This pump is illustrated in figure 4-2, view B. The drive gear is attached directly to the drive shaft of the pump and is placed off-center in relation to the internal gear. The two gears mesh on one side of the pump, between the suction (inlet) and discharge ports. On the opposite side of the chamber, a crescent-shaped form fitted to a close tolerance fills the space between the two gears.
The rotation of the center gear by the drive shaft causes the outside gear to rotate, since the two are meshed. Everything in the chamber rotates except the crescent. This causes liquid to be trapped in the gear spaces as they pass the crescent. The liquid is carried from the suction port to the discharge port where it is forced out of the pump by the meshing of the gears. The size of the crescent that separates the internal and external gears determines the volume delivery of the pump. A small crescent allows more volume of liquid per revolution than a larger crescent.
The helical gear pump (fig. 4-4) is still another modification of the spur gear pump. Because of the helical gear design, the overlapping of successive discharges from spaces between the teeth is even greater than it is in the herringbone gear pump; therefore, the discharge flow is smoother. Since the discharge flow is smooth in the helical pump, the gears can be designed with a small number of large teeth—thus allowing increased capacity without sacrificing smoothness of flow.
The pumping gears of this type of pump are driven by a set of timing and driving gears that help maintain the required close clearances without actual metallic contact of the pumping gears. (Metallic contact between the teeth of the pumping gears would provide a tighter seal against slippage; however, it would cause rapid wear of the teeth, because foreign matter in the liquid would be present on the contact surfaces.)
Roller bearings at both ends of the gear shafts maintain proper alignment and minimize the friction loss in the transmission of power. Suitable packings are used to prevent leakage around the shaft.
The herringbone gear pump (fig. 4-3) is a modification of the spur gear pump. The liquid is pumped in the same manner as in the spur gear pump. However, in the herringbone pump, each set of teeth begins its fluid discharge phase before the previous set of teeth has completed its discharge phase. This overlapping and the relatively larger space at the center of the gears tend to minimize pulsations and give a steadier flow than the spur gear pump.
The spur gear pump (fig. 4-1) consists of two meshed gears which revolve in a housing. The drive gear in the illustration is turned by a drive shaft which is attached to the power source. The clearances between the gear teeth as they mesh and between the teeth and the pump housing are very small.
The inlet port is connected to the fluid supply line, and the outlet port is connected to the pressure line. In figure 4-1 the drive gear is turning in a counterclockwise direction, and the driven (idle) gear is turning in a clockwise direction. As the teeth pass the inlet port, liquid is trapped between the teeth and the housing. This liquid is carried around the housing to the outlet port. As the teeth mesh again, the liquid between the teeth is pushed into the outlet port. This action produces a positive flow of liquid into the system. A shearpin or shear section is incorporated in the drive shaft. This is to protect the power source or reduction gears if the pump fails because of excessive load or jamming of parts.
Piston type motors can be in-line-axis or bent-axis types.
(1) In-Line-Axis, Piston-Type Motors. These motors (Figure 4-15) are almost identical to the pumps. They are built-in, fixed- and variable-displacement models in several sizes. Torque is developed by a pressure drop through a motor. Pressure exerts a force on the ends of the pistons, which is translated into shaft rotation. Shaft rotation of most models can be reversed anytime by reversing the flow direction.
Oil from a pump is forced into the cylinder bores through a motor’s inlet port. Force on the pistons at this point pushes them against a swash plate. They can move only by sliding along a swash plate to a point further away from a cylinder’s barrel, which causes it to rotate. The barrel is then splined to a shaft so that it must turn.
A motor’s displacement depends on the angle of a swash plate (Figure 4-16). At maximum angle, displacement is at its highest because the pistons travel at maximum length. When the angle is reduced, piston travel shortens, reducing displacement. If flow remains constant, a motor runs faster, but torque is decreased. Torque is greatest at maximum displacement because the component of piston force parallel to a swash plate is greatest.
(2) Bent-Axis, Piston-Type Motors. These motors are almost identical to the pumps. They are available in fixed- and variable-displacement models (Figure 4-17), in several sizes. Variable-displacement motors can be controlled mechanically or by pressure compensation. These motors operate similarly to in-line motors except that piston thrust is against a drive-shaft flange. A parallel component of thrust causes a flange to turn. Torque is maximum at maximum displacement; speed is at a minimum. This design piston motor is very heavy and bulky, particularly the variable- displacement motor. Using these motors on mobile equipment is limited.
Although some piston type motors are controlled by directional-control valves, they are often used in combination with variable-displacement pumps. This pump-motor combination (hydraulic transmission) is used to provide a transfer of power between a driving element, such as an electric motor, and a driven element. Hydraulic transmissions may be used for applications such as a speed reducer, variable speed drive, constant speed or constant torque drive, and torque converter. Some advantages a hydraulic transmission has over a mechanical transmission is that it has—
• Quick, easy speed adjustment over a wide range while the power source is operating at constant (most efficient) speed.
