How Do Vacuum Pumps Work and How Are They Used?
The tremendous advancements in the field of technology have led to the development of a string of intuitive and helpful products.
10:44 22 March 2021
In current times, it is possible to see such products in almost every industry of work. What is impressive is that the advanced devices accompany you whether you are a company producing a particular product or a householder with a bunch of jobs.
One such product that has been common over the years both for industrial and household purposes is a pump. An example of pumps would be the irrigation systems that use pumps to bring out water from beneath the surface. There are several kinds of pumps being manufactured today from rotary lobe pumps, piston pumps, to hydraulic pumps.
What Is A Vacuum Pump
However, one of the greatest developments in the device has been the introduction of vacuum pumps. A vacuum pump is a device that works on the principle of movement due to the change in the air pressure - to draw out gas molecules from a sealed piece of volume which leaves behind a partial vacuum. Not only are vacuum pumps very effective but they also need less maintenance and cost. In general, vacuum pumps are categorized on the basis of their pressure range. As a consequence, we have three classifications of vacuum pumps in the form of primary pumps, booster pumps, and secondary pumps. Each of these ranges is different working on different technologies with some associated advantages and disadvantages against one another in terms of flow rate, cost, capacity, and maintenance requirements.
What Are The Two Kinds Of Vacuum Pump
There are two kinds of vacuum pumps available in the market today: Entrapment pumps and gas transfer pumps. Let us take a look at both of these to understand their functioning better:
Gas Transfer Pump
A gas transfer pump, which is also known as a kinetic pump works primarily on momentum transfer by moving and compressing the gas. The gas is pushed towards the outlet by the rotation of high-speed blades or introduced vapor. As the level of vacuum is achieved the tank is isolated by a high vacuum valve which also serves to stop the exchange of gas between the container and the pump. In the case of positive displacement pumps, the isolated volume is shortened by compressing at a higher pressure, and finally, the compressed gas is expelled to the atmosphere (or to the next pump). In some instances, there are two transfer pumps used in a series to provide a higher vacuum and flow rate.
The entrapment pump, which is also known as a trapping or capture pump is typically used in that container that has to be evacuated. The capture pump operates by capturing gas molecules on its surface. The pump primarily removes the molecules in the form of gases by performing the process of sorption or condensation on the internal surface. However, in case the gas molecules come in direct contact with the pump’s refrigerated surface, the form of the gas changes to be removed as the liquid. One advantage that capture pumps enjoy over transfer pumps is that they can operate at lower flow rates and can provide ultra-high vacuum. That helps in the generation of an oil-free vacuum. Processes such as cryogenic condensation, ionic reaction, or chemical reaction are used for the functioning and have no moving parts which can save your maintenance cost which works immensely in favor of companies.
There is one more variety of pumps known as turbomolecular pumps. These pumps come in the same category as kinetic vacuum pumps that we just mentioned. Their design is very similar to that of a turbine. ’The blading’ is the collective term for the blades of a compressor or a turbine. In general, turbo pumps are ideal for producing a clean vacuum in the range of 10-3 and 10-10 hPa. You have several advantages with a turbopump such as the lack of oil on the backing-vacuum side, maintenance and freedom from wear, and bridging for power failures, etc.
Top Uses Of Pumps And Vacuum Pumps
Vacuum pumps are used for a variety of purposes across industries: Fly ash industry, textiles, sugar processing, steel plants, chemical & pharmaceuticals, thermal & atomic power plants, mineral washeries, and fertilizer plants, etc. Some of the most widespread applications of vacuum pumps include:
- Pumps are used during many important processes of dairy, winemaking, petroleum, food-processing, and chemical. In industries that have to do with suction, high-power pumps are used to move the general water supply with pressure. Working on similar concepts, the pump can help you in management, flood protection, or water supply in domestic buildings or commercial buildings.
- Pumps can be used in a number of ways as far as the paper, chemical, food, or pharmaceutical industry are concerned. Pumps such as lobe pumps offer great performance by allowing high efficiency and corrosion resistance.
- Some varieties of pumps are submerged inside the water tank to create pressure in the water and send it flowing outward for use. The pump pushes the fluids from the surface to the top, supplying water to the main tank and pipes. These pumps are used by both industrialists and householders for needs in construction, mining, and home purposes, etc. Similarly, the oil and gas industry employs these pumps to carry out deep exploration activities.
- A variety of pumps can be either used as a vacuum pump for processes in the chemical industry or as a metering pump for the treatment of water. However, these pumps are not limited to only that as they can also be used for other industrial purposes such as dewatering, spraying, and filtering the water, etc.
Pumps are like a common player that has an important role to play almost everywhere. Households, large industries, schools, hospitals, and even sports centers use pumps for a variety of reasons. It will be great to see where the pump technology goes after the latest advancements in vacuum pumps and others that work on the same principle. Hoping it will bring more sets of conveniences for both industries and households.