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Hydraulic pumps are an important tool in a broad range of applications. As they have many different uses, hydraulic pumps come in many different types. However, the most common types of hydraulic pumps are gear pumps, piston pumps, and vane pumps. In this blog, we will cover each type and its unique characteristics.
Gear pumps are the most common design used in truck-mounted hydraulic systems. Pumps of this type are known for having fewer moving parts, being easier to service, being more tolerant to contaminants than other designs, and being relatively inexpensive. Gear pumps are fixed displacement pumps, meaning the same volume of flow is produced by each rotation of the pump’s shaft. Gear pumps are rated based on their maximum pressure rating, cubic inch displacement, and maximum speed limitation. Gear pumps are most commonly used in open center hydraulic systems. The pump traps oil in areas between the teeth of the pump’s gears and the body of the pump, transports it around the circumference of the gear cavity, and forces it through the outlet port as the gears mesh.
Piston pumps are used in applications where high operating pressures are needed. Piston pumps generally withstand higher pressure than gear pumps with comparable displacements, but are more expensive to buy and use, more complex, and have a lower resistance to contamination. Housed in a piston pump is a cylinder block containing pistons that move in and out. The movement of these pistons is what draws oil from the supply port and forces it through the outlet. The angle of the swash plate, against which the slipper end of the piston rides, determines the length of the piston’s stroke. While the swash plate remains stationary, the cylinder and its internal pistons rotate with the pump’s input shaft. The pump's displacement is ultimately determined by the total volume of the pump’s cylinders. Piston pumps are available in both fixed and variable displacement designs.
In a fixed displacement piston pump, the swash plate is nonadjustable and its output flow speed is similar to that of a gear pump. Variable displacement piston pumps have a non-fixed swash plate and can be flow compensated, pressure compensated, or a combination of the two.
Vane pumps were once commonly used on utility vehicles such as aerial buckets and ladders. Despite this, today they have largely been replaced by gear pumps in these applications. Within a vane pump, as the input shaft rotates, it causes oil to be picked up between the vanes of the pump which is subsequently transported to the pump’s outlet side. This is similar to the operation of a gear pump, but there is only one vane, rather than a pair, on a rotating cartridge in the pump housing. As the area between the vanes decreases on the outlet side and increases on the inlet side, oil is drawn in through the supply port and expelled through the outlet as the vane cartridge rotates due to the change in area.
In addition to these common types of pumps, different pumps such as clutch pumps, dump pumps, and refuse pumps are also used. Whatever type of hydraulic pump you are in need of, be sure you are getting them from a trusted source. At ASAP Aero Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of parts for the aerospace, defense, civil aviation, industrial, electronics, and IT hardware markets. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at email@example.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780.
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