How Does Rotary Vane Vacuum Pumps Work?

- Dec 21, 2017 -

A rotary vane pump is a positive-displacement pump that consists of vanes mounted to a rotor  that rotates inside of a cavity. In some cases these vanes can have variable length and/or be tensioned to maintain contact with the walls 

as the pump rotates.

The simplest vane pump has a circular rotor rotating inside a larger circular cavity. The centers of these two circles are offset, causing eccentricity. Vanes are allowed to slide into and out of the rotor and seal on all edges, creating vane chambers that do the pumping work. On the intake side of the pump, the vane chambers are increasing in volume.  These increasing-volume vane chambers are filled with fluid forced in by the inlet pressure. Inlet pressure is actually the pressure from the system being pumped, often just the atmosphere. On the discharge side of  the pump, the vane chambers are decreasing in volume, forcing fluid out  of the pump. The action of the vane drives out the same volume of fluid  with each rotation. Multistage rotary-vane vacuum pumps can attain pressures as low as 10  mbar (0.0001 Pa).

Vane pumps are commonly used as high-pressure hydraulic pumps and in automobiles, including supercharging, power-steering and automatic-transmission

 pumps. Pumps for mid-range pressures include applications such as carbonators for fountain soft-drink dispensers and espresso coffee machines. Furthermore, vane pumps can be used in low-pressure gas applications such as secondary air injection for auto exhaust emission control, or in low-pressure chemical vapor eposition systems.

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