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Diaphragm pump

A diaphragm pump (also known as a Membrane pump) is a positive displacement pump that uses
a combination of the reciprocating action of a rubber, thermoplastic or teflon diaphragm and
suitable valves on either side of the diaphragm (check valve, butterfly valves, flap valves, or any
other form of shut-off valves) to pump a fluid.

There are three main types of diaphragm pumps:

Those in which the diaphragm is sealed with one side in the fluid to be pumped, and the other
in air or hydraulic fluid. The diaphragm is flexed, causing the volume of the pump chamber to
increase and decrease. A pair of non-return check valves prevent reverse flow of the fluid.[1]
Those employing volumetric positive displacement where the prime mover of the diaphragm
is electro-mechanical, working through a crank or geared motor drive, or purely mechanical,
such as with a lever or handle. This method flexes the diaphragm through simple mechanical
action, and one side of the diaphragm is open to air.[2]
Those employing one or more unsealed diaphragms with the fluid to be pumped on both sides.
The diaphragm(s) again are flexed, causing the volume to change.

When the volume of a chamber of either type of pump is increased (the diaphragm moving up),
the pressure decreases, and fluid is drawn into the chamber. When the chamber pressure later
increases from decreased volume (the diaphragm moving down), the fluid previously drawn in is
forced out.[3] Finally, the diaphragm moving up once again draws fluid into the chamber,
completing the cycle. This action is similar to that of the cylinder in an internal combustion
engine. Diaphragm Pumps deliver a hermetic seal between the drive mechanism and the
compression chamber, allowing the pump to transfer, compress, and evacuate the medium
without a lubricant.[4]

An elastomeric diaphragm can be used as a versatile dynamic seal that removes many of the
limitations found with other sealing methods. They do not leak, offer little friction, and can be
constructed for low pressure sensitivity. With the right material consideration, diaphragms can
seal over a wide range of pressures and temperatures without needing lubrication or
maintenance.

It has a connection or adapter for use with one or both of the two most common types of valves used on bicycles. During the down-stroke.A bicycle pump is a type of positive-displacement pump specifically designed for inflating bicycle tires. this piston draws air through a one-way valve into the pump from the outside. the piston then displaces the air from the pump into the bicycle tire.[1] Several basic types are available: Floor pumps Frame mounted Compact or mini Foot operated Double action In its most basic form. but tubes with these valves can be filled using a Presta pump. A third type of valve called the Dunlop (or Woods) valve exists. During the upstroke. a bicycle pump functions via a hand-operated piston. also commonly called track pumps. Schrader or Presta. have a built in pressure gauge to indicate tire pressure. . Most floor pumps.

Others may not cut off. with a risk of overinflating and bursting a bicycle tire unless it is stopped with split-second timing. Some such pumps are designed to cut off before a suitable pressure (much higher for a bicycle than a car tire). but deliver a high rate of flow to fill the larger car tire. . and will much underinflate the tire.Electrically-operated pumps intended to inflate car tires (as available in most service stations) can in principle be used to inflate a bicycle tire if the right type of connection is available.

air is pushed down the tube of the pump and then into the tire via the valve. and the cap can be replaced on the tire valve. enable the pump to fit any type of valve found on a bicycle. "All valves adjustable connecting systems. Many modern pumps use a very similar method. and new air is forced back into the cylinder so the process can be repeated. When the cylinder is compressed. while some. such as the electric pumps. The AVACS feature is commonly available on pump models and can also be bought as a separate valve attachment. which is when the first inflatable tire or pneumatic tire was produced by John Boyd Dunlop of Scotland. How they work The bicycle pump compresses air. The first bicycle pump consisted of a metal cylinder that had a metal rod running down the middle of it. whereas others do not. use an automated pumping mechanism. There are two main types of tire valves to which the bicycle tire pump attaches. the pump valve can be removed from the tire. but adapters are available that enable the pump to fit any type of valve. which is forced open by the pressure of the air. the valve shuts off automatically so that the air cannot escape from the tire. paddling pools. Once the tire is at the correct pressure. such as balls. These are the Presta valve and the Schrader valve. This would have forced the air out of the cylinder and then sucked in new air when the metal rod was pulled up again." also known as AVACS. When the handle is pulled up again.History No day has been established as to when the first bicycle pump was invented. and it also has the capacity to fit onto other universal inflatable products. Some pumps have a gauge that shows the pressure of air that is forced into the tire. and rubber rings. but it is believed to have been in or around 1887. . Some pumps fit both types of valves.

