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Introduction to Positive Displacement Pumps

Background

Positive displacement (PD) pumps are generally used in hydraulic system applications at pressures up to ~5000 psi They operate by forcing a fixed volume of fluid from inlet to outlet The suction side of the pump has a larger flow cavity that the discharge side Pump flow rate is only a function of pump speed irrespective of the discharge pressure assuming no leakage With leakage, the flow rate can be less. There are numerous types of positive displacement pump;

Gear Lobe Gerotor Crescent Vane Screw Piston

Advantages of PD Pumps

They generally have both a low initial cost and low operating cost They are more efficient for high viscosity applications compared to centrifugal pumps They are ideal for variable pressure applications since the flow rate is just a function of speed They generally operate at lower speeds compared to centrifugal pumps thereby increasing seal life

Operating Principle: Gear Pump


Name derived from the liquidtransmitting elements Teeth on both gears project outward Gears rotate in opposite directions and mesh at the point in the housing which is between inlet and outlet As teeth separate, partial vacuum forms drawing liquid into chamber Liquid trapped between gear teeth and housing, and carried two separate paths As teeth mesh again, liquid forced through outlet

a)

b)

c)

Operating Principle: Lobe Pump


Operates on a similar principle as gear pump Difference is in the rotor shape


a)

Just a few lobes per rotor

Liquid carried between lobes of each rotor and chamber walls Used for viscous fluids

b)

Ensure steady flow Low shear stress Reversible

c)

Operating Principle: Gerotor Pump


Commonly used for cooling, lubrication and filtration Provides high volumetric efficiency Has smooth pumping action Works well with wide range of fluid viscosities Oil drawn into and squeezed out of cavity formed by two rotating, intermeshing, gears

a)

b)

c)

Operating Principle: Crescent Pump


Common in many applications including automatic transmissions Simple design and low maintenance requirements Consists of two rotating gears separated by a crescent

a)

inner gear has teeth on the outside, attached to a drive shaft outer gear has teeth on the inside, driven by inner gear

b)

Liquid is sucked in and squeezed out as the teeth mesh and separate

c)

Operating Principle: Vane Pump


Typically used for pumping low viscosity, non-lubricating liquids


Automatic transmission Power steering Refrigeration units

a)

Provides good vacuum, and can operate dry for short duration of time A rotor with sliding vanes positioned off-center in a housing. Vanes slide in and out of slots as the rotor turns Pumping action is caused by the expanding and contracting volumes contained by the rotor, vanes and housing

b)

c)