At Process Vacuum, everything we do is part of a process. One important part of many industrial processes is, of course, the Airtec rotary vane vacuum pump.

These pumps are strong and can easily handle all applications that require consistently reliable ultimate vacuum. Airtec vacuum pumps also require only simple installation, without the need for water cooling – resulting in huge savings on water bills. There are two types of rotary vane vacuum pump, oil filled and dry.

They’re used in a wide variety of systems and within many different industries. You could see them working away in hospital vacuum systems, oil purification, resin infusion moulding and transformer processing. Dry Carbon vane vacuum pumps are also popularly used in the packaging and food processing industries.

The Airtec rotary vane vacuum pump is a compact powerhouse and the technology is synonymous with a robust, functional construction. The pump consists of a rotor with vanes is mounted eccentrically within a cylindrical housing. Centrifugal force enables vanes to slide out and form chambers between themselves and the housing. This force traps the gas load at the maximum volume position inside these chambers.

As the rotor continues to rotate, the volume is reduced – compressing the pumped medium and transporting it to the outlet. Throughout the process, oil is fed into the pump from the sump and guarantees lubrication and excellent sealing of the chambers. A downstream oil separator separates the sealing oil and pumped air, allowing for an efficient reuse of the utilised oil.

The vacuum capability depends on the type of pump used. Single stage oil filled pumps operate between 20 to 1 mbar. Dry Carbon vane from 460 to 410 mbar and two stage oil filled at less than 10 to 3 mbar.

It’s important to note that high temperatures can reduce the capacity of the pump and additionally reduce internal clearances, resulting in the seizure of vanes. It’s advised that rotary air vacuum pumps operate in cooler areas to avoid a negative effect in performance.

There are a few problems typically encountered with this system. They include:

  • No vacuum
  • Dirty/contaminated oil
  • Shaft seal leaking
  • Damaged vanes – high temperature resulting in vanes expanding
  • Smoke from discharge / exhaust mist
  • Clogged inlet screen
  • Not starting
  • Noise
  • Bearings
  • Gauge pulsating

Troubleshooting tips:

  1. Oil mist from discharge: If you encounter this issue, simply fit an oil mist filter onto the outlet.
  2. Dust & particles in process: fit an inlet dust filter to catch unwanted particles and prevent them from contaminating the oil.
  3. Vacuum: If there is no vacuum, this issue could be due to a leak, oil contamination or a damaged seal. If you experience poor vacuum, check to see if any seals are leaking or if any of the vanes are damaged.
  4. High temperature: As mentioned, this can reduce the capacity of the pump. At higher temperatures vane length can expand, and break. It is recommended to keep temperatures as low as possible to ensure high performance.

If you’re experiencing issues with your Airtec rotary vane pump and require assistance, we’re here to help! Send your enquiries to

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