the user rests the base of the pump on the floor. especially on those with presta valves. . An 8" integral will typically pump faster than an 18" tubed.Types There are three main types of bicycle pumps Stand pump Hand pump Foot pump Stand pump Also known as a floor or track pump. Integral pumps have a hole in the side with a rubber washer that fits round the valve. They also have a lot of joints from which air can escape. so forming a seal. rigid and has little dead volume. it provides its own valve. Then this piston can push the air out of the hole at the far end. These have the advantage that they are cheap. Because it is well sealed. resting feet at the base. An additional tube must connect the pump to the fill valve. but are inefficient compared to other pumps. These type of pumps will run the risk of shredding the tube valves. The tubed type requires a separate tube to connect the pump to the valve. On the forward stroke the air pushes the sides of the cup against the cylinder. This is frequently compressed on to the valve by an extra lever. and pulls and pushes full strokes with handles. To operate. which may create dead volume. this type of pump is very efficient. A simple pump has a cupped fiber or plastic piston. Hand pump There are two basic types: tubed and integral.

They do not generate very high pressures so do not work well for narrow road-bike tires.Some of the most efficient pumps are double action pumps. Pumps can be fitted to a bracket on the bike frame. Carbon dioxide leaks out of a rubber inner tube more rapidly than air - . Because of their size. A later version. or a braze-on peg. Most pumps use carbon dioxide and standard-threaded 16g CO2 canisters. either a clamp on. CO2 inflators Gas-filled cylinders for bicycles have an unclear history but appear to have appeared between the two World Wars. the volume of air that these pumps can provide is somewhat limited compared to a floor pump. A lever broke the cartridge and enough gas escaped to inflate a tire. Pumps carried on the bike are often fairly small to reduce weight. One story says they were made "by a rider after watching a café proprietor charge up the glass of beer he had ordered from a bottle of carbon dioxide. or they can be carried in a pannier or other bag on the bike. Modern gas pumps are often used by mountain bike or road bike racers who need to save weight. so quite a lot of pumping may be needed. or they can be carried by the rider in a backpack. which had more success. Because they are designed for cars they fit schrader valves. used a cartridge sold originally for drinks siphons. Foot pumps These pumps are often not specifically designed for bicycle use. pocket. screw on. etc. and to save time if they puncture during a race. By sealing the piston in the cylinder at both ends they can force air into the tire on both strokes. If the bicycle has presta valves a small brass reducer is required in order to use the pump."[2] The pumps generally used liquefied gas that could not be replaced at home. They can be a one-time pump or a pump that can be fitted with a replacement cartridge. but are fine for large low-pressure tires as found on mountain bikes.

the CO2 molecule is slightly soluble in rubber and a tire may go flat within a few days. . Tire pressure The pressure rating of tires is usually stamped somewhere on the sidewall. Inflating to the higher number will make the ride more efficient and will decrease the chances of getting a flat tire but a firmer ride must be expected. Pressure output The maximum pressure. or how much air the pump can force into a tire. A main advantage to electric pumps is that recent ones take up less space than hand or foot pumps which makes them suitable for well-equipped bicycles with DIY 12 volt electric systems to use when basket space is of the essence. Even non-standard DIY 12 volt electric systems that are primarily for bicycle lighting are sometimes used to power these pumps when cigar lighter receptacles are installed.despite its larger size. The pressure rating could be indicated as "Maximum Pressure. is an important consideration. 90-120 psi. or 35-60 psi). no matter how hard it is used. The pump needs to match or exceed the stated air pressure the tires can handle. If the maximum air pressure is too low. Electric pump 12 volt air compressors made for automobile tires are also compatible with bicycle tires. Inflating to the lower number in the pressure range will increase traction and make the ride more comfortable. it will not be able to adequately inflate the tires. A portable jump-starter for automobiles can sometimes be used to power these types of pumps. This may be in psi (pounds per square inch) or bar." or "Inflate to and will usually give a range (for example.

