Hydraulic Pump Applications by Type

Hydraulic Pump types are matched to certain applications and have different specifications to fit into any process design scheme. Let us take a look at the different types available to engineers and industry.

Fixed Displacement

A fixed displacement hydraulic pump has a set flow through depending on the design parameters. These pump types are more simple, less expensive, and easier to maintain. These benefits come at the expense of the flexibility to change the operating parameters to meet process needs.

The basic type is the gear pump. Pressure is created by pushing the working liquid through a pair of gears toward the outlet. These gears can be run in a line, or nested within each other to improve performance and reduce noise levels.

A screw pump forgoes the use of gears and instead uses a pair of Archimedes spirals. These appear as screws with very large grooves. The working liquid picks up pressures as it flows through the rotating screws. These pumps are well suited for higher flow rates at a relatively low pressure.

Variable Displacement

Hydraulic pumps  type offers a variable drive, meaning that the flow rate and outlet pressure can be regulated and changed. These pumps are typically more complex and expensive as a result.

Rotary vane hydraulic pumps are a higher efficiency model than a gear pump and are suited for the middle pressure range (roughly 180 bar). Concentric, offset vanes are run in these pumps, creating areas where the working fluid is forced into a smaller volume thereby increasing its pressure.

The ultimate pump in terms of efficiency and high output is the bent-axis piston and cylinder design. Think of a car engine’s piston and cylinder. This pump is built the same way. The bent axis refers to the alignment of the cylinders that provide maximum efficiency and run at high pressures. A double action model can increase the throughput by using two cylinders per piston. These pumps are the most expensive, but are highly responsive.

Hydraulic pumps come in such a wide variety in order to fit into any process and any budget. Simple, fixed displacement pumps work very well for a process that does not have variable operating parameters. 

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