What is Pneumatic Pump? Definition, Parts, Working

For many years, pneumatics has played a significant role in the mechanical field as a technology. Furthermore, pneumatics serves as the basis for robotics solutions. Pneumatic systems are much like hydraulic systems, but instead of hydraulic oil, they use compressed air.

Pumps that use pneumatic fluids or gases as drivers are generally known as positive displacement pumps or Pneumatic Pump.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the pneumatic pump and the pump in general.

What is Pneumatic Pump? Definition

Basics of Pneumatic Pump

When used in industrial applications, pneumatic systems use pressurized gases or compressed air to move materials. Compressed gases or compressed air are commonly used to power these systems. Power is supplied to pneumatic devices, such as pumps, by a centrally located compressor. Manual or automatic solenoid valves are often used to control these systems, making them a more flexible, more affordable, and safer alternative to electric or gas-powered motors.

Pneumatics is the control and transfer of fluid through pipelines using compressed air or gas. Different industrial applications rely on pneumatic systems.

Pneumatic pumps use compressed air or gas for media transfer. In industrial applications, compressed inert gases or air are generally used to power pneumatic pumps.

 Several pneumatic devices, including pumps, are powered by the compressor located at the center of the unit. A pneumatic pump is typically controlled by both a manual or automatic solenoid valve, which is a cheaper, more flexible, and safer alternative than an electric or gas-powered motor.

Define Pneumatic Pump

The pneumatic system controls and transfers fluid through pipelines using compressed gas or air. In many industrial applications, pneumatic systems are widely used.

Compressed air is the main source of power for most pneumatic systems. The pneumatic pump allows liquid to flow through a pipeline system using compressed gas or air. To run pneumatic equipment, including pumps, cylinders, and motors, a central compressor is used.

As with hydraulic pumps, pneumatic pumps work on the same principle. A pneumatic pump uses air, whereas a hydraulic pump uses liquids. Extreme pressure is created by both pumps, which creates a surprising amount of energy.  

Define Pneumatic Pressure

Essentially, gas pressure is the force exerted by a pressurized gas. A common gas used to create pneumatic pressure is compressed air, which is among many different types of gasses. An airplane uses this to provide cabin pressure, and a bus uses this to open its doors.

It is also possible to create pneumatic pressure using inert gases, which are gases that do not undergo chemical reactions under certain conditions. Using a compressor, air can be pumped into a receiver and held onto by it.

Unless you know about pneumatic pressure, which you should now, you can easily pass it by as any other component of your daily life. The more you know about pneumatic pressure, and how it’s used many times throughout your life, you may never see bike pumps, espresso machines, or bus doors differently.

Functions of Pneumatic Pump

Air is pumped through pipelines by the pneumatic pump. An internal combustion engine, steam, compressed gas, diesel power, or electrical power is used to generate kinetic energy for the pump.

The pneumatic pump technology generally has safety-compatible applications. While this is a crucial area, there are also many other benefits to consider. In the absence of air as an acceptable gas medium, a pneumatic pump is required for the refrigeration system.

Additionally, pneumatic pumps are now seen in specific aisles of hardware stores, a place where contractors can rent or purchase them.

Closed System

It is the air pressure that operates the tires on your car. An air compressor, or pneumatic system, fills tires with air, though it is not a system in itself. The air hose nozzle attaches to the valve of the tire and a small motor builds up pressure in the storage unit that is released when the air hose nozzle is fitted onto the valve and the lever is pushed. For pneumatic systems to function properly, they must be closed. Unless the nozzle fits securely onto the tire valve, the tire cannot be filled with air.

Two Stage System

Objects requiring a large amount of power in a small space can be operated by pneumatic systems through the use of air or gas pressure. There are usually two stages in pneumatic systems: air storage and air operation. In order for a system to store air, it must maintain pressures greater than those at which air passes through it to be used. A pneumatic system cannot function if there is a leak anywhere in the system. Air is constantly delivered to a pneumatic system via a static air pressure gauge or a portable air pressure gauge fitted over a valve.