an air compressor forces more and more air into a storage tank. which have a discharge pressure of 151 psi to 1. increasing the pressure.. etc.000 psi According to the design and principle of operation Rotary screw compressor Turbo compressor Displacement type There are numerous methods of air compression. When tank pressure reaches its lower limit.000 psi High-pressure air compressors (HPACs). . divided into either positive-displacement or negative-displacement types. utilizing the kinetic energy of the air as it is released and the tank depressurizes. is held in the tank until called into use. When tank pressure reaches its upper limit the air compressor shuts off. compressed air). then. Classification According to the pressure delivered Low-pressure air compressors (LPACs). The compressed air. the air compressor turns on again and re-pressurizes the tank.) into potential energy stored in pressurized air (i.e. The energy contained in the compressed air can be used for a variety of applications. which have a discharge pressure above 1.Air compressor An air compressor is a device that converts power (using an electric motor. diesel or gasoline engine. By one of several methods. which have a discharge pressure of 150 psi or less Medium-pressure compressors.

Vane compressors: use a slotted rotor with varied blade placement to guide air into a chamber and compress the volume. . although some (particularly rotary type) compressors may be cooled by oil (that is then in turn air. guide air into a chamber. Common types of positive displacement compressors are:- Piston-type: air compressors use this principle by pumping air into an air chamber through the use of the constant motion of pistons. [1] Cooling Due to adiabatic heating. Generally this is some form of air. where the air is compressed. which pressurizes it. These use centrifugal force generated by a spinning impeller to accelerate and then decelerate captured air. whose volume is decreased as the screws turn.Positive displacement Positive-displacement compressors work by forcing air into a chamber whose volume is decreased to compress the air. They use one-way valves to guide air into a cylinder chamber.or water-cooling. A type of compressor that delivers a fixed volume of air at high pressures. Negative displacement Negative-displacement air compressors include centrifugal compressors.or water-cooled)[3] and the atmospheric changes also considered during cooling of compressors. air compressors require some method of disposing of waste heat. In this type. when turned. a rotating component imparts its kinetic energy to the air which is eventually converted into pressure energy.[1] Rotary screw compressors: use positive-displacement compression by matching two helical screws that.

supplying moderate-pressure clean air for driving some office and school building pneumatic HVAC control system valves. Common workshop/garage compressors are 110-120 Volt or 230-240 Volt. and "vertical". The gallon size of the tank tells you how much compressed air "in reserve" is available. "twin tank". and to produce large volumes of moderate-pressure air for large-scale industrial processes (such as oxidation for petroleum coking or cement plant bag house purge systems). There are two main types of air compressor's pumps: oil-lubed and oil-less. supplying moderate-pressure clean air to a submerged surface supplied diver. workshops and garages with permanent access to electricity. They are noisy and require ventilation for exhaust gases. . The most common types of air compressors are: electric or gas/diesel powered compressors.Applications Portable air compressor for powering tools. supplying a large amount of moderate-pressure air to power pneumatic tools. The power of a compressor is measured in HP (Horsepower) and CFM (cubic feet of air per minute). The oil-less system also delivers air of better quality. such as jackhammers Air compressors have many uses. Centrifugal compressors are common in very large applications. Depending on a size and purpose compressors can be stationary or portable. including: supplying high-pressure clean air to fill gas cylinders. for filling tires. louder and lasts for less time than oil-lubed pumps. rotary vane or rotary screw. Most air compressors either are reciprocating piston type. The oil-less system has more technical development. Gas/diesel powered compressors are widely used in remote areas with problematic access to electricity. "horizontal". such as jackhammers. but is more expensive. Electric powered compressors are widely used in production. Compressor tank shapes are: "pancake".

