What is a Vacuum Pump? | How does an Electric Hydraulic Pump Work?

This article explains the vacuum pump working, types, applications, advantages, and disadvantages.

What Is a Vacuum Pump?

The vacuum pump is a mechanically operated machine that removes gas molecules from a sealed chamber to produce a partial vacuum. It does this by removing air and gas from the system and creating a safe environment for fluids to move or transport safely. A vacuum pump is also known as a suction pump.

Electric vacuum pumps are also available in the market. It is a famous type of electric pump.

electric vacuum pump

An electric vacuum pump is a pump that is driven by an electrical motor. This electric motor uses electrical power.

Electric vacuum pumps ensure the reliable process of the brake booster. In addition to IC engines, modern engine technologies, such as those found in hybrid and electric cars, cannot generate vacuum pressure. Therefore, an electric vacuum pump is required to create alternatives or additional vacuums for these systems.

Vacuum pumps are used in multiple applications, including chemical and pharmaceutical industries, medical equipment, electronic devices, refrigeration, and air conditioning systems, and in scientific research. These pumps are also employed in vacuum distillation and in vacuum packaging processes, where they are utilized to eliminate impurities and isolate and purify specific substances.

How does an Electric Vacuum Pump Work?

An electric vacuum pump produces various pressure levels in the “high” and “low” spaces of the equipment. It expels air in a closed system due to the mechanical force of the rotating shaft which further converts into air pressure.

The level of internal force in the retention volume is lower than the level in the external environment. As the particles naturally flow from the high-pressure area to the low-pressure area, the “high-pressure” space evacuates and creates a suction that produces a vacuum.

The energy generated depends mainly on the amount of gas. Otherwise, there is no pressure difference between the air and the atmosphere inside and outside.

For a better understanding of the vacuum pump working, watch the following video:

Types of Vacuum Pumps

The vacuum pumps have the following types:

  • Entrapment pump
  • Diaphragm Pump
  • Momentum transfer pump
  • Positive displacement pump

1) Entrapment Pump

It is also known as a capture pump or trapping pump. In the case of confined space, this pump uses refrigeration to cool the air, thereby generating condensation. Then you can get rid of the liquid. Another type of this pump called an ion pump uses an electric field to cause condensation.

2) Diaphragm Pump

Diaphragm pumps are very accurate and very popular in the industry. They use a pair of mechanical diaphragms that move back and forth to increase or decrease the pressure. The valve stops the liquid from leaking.

Read More: Diaphragm Pump Working and Types

3) Momentum Transfer Pump

This creates a low-pressure area by using a spinning device to move gas or air from the intake to the outlet. Then the vacuum seals by the valve. This vacuum pump is also called a kinetic pump.

4) Positive Displacement Pump

It has two several cavities; one cavity has a larger area than the other. It has suction power and shows steady flow power.

These designs offer great flexibility for vacuum pumps and are well-suited for use in various environments and situations.

Read More: Positive Displacement Pump Types

How to use a Vacuum Pump

Follow the below-given steps to use a vacuum pump:

Step 1: Setting up your vacuum pump

Step 2: Fill the pump with a vacuum oil

𝐅𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐮𝐦𝐩 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐮𝐮𝐦 𝐨𝐢𝐥

Step 3: Attache your gauges to the port

𝐠𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐞𝐬 with t𝐡𝐞 vacuum pump 𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐬

Step 4: Open your manifold valves

𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐬

Step 5: Pulling the vacuum 

Step 6: Start your pump

S𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 the vacuum p𝐮𝐦𝐩

Step 7: Open the side gauge valve

𝐠𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐞 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐞

Step 8: Allow the vacuum to run for 15-30 minutes

Allow 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐮𝐮𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐮𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝟏𝟓-𝟑𝟎 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐬

Step 9: Closing your vacuum

Step 10: Close the low side valve and let the vacuum hold for 15 minutes

Step 11: Shut off the vacuum pump

𝐒𝐡𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐟 process of 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐮𝐮𝐦 𝐩𝐮𝐦𝐩

Step 12: Disconnect your vacuum 

𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐮𝐮𝐦

Applications of Electric Vacuum Pumps

  • Electric vacuum pumps ensure the reliable operation of the brake booster.
  • In addition to IC engines, the latest engine technologies like engines of hybrid and electric automobiles cannot set vacuum pressure. Therefore, an electric vacuum pump requires creating additional or alternative vacuum cleaners for these systems.
  • An additional vacuum pump makes sure obedience to modern safety standards and at the same time ensures the reliable working of the brake system operated by the pneumatic brake boost.
  • Vacuum pumps are used in airplanes.
  • These pumps also use in rear doors, tipping tanks, and power jets.

Advantages of Electric Vacuum Pumps

  • The electric vacuum pump supports the flexible automobile platform concept
  • Maintenance-free (no connection of the oil circuit when idling, self-lubricating)
  • An electric vacuum pump reduces the emissions of carbon dioxide
  • Reduce energy needs by running the pumps on demand.
  • Supports all types of engines, including electric and hybrid automobiles
  • Independent on the technology of the combustion engine.

FAQ Section

What Are the Differences Between an Air Compressor and a Vacuum Pump?

Air compressors and vacuum pumps are very similar devices and often perform the same tasks. The main difference between the two is the operation of the air compressor and the vacuum pump. Both these have different efficiencies. However, the significant difference between vacuum pumps and air compressors are given below.

1. Vacuum Strength:
The strength of a vacuum pump measures by using the absolute outlet pressure. The lower the number, the higher the pump output. On the other hand, compressor strength is measured by its capability to create high compression demands on the fluid.
2. Capacity:
Air compressors use to store compressed air, so various models have various volumes. On the other hand, vacuum pumps do not require any storage capacity, as they only transfer gases and liquids from one place to another.

3. Power Consumption:
Vacuum pumps generally use less energy compared to air compressors. It means that vacuum pumps can be considered more effective. But, any type of pump or compressor is suitable for various applications and depends on the pump or compressor’s use.
4. Flow Rate:
The vacuum pump flow rate varies according to the pressure through the pump. In comparison, the flow rate of an air compressor varies on its ability to reduce volume.

What are the types of vacuum pumps?

  • Rotary vane vacuum pumps
  • Diaphragm vacuum pumps
  • Liquid ring vacuum pumps
  • Scroll vacuum pumps
  • Turbomolecular vacuum pumps

Why does AC need a vacuum?

In the AC, a vacuum pump is used to remove moisture and air from the system before the system is damaged. The deeper and more complete the vacuum, the more moisture is expelled.

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