Parts of Pneumatic Pump


Compressors are machines that reduce the volume of air or gas to raise its pressure. There are two types of pumps: electric and gas-powered. A higher PSI is achieved by compressing air. During the delivery of air to the pneumatic track, an air storage tank is attached to the compressor.  

Storage Tank

Air from the compressors is stored in the storage tank as an auxiliary storage unit. The pneumatic actuator is powered by pressurized air with a high PSI in this tank.

Consequently, the compressor cycle shutoff timing is maximized by preventing erratic airflow fluctuations within the actuator. As a result, the compressor can maintain an exact distance between the actuators in the project and the compressor.

Drive Section

Throughout a given series of pumps, the piston operates in an epoxy filled, fiberglass wound barrel, whose diameter is constant. During the compression stroke, the piston is driven down, and during the suction stroke, it is raised. There is no need for an air line lubricator since the piston is pre-lubricated during assembly.


In pneumatic vacuum pumps, actuators perform hard work. Compressed air is used by different actuators. Pistons and cylinders are the most common types. When compressed air enters the chamber, it powers up the piston and moves forward.

Cycle Valve

It consists of a pilot-operated, lightweight, unbalanced spool, which directs drive pressure to the top and then underside of the drive piston in order to reciprocate the piston cycle. Pilot valves at the top and bottom of the stroke actuate the piston by shifting the unbalanced spool.

Pressure Regulator

Compressor tanks or compressors are coupled with these devices. Air is expelled into the pneumatic track by the pressure regulator.  

Pressure Gauge

Mechanical or electrical pressure gauges can also be used to measure pressure. With these gauges, the air pressure in the compressor can be checked and set by either the operator or a computer system.

Check Valve

An expansion tank’s hose is connected to the compressor by a check valve. Check valves are one-way valves. Despite the expansion tank’s expansion, this valve prevents pressurized air from flowing back into the compressor.  

Hydraulic Section

Drive pistons are connected to hydraulic pistons in the hydraulic section. It is determined by the area of the hydraulic piston head, its nominal ratio with the drive piston head, and the drive pressure that determines the outlet flow and pressure. 

The outlet check valve compresses the fluid in the hydraulic section on the down stroke. 

During the return stroke, the inlet check valve induces fresh liquid. Fluid flows through the hydraulic section through these check valves. Due to their spring loading and low cracking pressures, they are able to open the valve to the maximum extent during the induction stroke. During the down stroke, hydraulic fluid closes the inlet check valve and opens the outlet check valve against the spring.

Hydraulic Seal

Among the few wear parts, this is one of them. The hydraulic piston reciprocates without passing fluid into the drive section using this element. Seal specifications are determined by the temperature, pressure, and pressure of the liquid. Most Haskel pumps can be equipped with a distance piece between the drive and hydraulic sections for contamination-free operation.

Feed Lines

The pneumatic system uses them to carry compressed air. Controlling pressure is achieved through the installation of the larger diameter hose. Large hoses allow compressed air to flow through faster, eliminating backflows.

How Does Pneumatic Pump Work?

Pneumatic pumps move media by using pressurized gas or air. Compressed gases or compressed air are used when pneumatic pumps are used for industrial applications.

In pneumatic systems, the medium is transferred using compressed air or gas. Inert gases or air are used in pneumatic pumps in various industrial appliances.

There are two pistons in this pump. There is one piston whose diameter is much smaller than the others. A compressed gas or air chamber separates these pistons.

Gas pressure exerts pressure on pistons of larger diameter, which in turn exerts pressure on the fluid or gas chamber inside intermediate chambers. Thus, the smaller piston receives a greater force, which translates into stronger mechanical effects.

With the assistance of the large piston, the small piston generates extreme pressure and exerts a large force on the fluid, enabling it to be transferred to the desired area as a result of where it is located.

Pressure Driven Flow Control

Based on the workflow of a pneumatic pump, pressure-driven flow control applies as a proprietary technology. As a result of the introduction of peizoelectric technology, industrial applications can benefit in a number of different ways, from droplet generation to calibration of sensors. The pressure-driven flow controller offers unmatched accuracy and responsiveness in flow regulation.  


