To the average consumer, the concept of a vacuum pump can be very confusing. Nonetheless, vacuum pumps are essential components in food manufacturing, chemical, power generation, and mining plants. 

If you operate in any of these industries, understanding the use of a vacuum pump is pivotal toward leverage efficient business operations. With a vacuum pump installed in your facility, you can realize the presence of higher efficiency, lower utility costs, and enhanced product quality. 

But, first, realizing the potential uses of a vacuum pump is key. Below is a basic guide to understanding what a vacuum pump is, why it’s important, and how it can be used for your specific purpose. 

What is a Vacuum Pump?

As its name implies, a vacuum pump is a mechanical device used to create a vacuum. These mechanisms are designed to extract the air and gas from a sealed container to create a vacuum.

Technically, a perfect vacuum can only theoretically be achieved, so the result is a partial vacuum, which is enough for practical use. Vacuums can be used in manufacturing and engineering processes or may be used to move liquids from one location to another, similar to convention pumps. 

Vacuum pumps are also known as suction pumps. These devices work extremely hard and need to receive regular maintenance to achieve peak performance. The most famous type of vacuum is a home vacuum cleaner. 

These devices can absorb dirt, trash, and even water. Just like industrial vacuum pumps, a vacuum cleaner can be used to remove air and gas from a sealed container. You can try this at home by placing the tube from a vacuum cleaner into a ziplock bag full of sausages.

Instantly, the ziplock bag will compress and preserve the meat. 

How Do You Create a Vacuum?

Now that you know what a vacuum pump is, it’s time to understand how it works. These hard-working tools rely on a simple scientific principle. By introducing two different levels of pressure in two spaces: low and high.

When the two regions of high and low are linked, air molecules will naturally travel from the region of high pressure to the region of low pressure, leaving the high-pressure region empty. 

This creates a vacuum. This is the same vacuum that exists in a home vacuum cleaner. This is also the same vacuum that exists when you close the front door to your home. If an insect is present at your front door when you shut it, it will be sucked into your home because of the natural vacuum. 

Vacuums can also be produced using vacuum generators, which are created from a venture principle. This happens when compressed air travels through a venture chamber created to shift fluids or gases out of a space. 

Fluid jet or venturi vacuum generations depend on the natural flow of compressed liquid, gas, or air to pull and create a vacuum in the desired spot. 

Vacuum Pump Uses & Applications

What are vacuum pumps used for? There isn’t a definite answer, as these mechanical devices have numerous uses throughout industries and engineering, which include:

  • Semiconductor Processing – Semiconductors are instruments with moderate electrical conductivity and are used widely in the creation of electrical components. For example, iron is considered to be a conductor. Paper is not a conductor. Silicon is a semiconductor. 
  • Composite Moulding – A composite is a mixture made from two different substances, which include reinforced concrete, fiberglass, and plywood. 
  • Uranium Composition – Used for nuclear power generation. 
  • Oil refinement 

Vacuum pumps also play a pivotal role in the function of manufactured equipment, such as:

  • Dairy equipment
  • Electric lamps
  • Radiotherapy devices for cancer treatment
  • Air conditioner systems
  • Automotive systems; to increase braking and improve fuel efficiency
  • Gyroscopes
  • Electron microscopes

What are the Different Types of Vacuum Pumps?

Different vacuum pumps have their specific uses. Here are the various types of vacuum pumps and their uses. 

  • Positive Displacement Vacuum Pumps – Used for pumping operations that necessitate a steady speed. 
  • Momentum Transfer Vacuum Pumps – Used for creating powerful vacuum pumps.
  • Diaphragm Vacuum Pumps – Used for pumping operations that need a high degree of accuracy. 
  • Entrapment Vacuum Pumps – Used for storing gas for later use. 

Are There Any Potential Hazards?

Vacuum pumps are incredibly powerful and potentially dangerous devices. Potential risks include:

  • Accidental injury from exposure to moving mechanical parts
  • Electrical shocks
  • Toxic fumes due to improper ventilation
  • Fire due to overheating
  • Contaminated pump oil due to improper handling

By following these safety measures you can successfully reduce risk and increase the efficiency of your vacuum pump:

  1. Don’t operate your pump in areas with low or no ventilation. 
  2. Use ventilation or a pump cabinet whenever possible.
  1. Make sure that the belt guards are in the right place. 
  2. Use a spill tray to catch any stray liquids to prevent safety risks.
  3. Ensure that the tubing is compatible with the pump.
  1. Check the pump’s area for combustible substances.
  2. Check any cables and switches for potential fire hazards. 

Engineer the Perfect Vacuum Pump Today!

Do you believe that a custom-built vacuum pump will be beneficial for your facility? If so, give us a call today at (980) 225-3277 to speak to a member of our team who can help you. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have any more questions concerning vacuum pumps? If so, refer to these FAQs for more in-depth information. 

What happens when a vacuum pump fails?

  • Typically, you’re more likely to face a wealth of different systems over time before a system failure. Though, a sudden failure can happen. It can usually be because of oil leakage, smoke discharge, or a fall in vacuum pressure.

What is the unit of a vacuum?

  • A pascal (Pa) is the international standard unit of vacuum pressure. A torr can also be used to measure vacuums and is equivalent to 1/760th of standard atmospheric pressure. 

What is the difference between a vacuum compressor and a pump?

  • These are two devices with distinct uses. As you’ve learned above, vacuum pumps create a vacuum. In contrast, a compressor draws in air from its environment and supplies compression by using high pressure. A vacuum compressor is a commonly used power pneumatic device. 
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