• Rapid, smooth acceleration or deceleration.
• Control over maximum torque and power.
• A cushioning effect to reduce shock loads.
• A smooth reversal of motion.
Figure 4-11 shows a vane-type motor. Flow from the pump enters the inlet, forces the rotor and vanes to rotate, and passes out through the outlet. Motor rotation causes the output shaft to rotate. Since no centrifugal force exists until the motor begins to rotate, something, usually springs, must be used to initially hold the vanes against the casing contour. However, springs usually are not necessary in vane-type pumps because a drive shaft initially supplies centrifugal force to ensure vane-to-casing contact.
Vane motors are balanced hydraulically to prevent a rotor from side-loading a shaft. A shaft is supported by two ball bearings. Torque is developed by a pressure difference as oil from a pump is forced through a motor. Figure 4-12 shows pressure differential on a single vane as it passes the inlet port. On the trailing side open to the inlet port, the vane is subject to full system pressure. The chamber leading the vane is subject to the much lower outlet pressure. The difference in pressure exerts the force on the vane that is, in effect, tangential to the rotor. This pressure difference is effective across vanes 3 and 9 as shown in Figure 4-13. The other vanes are subject to essentially equal force on both sides. Each will develop torque as the rotor turns. Figure 4-13 shows the flow condition for counterclockwise rotation as viewed from the cover end. The body port is the inlet, and the cover port is the outlet. Reverse the flow, and the rotation becomes clockwise.
In a vane-type pump, the vanes are pushed out against a cam ring by centrifugal force when a pump is started up. A design motor uses steel-wire rocker arms (Figure 4-14) to push the vanes against the cam ring. The arms pivot on pins attached to the rotor. The ends of each arm support two vanes that are 90 degrees apart. When the cam ring pushes vane A into its slot, vane B slides out. The reverse also happens. A motor’s pressure plate functions the same as a pump’s. It seals the side of a rotor and ring against internal leakage, and it feeds system pressure under the vanes to hold them out against a ring. This is a simple operation in a pump because a pressure plate is right by a high-pressure port in the cover.
Figure 4-10 shows a gear-type motor. Both gears are driven gears, but only one is connected to the output shaft. Operation is essentially the reverse of that of a gear pump. Flow from the pump enters chamber A and flows in either direction around the inside surface of the casing, forcing the gears to rotate as indicated. This rotary motion is then available for work at the output shaft.
Hydraulic motors convert hydraulic energy into mechanical energy. In industrial hydraulic circuits, pumps and motors are normally combined with a proper valving and piping to form a hydraulic-powered transmission. A pump, which is mechanically linked to a prime mover, draws fluid from a reservoir and forces it to a motor. A motor, which is mechanically linked to the workload, is actuated by this flow so that motion or torque, or both, are conveyed to the work. Figure 4-9 shows the basic operations of a hydraulic motor.
The principal ratings of a motor are torque, pressure, and displacement. Torque and pressure ratings indicate how much load a motor can handle. Displacement indicates how much flow is required for a specified drive speed and is expressed in cubic inches per revolutions, the same as pump displacement. Displacement is the amount of oil that must be pumped into a motor to turn it one revolution. Most motors are fixed-displacement; however, variable- displacement piston motors are in use, mainly in hydrostatic drives. The main types of motors are gear, vane, and piston. They can be unidirectional or reversible. (Most motors designed for mobile equipment are reversible.)
a. Overloading. One risk of overloading is the danger of excess torque on a drive shaft. Torque is circular force on an object. An increase in pressure/pump displacement will increase the torque on a shaft if pump displacement/pressure remains constant. Often in a given package size, a higher GPM pump will have a lower pressure rating than a lower GPM pump. Sometimes a field conversion to get more speed out of an actuator will cause a pump to be overloaded. You may need a larger pump.
b. Excess Speed. Running a pump at too high a speed causes loss of lubrication, which can cause early failure. If a needed delivery requires a higher drive speed than a pump’s rating, use a higher displacement pump. Excess speed also runs a risk of damage from cavitation.
c. Cavitation. Cavitation occurs where available fluid does not fill an existing space. It often occurs in a pump’s inlet when conditions are not right to supply enough oil to keep an inlet flooded. Cavitation causes the metal in an inlet to erode and the hydraulic oil to deteriorate quicker. Cavitation can occur if there is too much resistance in an inlet’s line, if a reservoir’s oil level is too far below the inlet, or if an oil’s viscosity is too high. It can also occur if there is a vacuum or even a slight positive pressure at the inlet. A badly cavitating pump has oil bubbles exploding in the void. The only way to be sure a pump is not cavitating is to check the inlet with a vacuum gauge.
