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  1. Can a peristaltic pump push air? Let's assume you have a 2m of tubing, and you pump a bunch of water through it. Can you remove the tube from the water reservoir so it is open to the air, and effectively purge the system of any remaining water?

  2. Will a peristaltic pump ALWAYS pump at a constant rate, regardless of the viscosity of the fluid? That is, will maple syrup come out at the same rate as water?

  3. Anyone know where I may find a fast/high flow peristaltic pump? I'm looking to be able to pump, at a minimum, .5oz/sec

  4. What sort of relay would I want for toggling this on/off with an arduino?

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I just spent a few months testing peristaltic pumps. It's a product under development, so I can't say anything particular. But so far as the prototypes are like any peristaltic pump, I can say:

  • Yes, they can pump air. Sometimes I'd purposely or accidentally put plenty of air in on the input side, and those giant bubbles would be pushed through the pump like any fluid.
  • No peristaltic pump has perfect symmetry or uniformity. Whatever element is pressing or sliding along the flexible tubing has to start somewhere in its cycle. Good design can make the flow arbitrarily uniform - at arbitrarily high cost! Viscosity and other properties of the fluid do have an effect, but exactly how is hard to generalize.

As for your one question that actually does deal electronics, nothing can be said without specifics. You'll be controlling a motor, probably a stepper motor.

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