Gear pumps use pairs of interlocking cogs to displace hydraulic fluids. The principle isn’t hard to understand, which is probably why the technology has been around for close to 400 years now. That’s good to know, for there are dozens of variations on a theme when it comes to hydraulic pumps. Thankfully, there’ll be no struggle to identify this variant, not after you’ve finished reading this post.
Gear Pumps Are Available In Two Different Configurations
The common device architecture, as observed by mobile hydraulics designers, is a sealed housing that contains two equally sized gears. As the adjacent toothed cogs rotate, they mesh with one another and displace a fixed fluid volume. Generally speaking, one gear is powered by a prime mover. The second gear, which is also mounted on a shaft, functions as an idler. Internally configured gear pump architectures use a different cog layout. Instead of the two equally sized gears, one smaller cog is situated inside a larger one. The teeth on that larger component point inwards, towards the smaller cog. Once more, they mesh as they rotate.
They’re Moderately Powerful Fluid Drives
Not as powerful as a reciprocating pump but more mechanically capable than a vane drive system, gear pumps strike a power-to-performance sweet spot that suits mobile hydraulics purposes. Better yet, the meshing cogs produce pulseless fluid pressures. That’s a highly desirable feature in mobile equipment. Therefore, expect to find gear pumps embedded inside responsive mobile excavators and heavy lifters. Also, in terms of dynamic viscosity, self-priming gear pumps can execute powerful strokes lengths, even when they employ oily mediums that are susceptible to outside contaminants. If the oil is overly hot or contaminated by water or dirt, there’s a good chance the equipment will retain a high-performance edge.
A Flexible Pumping Solution for Mobile Equipment
Keeping the number of working parts at a minimum, gear pumps perform as versatile beasts of burden. For example, instead of fitting a directional switching valve, the device itself can operate as a reverse switching pump. That’s a required feature on a dumping truck. Working in its normal operating mode when loading up, the pump switches direction at moment’s notice when the equipment is switched into unloading mode. Self-priming, able to run dry for short periods of time, and built to deliver pulseless energy discharges, gear pumps are viewed by designers as remarkably well-rounded energy providers.
As a final note here, this pump design isn’t immune to wear. And, since their designs are based on close tolerance parts meshing principles, that wear and tear effect can cause proportionally higher performance drops. To combat such boom weakening and digger undermining events from occurring, mobile vehicle owners should adhere to a preventative planned maintenance program that won’t tolerate any amount of parts wear.
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