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Past and present: milestones in development of rotary vane pumps

Past and present: milestones in development of rotary vane pumps

Introduction

The functional principle of a rotary vane pump has remained virtually unchanged since its invention until today. For a long time RVPs were belt-driven at comparatively low rotational speeds. Starting from the 1960s direct drive was introduced starting with small pumps in the 10 m3/h class. This tripled the rotational speed to 1500 rpm and reduced the dimensions and weight of the pump, paving the way to many new applications.

The hammering sound of belt-driven rotary vane pumps was replaced by whisper quiet pumps. Compact size, high pumping speed and good base pressure were the success factors for the direct-driven models. The technical development was complemented by commercial success leading to step-by-step suppression of belt-driven models. After the transition to fast running pumps more than 40 years ago, further developments have been less drastic.

The growing importance of industrial design has changed the look of many pump models; most technical changes now take place under the skin of the pumps. However, these comparatively small changes can drastically improve pump operation in certain applications.

rotary vane pump

rotary vane pump
Figure 1: One of the first direct-driven RVPs from the 1960s in comparison to a current model of adixen’s Pascal series.

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