Drum pump, barrel pump, and transfer pump refer to pumps that are used to empty barrels, tanks, IBCs and drums. Many liquids used on manufacturing and processing plants are delivered in 100 or 200 litre barrels and are too heavy to tip to empty the liquids inside. Drum pumps range from simple siphon based devices to sophisticated highly-engineered machinery.
Low cost manual pumps are used when product dispensing is periodically needed. Crank and lever driven pumps are available. Double-action piston drum pumps can be self priming, delivering liquid on both the forward and the back stroke.
Unlike a submersible pump with the motor submerged, a drum pump has a drive motor above the container. Electric and pneumatic motors are available. The motor is attached to the vertical shaft at the top of the tube outside the drum and the pumping element is located at the end of the shaft inside the drum. This configuration allows the drum to be emptied without tipping and so reduces the risk of spills and operator injury.
Some materials are solid at ambient temperatures and must be melted to allow pumping. This might include open-head drums of hot-melt adhesive, heavy grease, etc. Several systems have been developed which use a heated platen placed on the material; the melted material is then pumped through a heated hose to its destination.