To prevent cavitation, keep the inlet clean and free of obstructions by using the correct length of an inlet’s line with minimum bends. Another method is to charge an inlet. The easiest way to do this is to flood it by locating the reservoir above the pump’s inlet. If this is not possible and you cannot create good inlet conditions, use a pressurized reservoir. You can also use an auxiliary pump to maintain a supply of oil to an inlet at low pressure. You could use a centrifugal pump, but it is more common to use a positive-displacement gear pump with a pressure-relief valve that is set to maintain the desired charging pressure.
d. Operating Problems. Pressure loss, slow operation, no delivery, and noise are common operating problems in a pump.
(1) Pressure Loss. Pressure loss means that there is a high leakage path in a system. A badly worn pump could cause pressure loss. A pump will lose its efficiency gradually. The actuator speed slows down as a pump wears. However, pressure loss is more often caused by leaks somewhere else in a system (relief valve, cylinders, motors).
(2) Slow Operation. This can be caused by a worn pump or by a partial oil leak in a system. Pressure will not drop, however, if a load moves at all. Therefore, hp is still being used and is being converted into heat at a leakage point. To find this point, feel the components for unusual heat.
(3) No Delivery. If oil is not being pumped, a pump—
• Could be assembled incorrectly.
• Could be driven in the wrong direction.
• Has not been primed. The reasons for no prime are usually improper start-up, inlet restrictions, or low oil level in a reservoir.
• Has a broken drive shaft.
(4) Noise. If you hear any unusual noise, shut down a pump immediately. Cavitation noise is caused by a restriction in an inlet line, a dirty inlet filter, or too high a drive speed. Air in a system also causes noise. Air will severely damage a pump because it will not have enough lubrication. This can occur from low oil in a reservoir, a loose connection in an inlet, a leaking shaft seal, or no oil in a pump before starting. Also, noise can be caused by worn or damaged parts, which will spread harmful particles through a system, causing more damage if an operation continues.
Piston pumps are either radial or axial.
a. Radial. In a radial piston pump (Figure 3-14), the pistons are arranged like wheel spokes in a short cylindrical block. A drive shaft, which is inside a circular housing, rotates a cylinder block. The block turns on a stationary pintle that contains the inlet and outlet ports. As a cylinder block turns, centrifugal force slings the pistons, which follow a circular housing. A housing’s centerline is offset from a cylinder block’s centerline. The amount of eccentricity between the two determines a piston stroke and, therefore, a pump’s displacement. Controls can be applied to change a housing’s location and thereby vary a pump’s delivery from zero to maximum.
Figure 3-15 shows a nine piston, radial piston pump. When a pump has an uneven number of pistons, no more than one piston is completely blocked by a pintle at one time, which reduces flow pulsations. With an even number of pistons spaced around a cylinder block, two pistons could be blocked by a pintle at the same time. If this happens, three pistons would discharge at one time and four at another time, and pulsations would occur in the flow. A pintle, a cylinder block, the pistons, a rotor, and a drive shaft constitute the main working parts of a pump.
(1) Pintle. A pintle is a round bar that serves as a stationary shaft around which a cylinder block turns. A pintle shaft (Figure 3-16) has four holes bored from one end lengthwise through part of its length. Two holes serve as an intake and two as a discharge. Two slots are cut in a side of the shaft so that each slot connects two of the lengthwise holes. The slots are in-line with the pistons when a cylinder block is assembled on a pintle. One of these slots provides a path for a liquid to pass from the pistons to the discharge holes bored in a pintle. Another slot connects the two inlet holes to the pistons when they are drawing in liquid. The discharge holes are connected through appropriate fittings to a discharge line so that a liquid can be directed into a system. The other pair of holes is connected to an inlet line.
(2) Cylinder Block. A cylinder block (Figure 3-17) is a block of metal with a hole bored through its center to fit the pintle’s and cylinder’s holes that are bored equal distances apart around its outside edge. The cylinder’s holes connect with the hole that receives a pintle. Designs differ; some cylinders appear to be almost solid, while others have spokelike cylinders radiating out from the center. A cylinder’s and pintle’s holes are accurately machined so that liquid loss around a piston is minimal.
(3) Pistons. Pistons are manufactured in different designs (see Figure 3-18). Diagram A shows a piston with small wheels that roll around the inside curve of a rotor. Diagram B shows a piston in which a conical edge of the top bears directly against a reaction ring of the rotor. In this design, a piston goes back and forth in a cylinder while it rotates about its axis so that the top surface will wear uniformly. Diagram C shows a piston attached to curved plates. The curved plates bear against and slide around the inside surface of a rotor. The pistons’ sides are accurately machined to fit the cylinders so that there is a minimum loss of liquid between the walls of a piston and cylinder. No provision is made for using piston rings to help seal against piston leakage.
