Working of Air Driven Hydraulic Pumps Explained

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Working of Air Driven Hydraulic Pumps Explained

Today, electrically & gasoline driven pumps and boosters are being replaced by air driven pumps and boosters because air driven pumps are found to be cost effective and energy saving. In addition air driven pumps are safer for use with hazardous/combustible liquids due as the pump is powered using compressed air and not electricity. This has led to the increased popularity of air driven hydraulic pumps in the Oil & Gas, Chemical, Industrial and Research industries. A question that must have popped up your mind is “how are hydraulic pumps driven by compressed air work”? You will find the answer to this question in this post. This post will also discuss the most common applications of where you these air driven pumps are used.


Here is a step-by-step account of how the air driven hydraulic pumps operate:

  • As a first step, the spool valve allows the drive air to flow from air port to air piston’s bottom.
  • The pump performs a suction stroke as the air piston in the drive unit moves to the right.
  • Now, the intake valve opens, and fluid is sucked by the high-pressure piston. This fluid is sucked in through the suction port.
  • The pilot valve is actuated by the air piston, which is in the upper stop position.
  • The control air, which moves from the air port to the spool valve, causes the valve to change its switching position.
  • The spool valve now connects the silencer and the chamber, which is present below the air piston. This allows the drive air to escape through port R. Simultaneously, the air piston’s top is accessed by the drive air.
  • Now, a pressure stroke is performed, which causes the air piston in the drive unit to move in the left direction. This cause the inlet valve to close.
  • All this causes the pressure valve to open. The piston (which is at a high pressure) then drives the pumped fluid, which comes out from the pressure outlet.

Where are These Air Driven Hydraulic Pumps Used Exactly?

The air driven liquid pumps are used in a vast variety of applications, because of the benefits that they have to offer. Here is a list of applications that employ these high pressure pumps:

Industries that have Pressure Testing Applications:

  • Diving Industry with requirements for certifying Divers’ Air Bottles and equipment.
  • LPG/CNG Industry with requirements for certifying storage bottles, tanks and associated equipment.
  • Fire Fighting Industry with requirements to certify extinguishers and associated equipment.
  • Industrial Gas Manufacturers and Suppliers with requirements to certify gas storage bottles, tanks and associated pipework and equipment.
  • Manufacturers of Pressure Vessels that require certification and testing.
  • Installers of Oil and Gas Pipelines that require testing and certification prior to use.
  • Manufacturers of Tubes, Pipes and Fittings.
  • Manufacturers and Suppliers of Hydraulic (and other types) Hoses.
  • Defense Industries

Industries that have Fluid Transfer Applications:

  • Fire Fighting Industry with the filling of extinguishers with CO2.
  • Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry with the evacuating and re-filling of refrigerant systems.
  • Defense Industries.

 Other Applications:

  • Fluid Power applications where a non-electric high pressure hydraulic source is required.
  • High and very high applications for hydraulic and isostatic presses.
  • Off-shore Oil and Gas Platforms for an emergency non-electric high pressure hydraulic source is required.
  • To pump fluids in Hazardous Areas.
  • To pump Hazardous Fluids.
  • For supplying hydraulic pressure for many kinds of on-site jacking applications.
  • Supplying Dust Suppressant Fluids in Open and Underground Mining
  • As Chemical Injection Pumps for Upstream Oil and Gas Gathering Systems.
  • As Chemical Injection Pumps in Downstream Oil and Gas Plants.

This is how these hydraulic pumps operate. If you are in need of a high pressure pump for your industry, then you should always consult an expert. High Pressure Technologies LLC is one such industry expert with an expertise in supplying high quality air driven liquid pumps & systems in the US.

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