Introduction to Vane Pumps


In this lesson we will explain basic vane pumping functions and list common causes of vane pump wear.

Vane Pumps

Many vane pumps have a box-shaped housing.

Outlet Port
Inlet Port
Eaton/Vickers Vane Pump Design

Vane pumps are a little like a Swiss watch: full of small, intricate parts wrapped up in a tidy package.


Despite the fragile appearance of the vane pump internal works, it is an excellent flow source for many applications.

Cam Ring
Vane Pump Cartridge - Exploded View

With smooth rotating motions, it is quieter than most gear pumps and piston pumps, and produces very smooth flow (no noticable pulsations).

It has a higher volumetric efficiency rating than gear pumps, which makes it suitable for medium-high system pressures.

There are two main designs for vane pumps.

  • Balanced - Fixed displacement
  • Unbalanced - Fixed or variable displacement/pressure compensated
A simplified balanced vane pump design.
A simplified unbalanced vane pump design.

Pumping Action

Vane pumps have a rotor that spins inside a large circular or oval chamber called a cam ring.

Vane chambers increase in volume on the inlet side where they take in fluid, and decrease in volume on the discharge side which forces the fluid out of the pump.

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We hope you enjoyed Introduction to Vane Pumps

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