Oil-free vacuum pumps in industrial processes

The dry vacuum pump makes the working volume oil-free, so it brings a lot of benefits. First, it enhances the reliability of the pump. Dry pumps are not affected by water vapor or dust particles like oil-sealed pumps, so they are more durable and require less maintenance. Using less oil also means reducing the cost of treating it carefully. The use of dry vacuum pumps also minimizes possible contamination, which can occur in the oil and affect pump performance, as well as in some extreme cases, such as in the final product.

Oil-free vacuum pumps in industrial processes

The key to successfully replacing existing oil-based vacuum pump systems is to find the most appropriate solution for a particular application. To take a look at the different types of applications that could benefit, here are four different industrial processes and what are the main benefits of using dry vacuum pumps.

Rolling spray maintenance

Metal spray coating is a long used process in the rolling spraying industry, which USES thermal evaporation technology in a vacuum environment. A thin metal layer (most commonly aluminum) is attached to paper, polyethylene (PE) or other polymer films to form a strong, beautiful packaging material that is moisture proof, ash proof and light proof. It is ideal for food applications because it keeps the product fresh and extends its shelf life. The process is also increasingly being used to produce decorative paper, gift wrapping paper and film.

Large reels (up to 2m wide) wrapped with substrate material (paper or PE film) are used in the process and are safely housed in the winding chamber. These reels rotate continuously – allowing the substrate material to pass through the diaphragm at high speed into the spray chamber. The spray chamber requires a very high vacuum, between 10-4 and 10-5mbar, and the winding chamber can maintain a low vacuum of about 10-2mbar. Spraying is the result of a thermal evaporation process in which the metal is heated so that it vaporizes and then precipitates on the substrate material.

Vacuum pump systems used in rolling spraying applications consist of several steam supercharger/diffuser pumps, as well as one or more stages of a mechanical booster, in addition to a front stage pump. The front stage pumps must meet the system throughput and front stage pressure requirements at all times – therefore it is important that they be reliable and easy to maintain. This minimizes the loss of production time, which affects the productivity of the equipment.

Vacuum pump is a new type of dry vacuum pump using the third generation double-head screw technology. It is used in metallurgy and spraying applications.

Effective treatment of water vapor

Dry pump technology is being widely used in metallurgical and heat treatment applications. Some of the world’s largest dry pump systems have recently been installed for large-scale steelmaking exhaust. A smaller system is used to handle refined steel and ultra-resistant stainless steel.

For example, vacuum induced melting (VIM), a metallurgical process originally developed to treat special alloys, is increasingly being used to make other materials such as stainless steel. Typical applications using VIM include casting aircraft engine parts and refining high-purity metals and alloys.

The process USES electromagnetic induction to melt metal in a vacuum. This induces eddy currents in the metal-the source is an induction coil with an alternating current. Eddy currents heat and melt the load.

A metallurgical process like this produces a certain amount of condensable water vapor, which contains water vapor. Oil-sealed rotary plunger pumps were once the most common type of pump used in these treatments, but with this type of pump, water vapor mixes with the lubricant, causing the lubricant to age and increasing the wear on the pumping mechanism. Dry pumps are not affected by moisture like this because they operate at higher temperatures and have no oil in the treatment room.

Reduce maintenance costs

Vacuum is also used for brake filling stations, which are part of the automobile production line. The carmaker, which wants assembly time to be as fast as possible, has developed a way of using a vacuum pump to empty and fill the brake circuit, and to test the circuit for leaks — and, as a result, they can now complete the process in 60 seconds.

The vacuum pump replaced the original three oil-sealed vacuum pumps; Each brake circuit has a pump, in addition to a spare pump. The main reason for this is that oil seal pumps need to be maintained to keep them operating at maximum capacity. Unlike the oil-sealed pumps that were replaced, the dry pumps now installed require only a major overhaul every six years. Dry vacuum pump systems are also more cost efficient because they require fewer consumables. Many pumps have the same safety features as standard pumps, such as quick shut-off of temperature switches to protect the pump in the event of heat problems associated with the process.

Minimize the risk of pollution

The dry pump has been incorporated into its impressive mass spectrometer portfolio. Mass spectrometers are used to measure and analyze molecules and are essential equipment for research and development tools in industry and academia. They separate gas ions according to their different masses and charges, thus determining the chemical composition of a substance. To do this, it is necessary to ensure that when ions are produced (this happens in the ionization chamber at the beginning of the process), they are free to travel through the machine without colliding with air molecules — thus creating a vacuum to ensure that there is no air in the room. So that the vacuum pump working volume does not contain oil can also ensure that no oil molecules exist.

Most of the users are pharmaceutical companies, which need equipment to do bioanalysis and identify drugs for clinical trials.

Conclusion: Dry pumps have been used successfully in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for many years and are becoming more and more common in many industries. The above examples show that the dry pump is better prepared to meet the challenges from a growing number of industrial applications in which traditional oil sealing techniques once dominated.

The reason for their increasing use is clear, as they are reliable, wear resistant, and easy to maintain, giving significant benefits to results. In the rolling spraying industry, for example, an oil-sealed vacuum pump used in this environment costs about 40 percent of the annual maintenance cost of a new pump.

Dry pumps allow for longer normal operating hours, and because they are repeatable, they result in higher production volumes and cost savings. Not only is the technology safe, but it is designed to work trouble-free even in demanding work environments. The dry pump has a good return on investment and is expected to pay off in 12 to 18 months, assuming that the process can be improved without cutting investment.

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