Its unique design enables rotary vane pumps to become variable displacement pumps. By allowing the centerline distance from the rotor to the eccentric ring to change, the displacement of rotary vane pumps can be altered. This allows rotary vane pumps to even pump in reverse by moving the ring far enough. This characteristic makes rotary vane pumps efficient hydraulic oil control pumps and energy saving devices.
The transportation industry is a major beneficiary of rotary vane pumps. Moving automatic transmission, power steering and brake fluids are among the most common uses of rotary vane pumps in cars. For large diesel trucks, rotary vane pumps are used as vacuum pumps for additional braking power. Most light aircraft use rotary vane pumps to drive the gyroscopes in flight instruments, altitude and heading indicators. Low-pressure gas applications such as exhaust emission controls use rotary vane pumps to provide secondary air injection.
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