(4) Rotors. Rotor designs may differ from pump to pump. A rotor consists of a circular ring, machine finished on the
inside, against which the pistons bear. A rotor rotates within a slide block, which can be shifted from side to side to control the piston’s length of stroke. A slide block has two pairs of machined surfaces on the exterior so that it can slide in tracks in the pump case.
(5) Drive Shaft. A drive shaft is connected to a cylinder block and is driven by an outside force such as an electric motor.
b. Axial Piston Pumps. In axial piston pumps, the pistons stroke in the same direction on a cylinder block’s center line (axially). Axial piston pumps may be an in-line or angle design. In capacity, piston pumps range from low to very high. Pressures are as high as 5,000 psi, and drive speeds are medium to high. Efficiency is high, and pumps generally have excellent durability. Petroleum oil fluids are usually required. Pulsations in delivery are small and of medium frequency. The pumps are quiet in operation but may have a growl or whine, depending on condition. Except for in-line pumps, which are compact in size, piston pumps are heavy and bulky.
(1) In-Line Pump. In an in-line piston pump (Figure 3-19, diagram A), a drive shaft and cylinder block are on the same centerline. Reciprocation of the pistons is caused by a swash plate that the pistons run against as a cylinder block rotates. A drive shaft turns a cylinder block, which carries the pistons around a shaft. The piston shoes slide against a swash plate and are held against it by a shoe plate. A swash plate’s angle causes the cylinders to reciprocate in their bores. At the point where a piston begins to retract, an opening in the end of a bore slides over an inlet slot in a valve plate, and oil is drawn into a bore through somewhat less than half a revolution. There is a solid area in a valve plate as a piston becomes fully retracted. As a piston begins to extend, an opening in a cylinder barrel moves over an outlet slot, and oil is forced out a pressure port.
(a) Displacement. Pump displacement depends on the bore and stroke of a piston and the number of pistons. A swash plate’s angle (Figure 3-19, diagram B) determines the stroke, which can vary by changing the angle. In a fixed angle’s unit, a swash plate is stationary in the housing. In a variable unit’s, it is mounted on a yoke, which can turn on pintles. Different controls can be attached to the pintles to vary pump delivery from zero to the maximum. With certain controls, the direction of flow can be reversed by swinging a yoke past center. In the center position, a swash plate is perpendicular to the cylinder’s, and there is no piston reciprocation; no oil is pumped.
(b) Components. The major components of a typical, fixed-displacement in-line pump are the housing, a bearing-supported drive shaft, a rotating group, a shaft seal, and a valve plate. A valve plate contains an inlet and an outlet port and functions as the back cover. A rotating group consists of a cylinder block that is splined to a drive shaft, a splined spherical washer, a spring, nine pistons with shoes, a swash plate, and a shoe plate. When a group is assembled, a spring forces a cylinder block against a valve plate and a spherical washer against a shoe plate. This action holds the piston shoes against a swash plate, ensuring that the pistons will reciprocate as the cylinder turns. A swash plate is stationary in a fixed displacement design.
(c) Operation. A variable-displacement in-line pump operates the same as a fixed angle except that a swash plate is mounted on a pivoted yoke. A yoke can be swung to change a plate angle and thus change a pump’s displacement. A yoke can be positioned manually with a screw or lever or by a compensator control, which positions a yoke automatically to maintain constant output pressure under variable flow requirements. A compensator control consists of a valve that is balanced between a spring and system pressure and a spring loaded, yoke-actuating piston that is controlled by a valve. A pump’s compensator control thus reduces its output only to the volume required to maintain a preset pressure. Maximum delivery is allowed only when pressure is less than a compensator’s setting.
(2) Wobble-Plate In-Line Pump. This is a variation of an in-line piston pump. In this design, a cylinder barrel does not turn; a plate wobbles as it turns, and the wobbling pushes the pistons in and out of the pumping chambers in a stationary cylinder barrel. In a wobble plate pump, separate inlet and outlet check valves are required for each piston, since the pistons do not move past a port.
(3) Bent-Axis Axial Piston Pump. In an angle- or a bent-axis-type piston pump (Figure 3-20), the piston rods are attached by ball joints to a drive shaft’s flange. A universal link keys a cylinder block to a shaft so that they rotate together but at an offset angle. A cylinder barrel turns against a slotted valve plate to which the ports connect. Pumping action is the same as an in-line pump. The angle of offset determines a pump’s displacement, just as the swash plate’s angle determines an in-line pump’s displacement. In fixed-delivery pumps, the angle is constant. In variable models, a yoke mounted on pintles swings a cylinder block to vary displacement. Flow direction can be reversed with appropriate controls.