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Air Operated Diaphragm Pumps Offer Reliability and Easy Maintenance

Contributed by: John Armitage at Price Pump Company

Diaphragm pump technology is one of the oldest pumping technologies in the world. The first models of this pump type were limited by single membrane and mechanically driven pumps without self-priming, dry-running, or electric options.

But as technology advanced, so did diaphragm pumps, transforming it from the crude design of early models to its most common modern configuration: the air operated double diaphragm (AODD) pump. The AODD pump is popular for its low initial cost, ease of maintenance, simple installation/operation, and its ability to handle a variety of product viscosities. It also features a seal-less design, self-priming and dry-running capabilities.

AODD pumps transfer fluid through the pump using compressed air power. The pump consists of reciprocating diaphragms that expand and contract pumping chambers. The three main components of the pump are suction and discharge manifolds, suction and discharge valves, and liquid and air chambers. The air chambers are separated by diaphragms, which are in turn connected by a shared shaft. As one air chamber is filled with compressed air, the diaphragm in that chamber expands into the pump chamber and displaces the transferred fluid, directing it into the discharge manifold. Simultaneously, a vacuum is created that pulls the fluid past the suction valve and into the pump chamber. When maximum capacity is reached, this process reverses; the suction side becomes the discharge side and vice versa.

The compressed air design gives AODD pumps several advantages over other pump types including the ability to run without electric power. Because the pump does not require electrical controls, installation and operation is fairly simple, allowing the pumps to be transferred from site to site. AODD pumps can also handle a wide variety of materials from high to low viscosity fluids, and those that are corrosive or abrasive to low-density powders and large solids. The gentle movement and lack of many moving parts also makes AODD pumps ideal for handling shear sensitive media.

AODD pumps have static sealing surfaces and do not require mechanical seals. They are self-priming with lifts greater than 20 feet and have the ability to run dry or against a closed discharge without risk of damage. In some cases, they run while submerged in the process fluid. The pump performance can be adjusted to suit unique applications needs by varying the air inlet pressure. In addition to these operational benefits, AODD pumps are easily repaired and maintained. They remain an ideal choice for commercial and industrial applications transferring a wide variety of fluids, including fuels, glues, resins, inks, and food-based or cosmetic liquids.

Price Pump Air Operated Diaphragm Pump

Several pump manufacturers offer AODD pumps with their own unique features. Price Pump features its AOD pumps with a patented oil-less, non-stalling air valve, ideal for a variety of low-pressure applications. Able to operate on inlet pressures as low as 5 psi, Price Pump ensures smooth operation, even in difficult ‘stop/start’ applications. Additionally, its air valves contain the fewest parts of any other air valve in the market, reducing maintenance time and complications. Price offers a five-year material and workmanship warranty on its air valve.

For more information visit Price Pump.