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Applications of Pneumatic Pumps

August 12, 2015

Technical jargon can be intimidating. The language is targeted at professionals and thus conveys feelings of exclusivity, feelings that can set the average layperson on edge. Thankfully, there are certain labels that radiate simplicity and self-evident meaning. A pneumatic pump is exactly what it sounds like, a mechanism that pushes gas. Pressurized air, a typical pneumatic gas, is generated by a compression engine and stored in a tank or reservoir until it's needed. When the airflow is triggered, it flows through narrow tubing and special channels, arriving at an actuating device. One example of this configuration is an air-powered valve. The channeled gas, delivered at a specified pressure, arrives at the valve and opens or closes the device.

In an industrial landscape where electricity is termed as the de facto control medium, it might seem counter-productive to substitute voltage with pressurized gas, but there are certain pertinent applications where gas control is the only viable option. Picture a petrochemical refinery or a fuel depot, locales that are filled with dangerously rich vapour-gas mixes. This highly flammable area requires just as much control as any other production environment, but electricity simply isn't an option due to the potential for electrically-generated sparks. If you need any proof of this design maxim, take a look at any exposed metal surface inside one of these facilities. Every enclosure and metal surface is bonded to the next part, thus ensuring the entire facility is grounded and no potential difference can ever occur.

Pneumatic controls rule within these domains because they're inherently safe. An electrical motor or pump of some kind may be driving air into a reservoir behind a sealed closet located outside the refinery, but the only evidence of this installation is the carefully sealed tubing coming out of the structure, tubes actively controlled by a positive flow of pressurized air. The air works with control instrumentation and user inputs, using more air feedback subsystems to manage gigantic mechanical actuators and complex valves that open or restrict fuel output.

Some other applications:

  • Chemical, paint and adhesive stirring
  • The pumping of hazardous waste, acids, flammable chemicals
  • A power source for pneumatic tools within flammable environments
  • Medical and dentistry instrumentation pumps

The Role of the Pneumatic Pump

The pump generates the air that passes through these tubes. It relies on kinetic energy as created by electric power, gas pressure, steam, diesel, or the output of an internal combustion engine. The applications for the pumping technology tend to align with safety-centric areas, but many more functions exist. Refrigeration equipment requires a pneumatic pump when air isn't used as the accepted gaseous medium. Additionally, pneumatic pumps now monopolize certain aisles within hardware stores, areas where a contractor can rent or purchase a pneumatic pump for a construction site. Remember that the next time you hear that noisy pneumatic drill hacking away at your pavement.

Parker Pumps

29B Ormond Rd., East Geelong VIC 3219

Phone: (03) 5229 7443

Email: sales@parkerpumps.com.au

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