or 2-cylinder versions to suit the requirements of the tools they power. a vacuum is created above it. positivedisplacement compressors are more common and include the models used by homeowners. The crankshaft is driven by either an electric motor or a gas engine. you'll find a valve head that holds the inlet and discharge valves. On the homeowner/contractor level. most compressors have an air tank to hold a quantity of air within a preset pressure range. Compressors use a pressure switch to stop the motor when tank pressure reaches a preset limit– about 125 psi for many single-stage models. Most of the compressors you'll run across do this job with a reciprocating piston. the air above it compresses. The air moves from the discharge port to the tank. While there are small models that are comprised of just the pump and motor.Air compressor types While there are compressors that use rotating impellers to generate air pressure. Typical compressors come in 1. Most of the time. This allows outside air at atmospheric pressure to push open the inlet valve and fill the area above the piston. though. a conventional piston compressor has a crankshaft. a cylinder and a valve head. woodworkers. With each stroke. A gauge before the regulator monitors tank pressure and a . At the top of the cylinder. As the piston moves up. mechanics and contractors. except that there are two strokes per revolution instead of one. Therefore. a connecting rod and piston. holds the inlet valve shut and pushes the discharge valve open. you don't need that much pressure. most of the 2-cylinder models operate just like single-cylinder versions. Both are simply thin metal flaps–one mounted underneath and one mounted on top of the valve plate. the air line will include a regulator that you set to match the pressure requirements of the tool you're using. As the piston moves down. The compressed air in the tank drives the air tools. Here. Like a small internal combustion engine. Some commercial 2-cylinder compressors are 2-stage compressors–one piston pumps air into a second cylinder that further increases pressure. and the motor cycles on and off to automatically maintain pressure in the tank. air pressure is increased by reducing the size of the space that contains the air. more air enters the tank and the pressure rises.

That is.gauge after the regulator monitors air-line pressure. there are some tools and situations that require oilfree air. Because there is no wrist pin. Many articulated-piston compressors are oil lubricated. A variation on the automotive-type piston compressor is a model that uses a one-piece piston/connecting rod. the tank has a safety valve that opens if the pressure switch malfunctions. And many new woodworking air tools such as nailers and sanders are designed to be oilfree so there's no chance of fouling wood surfaces with oil. a diaphragm compressor can be effective. On the down side. they have an oil bath that splashlubricates the bearings and cylinder walls as the crank rotates. a membrane between the piston and the compression chamber seals off the air and prevents leakage. However. The pressure switch may also incorporate an unloader valve that reduces tank pressure when the compressor is turned off. Most of all. the piston leans from side to side as the eccentric journal on the shaft moves it up and down. Spray painting with oil in the airstream will cause finish problems. Where air requirements are modest. this isn't the best indicator. so some oil will enter the compressed air in aerosol form. In this design. these models require regular oil checks. periodic oil changes and they must be operated on a level surface. The pistons have rings that help keep the compressed air on top of the piston and keep the lubricating oil away from the air. and inline oilers are often added to increase a uniform supply to the tool. In addition. You really need to know the amount of air the compressor can deliver at a specific pressure. Compressor power One of the factors used to designate compressor power is motor horsepower. While solutions to the airborne oil problem include using an oil separator or filter in the air line. A seal around the piston maintains contact with the cylinder walls and prevents air leakage. are not completely effective. Having oil in the air isn't necessarily a problem. Rings. though. a better idea is to use an oilfree compressor that uses permanently lubricated bearings in place of the oil bath. Many air tools require oiling. .

