ThePipingMart Blog other Diaphragm Pump vs Peristaltic Pump – What’s the Difference

Diaphragm Pump vs Peristaltic Pump – What’s the Difference

Diaphragm Pump vs Peristaltic Pump

Several types of pumps are available in the market today, with different capabilities and applications. Among these are diaphragm pumps and peristaltic pumps. While both pumps may seem similar on the surface, significant differences between them make each one more suited to certain applications than the other. In this blog post, we examine these differences and explore diaphragm and peristaltic pumps’ unique features and benefits.

What is Diaphragm Pump?

A diaphragm pump is a positive displacement pump that uses a flexibly mounted rubber membrane as the sole moving part to pressurize and move fluids. It can be used for both low and high-pressure applications and operates by changing the volume between two chambers, one on each side of the diaphragm. It is becoming increasingly popular in many industries due to its simplicity, flexibility, versatility, effectiveness and low maintenance costs.

What is Peristaltic Pump?

A peristaltic pump is a positive displacement pump that delivers liquids and gases in a pulsating, steady flow. It compresses part of a flexible tube through which the material passes, creating suction that pulls the fluid or gas into the tube. Peristaltic pumps are highly efficient and offer a constant flow rate without needing valves or other components. Their design allows them to handle harsh chemicals and abrasive fluids without damage, making them ideal for industrial applications.

Difference Between Diaphragm Pump and  Peristaltic Pump

Operating Principle:

Diaphragm pumps and peristaltic pumps operate using distinct principles. Diaphragm pumps work using positive displacement and is driven by an alternating pressure cycle generated by the diaphragm oscillating back and forth. On the other hand, peristaltic pumps use rotors with rollers to compress and release a hose or tube. This also creates a pressure cycle that drives fluid movement. The operating principle of each pump has a significant impact on its application.

Fluid Handling Capabilities:

Diaphragm pumps suit fluids with consistent flow rates and average viscosity levels. These may include chemicals, oils, and water. They can handle high flow rates and self-prime, making them excellent for continuous operation. Peristaltic pumps are best suited to fluids with lower viscosity and irregular flow rates, such as slurries, liquids with suspended solids, and delicate fluids. They can create high suction forces and precise flow rates, making them ideal for dosing and metering applications.

Maintenance and Lifespan:

Diaphragm pumps require regular maintenance and replacement of the diaphragm, which is the main wearing part. On the other hand, peristaltic pumps have high tube replacement intervals, especially in high-wear applications. Both pump types have a long lifespan, but the diaphragm pump may require more maintenance. Each pump’s lifespan largely depends on the application type and usage.

Cost and Energy Efficiency:

Diaphragm pumps are inexpensive and energy-efficient, with fewer components and simple operation. On the other hand, peristaltic pumps are more expensive and require more energy to operate owing to their more complex design and higher number of components. However, they may be more cost-effective in high-precision applications, where they can reduce material wastage and improve yield.

Environmental Factors:

Diaphragm pumps may generate pulsating flows that can impact downstream processes, and they require a seal to be fitted where the diaphragm meets the drive mechanism. Peristaltic pumps produce smooth and consistent flows with no mechanical seals, making them suitable for hygienic and sterile processes such as food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications.


In conclusion, diaphragm and peristaltic pumps are valuable tools for fluid handling in different applications. The choice between the two depends on the application’s specific requirements, with factors such as fluid type, flow rate, maintenance intervals, and cost being considered. Diaphragm pumps are suited to high flow, consistent viscosity fluids at lower cost, while peristaltic pumps are best for low viscosity, irregular flow fluids requiring high precision. With a deeper understanding of the differences between these two pump types, it’s easier to select the right one for each application.

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