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Can You Automate a Diaphragm Liquid Pump?

A diaphragm liquid pump can still be automated even if it doesn’t use electric motors to produce torque power and rotation to move or pump the fluids. It’s often employed to move flammable fluids that shouldn’t be exposed, such as chemicals, paint, or other substances.

Companies that need to pump flammable fluids often refrain from using electric motors because these motors might cause a spark to fluids, like petroleum fuel, gas, or other combustible chemicals.

If you want to know more automated applications of diaphragm pumps, you can check out KNF or other solution providers that specialize in the production and distribution of diaphragm pumps.

How Does Air Pressure Create Sparkless Torque Power?

Instead of electric motors, diaphragm pumps use air to move the rod and valves. The basic principle of a diaphragm motor is that air pressure is used to move a rod back and forth by using two diaphragms.

Diaphragm pump (membrane pump) in petrochemical plant. 

This back-and-forth motion creates the torque power that pumps and moves the fluids or liquids.

The air pressure is often supplied by a hose coming from a compressor and fed to the mechanism that moves the diaphragms. The output air is released through an air exhaust.

Even though a diaphragm pump uses only air pressure and not electric motors, it can still be automated.

There are several ways to automate a diaphragm liquid pump, but the basic principle that applies is that the air pressure fed into the diaphragm mechanism can be regulated.

Since the air pressure can be regulated, you can adjust the back-and-forth motion of the diaphragms.

How Does A Diaphragm Liquid Pump Work?

An air-operated double diaphragm (AODD) is a positive displacement type of pump. It doesn’t have to use electricity or electric motors to generate the torque and force needed to pump liquids or fluids from one point to another.

Instead of gears powered by the torque generated by an electric motor, diaphragm pumps move the diaphragm rod through a simple air-valve system.

There are two round discs in the design of a diaphragm liquid pump. These discs are made of elastomeric material, which is why the discs are also sometimes referred to as flexible diaphragms. The two elastomeric diaphragms are each attached to one tip of the diaphragm rod.

The elastomeric diaphragms consist of two round discs and are sometimes called flexible diaphragms. The elastomeric diaphragms are connected to each of the two ends of the diaphragm rod. It’s the air that moves the diaphragm rod in place of electricity.

Whenever the motion of the diaphragm rod nears the end of its throw, the pilot spool, which is the middle of the three horizontal rods, is thrust backwards and forwards.

This back-and-forth motion enables the air to adjust the air distribution valve in a to-and-fro manner. Managing the flow of air to the right or left air chamber, the air distribution rod reverses its motion after every stroke.

The pump is designed in such a way that the check valves and the elastomeric diaphragms create a reciprocating action. Being a positive displacement type of pump, a diaphragm pump uses this reciprocating action to move or transport the fluids.

There are ball or flap valves that regulate the movement of the fluids or liquids being pumped. Pressure differences in the pumped liquid are utilized to control the ball or flap valves.

Where Is A Diaphragm Pump Usually Used?

A diaphragm liquid pump is used for various purposes, including agriculture tasks, manufacturing activities, and industrial processes:

Transferring materials – It’s used to transfer fluids from one storage container to another. Some examples of fluids and liquids that it transfers are chemicals and paints.

Feeding fluids to spray equipment and spray lines – It’s also used to pump liquids and fluids to feed spray equipment or spray lines before they’re sprayed out to their target objects.

Removing materials – It aids in removing materials that need to be sucked or pumped out. If there are certain materials that get stuck in an area where you don’t need or want them, you can use a diaphragm pump to take them out and move them somewhere else.

In short, diaphragm pumps are versatile, as they can be used for various applications.

  • What Diaphragm Pump Applications Can Be Automated?
  • A number of pumping applications can be automated. Here are some of them:
  • Pressure Boosting – It increases the pressure to the desired level.
  • Dosing and Metering – It involves the precise injection of fluids.
  • Batching and Dispensing – It’s done when small precise amounts are transferred to large volume containers, usually when it’s about to be transported or delivered.
  • Dewatering – It suctions excess water when you need the area dry.
  • Unloading – It involves emptying tanks or containers.
  • Transfer – It requires taking from one container and pumping into another bulk container or smaller container.
  • Heating and Cooling – It transfers cooling fluids, which usually consist of a mixture of glycol and water. The transfer is done around an open loop or closed system.

Useful Device

A diaphragm liquid pump is a useful device to carry flammable fluids that pose a risk to public health and safety. Though it doesn’t rely on electric motors, its applications, as well as some aspects of its input and output processes can be automated.

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