Centrifugal pumps are a sub-class of dynamic axisymmetric work-absorbing turbomachinery. Centrifugal pumps are used to transport fluids by the conversion of rotational kinetic energy to the hydrodynamic energy of the fluid flow. The rotational energy typically comes from an engine or electric motor. The fluid enters the pump impeller along or near to the rotating axis and is accelerated by the impeller, flowing radially outward into a diffuser or volute chamber (casing), from where it exits.
Common uses include water, sewage, petroleum and petrochemical pumping; a centrifugal fan is commonly used to implement a vacuum cleaner. The reverse function of the centrifugal pump is a water turbine converting potential energy of water pressure into mechanical rotational energy.
Like most pumps, a centrifugal pump converts rotational energy, often from a motor, to energy in a moving fluid. A portion of the energy goes into kinetic energy of the fluid. Fluid enters axially through eye of the casing, is caught up in the impeller blades, and is whirled tangentially and radially outward until it leaves through all circumferential parts of the impeller into the diffuser part of the casing. The fluid gains both velocity and pressure while passing through the impeller. The doughnut-shaped diffuser, or scroll, section of the casing decelerates the flow and further increases the pressure. It is important to note that the water is not pushed radially outward by centrifugal force (non-existent force), but rather by inertia, the natural tendency of an object to continue in a straight line (tangent to the radius) when traveling around circle. This can be compared to the way a spin-cycle works in a washing machine.