What is a Vane Pump?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2015
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The vane pump is a device that works on the principle of positive displacement. Consisting of a series of vanes that are mounted to a rotor that provides circulation with the main cavity, the vane pump makes it possible to force liquid through a pipe or duct system at the rate desired by the operator.

In most examples of the vane pump, the vanes slide in and out of the rotor during the operation of the device. This combination of actions creates a seal on the interior of the cavity, and effectively forms a series of small chambers within the larger chamber. Liquid is captured in each of these chambers and is forced through the system by the resulting pressure of the rotation. Essentially, there is atmospheric pressure on the intake side of the pump that helps to suck in the liquid, while the pressure created by the rotating action help to move and discharge the collected liquid from the outtake or discharge side of the pump. The rotor helps to keep the flow of the liquid uniform throughout the process.


A vane pump can be used in a number of different settings. When it comes to use in automobiles, pumps of this type are often employed to move transmission fluid through the system, as well as power steering fluid. In food service settings, a vane pump provides the pumping action that will move carbonators in specific amounts through soda fountain dispensers and coffee machines.

A variation on the vane pumps used in processing liquid substances is the models that deal with the movement of air or some sort of gas. Hydraulic braking systems on diesel powered vehicles make use of this type of pump. Clearing out refrigerant lines in air conditioning equipment is a task that often involves a vane pump. Whether in manufacturing, agriculture, or even around the home, the vane pump can be utilized for many different applications.


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