pump that doesn’t have valves not only cuts down on recalibration, but also reduces downtime since the pump doesn’t need to be taken out of a process in order to be maintained or fixed. Why ceramic materials? Ceramic is wear resistant and chemically inert, which helps with the functionality and accuracy of fluid metering. By using sapphire-hard, dimensionally-stable internal components in a pump, 0.5 % precision for millions of cycles is maintained without maintenance or recalibration. With increased accuracy, you are also receiving more bang for your buck—as fluid concentrations and volumes are increasing, the importance of precise dispensing increases as well.

How does this technology work? Simply put, the valveless pumping function is accomplished by the synchronous rotation and reciprocation of the ceramic piston in the precisely-mated ceramic cylinder liner. One complete piston revolution is required for each suction and discharge cycle. As the makers of this technology, we can’t stress enough how paramount the valveless pump is to so many applications—why not use the more accurate technology?