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A hydraulic pump is one of the essential components found in every hydraulic system. It is responsible for moving hydraulic fluid using suction or pressure, and converting mechanical energy into hydraulic energy.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at the different types of hydraulic pumps, how they work and their common applications.

Types of hydraulic pumps

The most common type of hydraulic pumps are piston, vane and gear pumps. All three of these are ‘positive displacement’ pumps, meaning they trap an amount of fluid and then force it into the discharge pipe. These types of pumps have a constant flow of hydraulic fluid with a changing pressure.

1. Piston pumps

As its name suggests, a piston pump contains pistons that move in and out. This movement takes oil from the tank and deliver it through the rest of the system. Piston pumps come in several varieties. They can be “single acting” meaning one side is responsible for suction and the other for discharge or they can be “double acting” meaning suction and discharge is possible in both directions.

2. Vane pumps

Vane pumps have a cylinder with a number of vanes or blades. When rotated, the vanes move in and out, allowing hydraulic fluid to flow through and be delivered to the rest of the system. Vane pumps have no metal on metal contact inside, reducing the overall amount of wear and tear.

3. Gear pumps

Gear pumps move hydraulic fluid to the rest of the system by the rotation of gears. When rotation happens, suction is created at the pump inlet, and fluid is forced through the gears to the discharge and out into the system. Two basic variations of gear pumps are external (with two identical gears) and internal (with two gears of different sizes).

Uses of Hydraulic Pumps

Any machinery or equipment that uses a hydraulic system will rely on a hydraulic pump to convert mechanical energy into hydraulic energy. Hydraulic systems can be found in everyday life, and are also used widely across many industries such as mining, agriculture and construction. Everything from the braking system in your car to cranes and drilling machinery rely on a hydraulic pump to function.

Piston pumps are ideal in applications requiring high operating pressures such as agricultural tractors, tunnel boring equipment and mini-excavators. Vane pumps perform best with fluids that have a lower viscosity and are used in many applications such as power steering, air conditioners and braking systems. Gear pumps are excellent for pumping high viscosity fluids and are used in applications that require accurate dosing or high pressure output such as automatic transmissions, boating and steering systems.

Need Hydraulic Pump supplies?

For a large range of high quality, precision built hydraulic pumps, get in touch with Hydraulic Solutions and Sales today. We offer a wide selection of medium and heavy duty piston pumps, as well as vane and gear pumps with various displacements, porting, flange and shaft configurations. 

With decades of industry experience, we are able to assist customers throughout Australia with hydraulic pumps for any application.