Of course. makers calculate standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) as cfm at sea level with 68 degrees F air at 36% relative humidity.0 scfm at 90 psi. So. drills. Nowadays we come across air compressors pretty much everywhere. Power tools such as sanders. make sure it can supply the amount of air and the pressure that your tools need. impact wrenches. They are also quieter. grinders. and therefore only available to professionals. staplers. tools used in the shop were powered by a centralized source which transferred the power in various ways depending on the tool. belts or drive shafts. The cfm and psi ratings are important because they indicate the tools that a particular compressor can drive. more durable. To set an even playing field. here we go! . even your local mechanic will make use of a tool like this. it provides an index of compressor pump efficiency. In fact not that long ago a compressor isn’t something you would have found in a workshop or factory. You also may run across a rating called displacement cfm. scfm goes up. Usually it was through a system of wheels. things were not like that in the past. They’re common place in gas stations where we generally use them to inflate tires. You can also buy one for yourself online. But. In comparison with scfm. at your local hardware store. I am getting way ahead of myself because you’re here to find out how air compressors work. How Air Compressors Work It’s easy to think of air compressors as a tool that is very common however. or home depot. and the fact they don’t require a massive motor. for example. It also varies with the temperature and humidity of the air. Scfm ratings are given at a specific pressure–3. It was a large mechanical system that was way too bulky and way too expensive. and plenty of others are powered by them as well. When choosing a compressor. spray guns. If you reduce pressure. Instead. the biggest advantage of compressors over a centralized power source is their small size. Because atmospheric pressure plays a role in how fast air moves into the cylinder. and some of them are highly portable. This figure is the product of cylinder displacement and motor rpm. workshops. cfm will vary with atmospheric pressure. nail guns. and vice versa.The rate at which a compressor can deliver a volume of air is noted in cubic feet per minute (cfm). They can be found in factories.

but with air this works basically the same) At the top of every compressor cylinder there is a valve head that contains both the inlet and discharge valve which are basically metal flaps. When the air is compressed. The most common way to achieve this is with the help of a reciprocating piston. let’s get back to the mechanics of it (I used an image of a liquid reciprocating piston pump to explain this (source: NVC). When the piston moves down inside the cylinder in the space above the piston a vacuum is created. These open and close and are located on top of the valve plate.Basic Piston Functionality Air compressors function based on a very simple principle. . There are compressors which employ rotating impellers for the purpose of creating air pressure. In order for the entire mechanism to work. a piston. Most compressors also have a tank which is there to store compressed air for the purpose of keeping the air pressure within a set range while powering various air tools. Those which are built around a reciprocating piston are more common. Each reciprocating piston compressor has a crankshaft. cylinder. Air compressors are usually powered by electricity or gas depending on the model. its volume decreases whereas the pressure increases. but I will discuss the different types in a separate article. and a valve head. But. you need power. and if you’re familiar with how internal combustion engines work. you will know piston compressors function in a similar manner. connecting rod.

On one hand. here’s the clever bit. Dual-piston compressors are also very common. In case the pressure switch doesn’t go off. Lubrication Another major thing you should know about air compressors is the way they are lubricated. The difference in pressure on the inside of the cylinder to the outside allows the atmospheric pressure to open the inlet valve. and they function in the same way as their single-piston counterparts do. and to prevent the tank from exploding each air compressor has a switch which cuts the power to the motor when pressure inside the tank has reached the limit (which is usually around 125 PSI). The air and oil are kept separate with the help of the piston rings. These measure the pressure inside the tank and air-line respectively. but they are not fool-proof so there will be some mixing of air and oil which can be problematic. . and is compressed by the piston which is now going up. The most common variation of a dual-piston compressor is the two-stage compressor which uses one piston to pump air into a second cylinder which creates greater pressure. Oil-lubricated pumps have an oil bath which lubricates the bearing and walls on the inside of the cylinder. or “oil-lubricated”.Now. The compressed air is stored inside the tank thereby increasing the pressure. Oil-free pumps have permanently lubricated bearings instead of an oil bath. The air then enters the area where the vacuum used to be. and they don’t require the same kind of maintenance as oil-lubricated pumps do. The inlet valve closes and the discharge valve is opened. You will come across terms like “oil-free pump”. Dual Piston There are variations to this approach but the basic principle is the same. power tools need to be lubricated anyways so there is no harm in having some of the oil enter the air stream. but if you’re using air tools in woodworking or painting you will mess up the finish. In order to keep the pressure within the desired limits. In order to calibrate the pressure depending on the power tool connected to the compressor there is a regulator as well as gauges before and after the regulator. there is a safety valve as well as an unloader valve which is there to reduce pressure inside the tank when the compressor is not being used. The only real difference is there are two strokes per revolution and not one.