Recognising Wear and Damage on Vane Pumps

Blog | February 28th, 2018

The purpose of this post is to help vane pump owners recognize wear and damage. Whether the breakage is due to fluid contamination or cavitation, we’ll seek out these and other system afflictions. As each causative factor is tagged, we’ll quickly restore the fluid workings and get the equipment back to work. Without any more delay, we’ll get this guide underway.

Identifying Fluid Contamination 

In the vane chambers, the mechanical structure is sound, but there are vapour bubbles forming around the working parts. In and out, the rotating paddles mesh, yet they’re not generating enough hydrostatic force. A foreign contaminant is likely. Chemically speaking, foreign materials are known fluid oxidizers. Taking this effect into account, as the fluid pollutant penetrates the vane pump, it acidifies the oil. The mildly corrosive substance then causes the steel components in the pump to experience wear.

Enduring Misalignment Errors 

Find the vane pump in the equipment powertrain. It looks a little like an electrical motor, although it’s full of small paddles, not electrical windings. Typically, there’s a ball bearing incorporated in the pumping assembly. That angling component absorbs installation placement issues and offsets coupling loading abnormalities. Still, that misalignment error isn’t about to fix itself, not if the problem is neglected. Bad alignment incidents, usually due to a coupling error, will cause system wear. In turn, the wear will cripple a once smoothly operating vane pump.

Identifying Vane Wear 

As any hydraulic technician knows full well, air in an oil line produces noise. It’s the same with that vane pump. The cavitation and aeration taking place inside the sealed housing can’t be directly observed, but it can be heard. The pump is vibrating in its housing. Next, copious amounts of heat are emanating from the device. Those rotating paddles are completely unbalanced. As for that misalignment problem, it’s creating problems, too. There’s wear on the cam ring, the vanes and slots are rubbing against each other, and the rotor is about to seize. Torsional stress on the device rotor is a little like a heart attack, an incident that brings the whole hydraulic system to its knees.

Finally, look out for seal leakage. The alignment problem is throwing the shaft against the housing and the machine plates. There’s a great deal of pressure loaded inside that vane pump, and it’s giving way to the stress. If there’s still any doubt, look at the oil. Is it milky? That essential system nerve centre is worn, possibly permanently damaged, and it is past time a repair technician received an emergency call-in.

Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road
Keysborough, Victoria, 3173

Phone: (03) 9798-6511

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