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March 18 2017


How to Pick the Right Pump for a Given Application, Including a Look at One Popular Choice

There are many basic pump designs in active use, some of which are more suited to particular applications than others. In many cases, what turns out to matter the most when it comes to pump selection is the type of material to be pressurized or moved from one place to another. While some designs can be applied to a wide range of substances, most tend to work best with a relatively narrow range of possible inputs.

Allen Baler

Another factor that often turns out to matter a great deal is the level of pressure that is to be targeted. A pump meant for moving large volumes of liquid at low pressure will need to meet different requirements than one that pressurizes a small amount of gas to very high levels. Once a wide enough range of such realities has been taken into account, the right pump for a given job will often become fairly clear.

In many cases where hydraulic fluid is to be pressurized and pumped, for example, a simple roller vane pump will work very well. Pumps of this basic design are commonly found in a wide range of settings, with many being designed to attach directly to the power take off mechanisms found on many pieces of heavy equipment.

A roller vane pump, also sometimes known as an allman pump, works according to a fairly simple principle that often makes it a good fit for hydraulic duty and other relatively high pressure applications. A pair of vanes fitted to an offset shaft inside the main pump chamber are allowed to extend and retract in order always to preserve contact with the walls. As one vane moves away from the pump's input port, it draws in fluid that fills in the space behind it.

When the second vane in an allman pump begins a new revolution, it pushes this fluid toward the outlet, while performing the same intake function that the first vane would have just completed. This relatively straightforward, simple design ensures good performance at pressures of up to hundreds of pounds per square inch, along with impressive reliability.

Although a pump of this kind will not work well in every possible application, it will generally make a good fit for many. Pumps of this basic style that incorporate features like self-lubricating vanes can be even more versatile and widely applicable, while delivering every bit as much functionality. As with other pump selection questions, it often easily becomes clear when a pump of this type will make a good choice. 
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