Vacuums have a huge amount in the industrial sectors. They are used in processes such as packaging, bottling, drying, degassing, pick and place, among several other applications. The versatility of vacuum technology has given it an important space in industrial fields, where vacuum pumps see widespread usage.
What is a vacuum pump?
The primary puprose of a vacuum pump is to create, augment and maintain vacuums for various industrial applications. Even though there are several kinds of industrial vacuum pumps, their basic functioning remains the same. A vacuum pump sucks out molecules of air and other objects from a space called the vacuum chamber. Industrial vacuums are able to run at a very large pressure range, so that they can suck out every single particle from the vacuum chamber. The best way to do this is to use multiple vacuum pumps that have different pressure ranges in a series. As the pressure keeps dropping, you move on to the more suitable pump.
Vacuum pumps are divided into the following categories based on their pressure capacity:
- Rough/Low Vacuum: 1000 to 1 mbar / 760 to 0.75 Torr
- Fine/ Medium Vacuum: 1 to 10-3 mbar / 0.75 to 7.5-3 Torr
- High Vacuum: 10-3 to 10-7 mbar / 7.5-3 to 7.5-7 Torr
- Ultra-High Vacuum: 10-7 to 10-11 mbar / 7.5-7 to 7.5-11 Torr
- Extreme High Vacuum: < 10-11 mbar / < 7.5-11 Torr
Applications of Vacuum Pumps:
Vacuum Pumps are used by chemists and chemical engineers in various industrial processes for evaporation, crystallization, drying, distillation, solvent recovery, vinyl chloride monomer, coating, transfer of materials, and chlorine compression. Without vacuum pumps aiding us, all the activities would be very difficult to do perform on a large scale.
Vacuums are used in the medical sector particularly for their drying capabilities, which can be used to sterilise medical equipment. The sterilization of such equipment is critical and is done in a quick and reliable manner by vacuum pumps that remove all bio waste and debris.
Steam management is one of the important processes in the oil and gas industries for which this steam recovery system is applied. As for oil refining, these pumps are used for the compression of vent gas and booster gas.
Industries find this technology useful for managing extruder degassing in terms of extracting gas and vapor components. It is also used to dry the moisture and extract the working water between the mold and the working material.
Food and beverage industries use vacuums in their packaging to keep the food fresh and unspoiled. Vacuums ensure that the food does not get ruined by the presence of air and moisture or germs inside the package. Vacuum pumps are thus used to pull out all foreign objects and leave only the food product inside the packaging.
There are many more applications and use cases for vacuum pumps. To learn more about them, visit https://www.agilent.com/en/product/vacuum-technologies/turbo-pumps-controllers/turbo-pumps.
Turbomolecular Pumps are a kind of vacuum pump that work by sucking out contamination using a turbo fan. The principle is that when anything hits the blades of the fan, it is fashioned in such a way that the rotation of the turbo carries the contamination out of the vacuum chamber, towards the exhaust. Turbo pumps came in multiple stages, that operate with two sets of blades. First there is a set of rotating turbo blades and then there is a set of stationary stator blades.
The way a turbo pump works is by first catching gas in the upper stages and pushing it into the lower stages. When the gases hit the rotating blades, they gain more fore-pressure by hitting the blade fans. With the added momentum, they travel into the stator blades which guide them to the next set of rotating blades to pressurize them. This process is carried on over and over again, until the pressurized gas is carried to the exhaust vent from where it is removed.
Turbomolecular Pump technology can be fascinating. A huge collection of the details about turbo pumps and their functioning has been created for everyone to read, so make sure to check it out!