Hydraulic pumps are used in hydraulic systems to move hydraulic fluid from point A to point B to initiate the production of hydraulic power. They serve as a special type of power transmission mechanism that controls pressurized, fluid transmitted energy while changing it into mechanical energy. Hydraulic systems can be applied in a wide range of settings, including commercial, industrial, and consumer sectors.
Power transmission encompasses the process of technologically changing energy into a beneficial form for practical applications. The three major branches that make up the power transmission field include mechanical power, electrical power, and fluid power. Fluid power covers the usage of moving gas and moving fluids for the means of transmitting power. That being said, hydraulics are considered a subcategory of fluid power that focuses on fluid use as opposed to gas use. Pneumatics is also a well known fluid power field that focuses on the storage and release of energy with compressed gas.
Basic Components of Hydraulic Pumps
In order for liquids to act hydraulically, they must be contained within a system. For instance, a hydraulic power pack or hydraulic power unit is a confined mechanical system that takes advantage of liquid hydraulically. Despite the fact that certain operating systems differ, all hydraulic power units are designed with the same basic components, those of which include a reservoir, valves, a piping/tubing system, a pump, and actuators, among others. Below, we will outline each of these components and how they work.
Hydraulic Pump Reservoir
Hydraulic pump reservoirs are responsible for holding a specified volume of liquid, transfering heat from the system, permitting solid pollutants to settle, and aiding in expelling moisture and air from the liquid.
Hydraulic pumps transform mechanical energy into hydraulic energy through the movement of liquid. Generally, all hydraulic pumps operate by dispensing a volume of fluid against a resistive load or pressure.
Hydraulic Pump Valves
Hydraulic pump valves are used to start, stop, and direct liquid flow in a system. Usually made of spools or poppets, they can be actuated hydraulically, pneumatically, manually, electrically, or mechanically.
Hydraulic Pump Actuators
Hydraulic pump actuators turn hydraulic energy back into mechanical energy by using a hydraulic cylinder. When actuated, this cylinder works to change hydraulic energy into linear movement and work. Though, a hydraulic motor can also be used in substitute to transform hydraulic energy into rotational motion and work.
Different Types of Hydraulic Pumps
While all hydraulic pumps operate in a similar fashion, the mechanisms they utilize can be divided into several categories. For example, there are two main types of hydraulic pumps: gear pumps and piston pumps. In the piston pump category, there are radial and axial variations, the former being those that produce rotary motion, and the latter being those that produce linear motion. Meanwhile, the gear pump category can be subdivided into external and internal gear pump types.
Apart from such categories, regardless of the pump being categorized as piston or gear, each hydraulic pump will either be of a double-action or single-action variety. Single-action pumps are only capable of pulling, pushing, or lifting in one direction, whereas double-action pumps are capable of pulling, pushing, or lifting in multiple directions. In this section, we will cover some of the most common hydraulic pumps on the market.
1. Hydraulic Vane Pump
A vane pump is a positive displacement pump that keeps a constant flow rate under varying pressures. It is designed with a variable number of vanes that are mounted onto a rotor within the cavity, and it features a pressure relief valve which prevents pressure spikes inside the pump that may damage it.
2. Hydraulic Gear Pump
This type of pump can be divided into two main types: internal gear pumps and external gear pumps. Pumps with external gears have two spur gears that are externally arranged, while internal gear pumps have two spur gears that are internally arranged, with one gear rotating around the inside of the other. In terms of operation, both pumps deliver a consistent amount of liquid with each rotation of the gears.
3. Hydraulic Ram Pump
A hydraulic ram pump is a cyclic machine that utilizes hydropower to transport water to a higher level than its original source. These types of pumps are often used to move water in waste management, agricultural, sewage, plumbing, manufacturing, and engineering industries.
4. Hydraulic Water Pump
A hydraulic water pump moves water from one location to another; thus, it finds use in industries where water is often an ingredient in an industrial process or product. For instance, hydraulic water pumps are essential in supplying water to people in homes or commercial settings.
5. Hydraulic Piston Pump
A hydraulic piston pump transfers hydraulic liquids through a cylinder using plunger-like equipment to raise the pressure for a particular machine, allowing it to pull, lift, and push heavy loads. This type of pump finds use in heavy-duty machines such as excavators, backhoes, loaders, diggers, and cranes. In addition, hydraulic piston pumps are often used in automotive, aeronautic, power generation, military, marine, and manufacturing sectors.
6. Hydraulic Hand Pump
A hydraulic hand pump uses the mechanical force generated by a manually-operated actuator to function. In general, it is utilized for hydraulic fluid distribution, water pumping, and many other applications. Most importantly, hydraulic hand pumps can be used to test the pressure in a variety of devices like hoses, pipes, valves, sprinklers, and heat exchanger systems.
Other Common Types:
1. Electric Hydraulic Pump
2. 12V Hydraulic Pump
3. Air Hydraulic Pump
4. Hydraulic Clutch Pump
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