Pneumatic Pumps

What is a pneumatic pump?

Pneumatics are a branch of technology that uses the force of compressed gases to generate mechanical effects. Pneumatic pumps, in particular, use compressed air to create force that is used to move fluids through a piping system. Their system of operation is very similar to that of hydraulic pumps. Essentially, pneumatic pumps use air in the same way that hydraulic pumps use fluids. Both are capable of creating extremely amplified levels of pressure that can generate surprisingly large amounts of power.

How do they work?

These pumps use a double piston system, with one piston having a substantially larger diameter than the other. Between the two pistons are an airtight chamber filled with either liquid or another compressed gas. The compressed gas from the outside pushes on the larger-diameter piston, which in turn pushes against the gas or liquid in the intermediate chamber. Because there is no pressure lost between the larger piston and the smaller one, the smaller piston receives a highly amplified level of force, which can translate into powerful mechanical action.

Primary advantages

Pneumatic pumps are used in only a few types of applications, most notably for moving slurry through chromatography columns. However, where they are used, these pumps are appreciated for the simplicity of their design, their low maintenance, and their relatively high safety ratings. The main disadvantages are the storage needed for the compressed gas tanks, and the fact that hydraulic pumps use very similar mechanisms to create even greater force.

Other related Pump Types include: piston pumps, diaphragm pumps, air operated double diaphragm pump, double diaphragm pump.

Expert Advice

So now what do you do? As many of you know, this is a fairly common occurrence, particularly with pumps that have been around a long time. Here's some advice on what to do.

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Dr. Lev Nelik recommends some valuable steps you can take to extend the life of your pump and ensure its operating under optimum conditions.

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Industry Updates

Switch to: Expert Advice | Pump Tweets

Vanton Pump announces a new non-metallic, mobile pump/tank cart capable of transferring wastewater and caustic/acidic chemicals with no corrosion, and ultrapure fluids with no contamination.

Mass Megawatts Wind Power, Inc. announced the successful delivery and operation of a larger wind-powered, water pump system in Colorado.

Xylem plans to expand its dewatering rental departments in Sao Paula, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro and launch new dewatering rental services.

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Pump Tweets

Sulzer agrees to purchase Spanish pump company Hidrotecar SA. With the acquisition hopes to improve its water pump business throughout Europe, Middle East and Aftrica.

Colfax introduces an online energy savings calculator for oil and gas industry pump applications. The calculator allows head-to-head comparisons between centrifugal pumps and rotary positive displacement pumps in both single and multiple pump applications. Check it out at the Colfax website.

Frost & Sullivan has honored NETZSCH Pumps & Systems with the 2011 Best Practice Award for increased customer benefit. NETZSCH's customer focus and product innovation were a few key factors in winning the award. NETZSCH is a leading manufacturer of progressive cavity pumps, screw pumps, lobe pumps, metering pumps and other equipment.

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