In a micro-fluidic chip, a pressure controller first pressurizes a tank or bottle containing the sample, then injects it smoothly and almost instantly. In a pressurized reservoir, gas pushes on the fluid surface, and fluid flows through the outlet. Liquid flows out of the tank can therefore be finely controlled by controlling the input gas pressure. With our pressure controller and flow sensor, you can control flow with extreme precision and responsiveness.

 A custom PID loop allows the pressure controller to adjust the pressure automatically to reach a flow rate value that can be entered into the software. Flows can be handled within 40 ms with 0.005 % stability thanks to piezoelectric pressure regulation. Fluid volumes of several hundred mill liter can be handled by pressure driven flow control.  


There are applications for pressure-driven flow controllers in physics, chemistry, and biology.  It has been used for a long time for other types of pneumatic pumps to be cost-effective. However, performance continues to pose a bottleneck. In microfluidics, which usually requires fine controls, this is often critical when the setup is complicated.

Because pressure-driven flow controllers were developed specifically for microfluidics, they are becoming more widely accepted. The performance of the software matches the expectations of users in terms of responsiveness, stability, and reproducibility. Microfluidic applications benefit from piezoelectric regulation technology.


Many reasons make pneumatic pump systems with pressure driven flow control one of the best on the market. Pulseless flow is possible with a response time of less than a second. In this method, liquid is flowed from a hermetic liquid tank to a microfludic device using a gas input pressure.

By using this technology, large volumes of fluid can be handled finely and long-term experiments can be conducted. As compared to peristaltic pumps, pressure-driven flow control has superior responsiveness and stability for several applications such as droplet generation & flow focusing.

The variations of Pneumatic Pumps

Generally speaking, pneumatic pumps are known as positive displacement pumps that have no return spring and can use many pressurized fluids or gases. Pneumatic pumps come in different sizes and shapes.

We are going to list down the different types of Pneumatic Pumps

  • Pneumatic Diaphragm Pumps – The fluid is moved by a piston mechanism through a cylindrical chamber in a diaphragm pump. Systems such as this use pneumatic, hydraulic, electric or steam drives to operate. Plungers or pistons move media through cylindrical chambers via a plunger or piston mechanism. Various drive systems can be used, including electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, and steam.
  • Pneumatic Liquid Pumps – These pumps are used for the purpose of transferring liquid, these are basically normal water pumps that are mostly used for small or residential purposes

Use Case of Pneumatic Liquid Pumps

There are many uses of Pneumatic Liquid Pumps some of these uses are listed below:

  • Lubrication
  • Reclamation of LPG
  • Jacking and Lifting
  • Pressing Isostatic
  • Hydraulic unit of power
  • Hydraulic Cylinder Actuation
  • Levelling of Gun turret
  • Clamping
  • Calibration
  • Crimping
  • Flange Spreaders
  • Clampoing
  • Application of break
  • Sampling
  • Power Pressing
  • Holding of work
  • Actuation of Valve
  • Sampling
  • Pneumatic Refrigerant Pumps-  This Pneumatic pump is required to move refrigerant which are used to transfer refrigerants which is basically between two different stage pumps.

Use Case of Refrigerant Pumps

There are many uses of Refrigerant Pumps some of these uses are listed below:

  • Halon Reclaim
  •  Freon Reclaim
  • SF6 Reclaim
  • Refrigerant Reclaims
  • Refrigerant Charging
  • Supercritical extraction
  • Liquefied transfer of gas
  • Pneumatic Vacuum Test Pumps – Pumps of this type are used to test a pneumatic system’s efficiency and effectiveness of a single pneumatic system.

Use Case of Pneumatic Vacuum Test Pumps

There are many uses of Pneumatic Vacuum Test Pumps some of these uses are listed below:

  • Power Generation
  • Beverage and Food
  • Sewage and Water
  • Gas and Oil
  • Petrochemicals
  • Calibration pressure instrument
  • Maintenance pressure instrument
  • Industry of Pharmaceutical

Merits and Demerits of Pneumatic Pumps

Pneumatic pumps use pressurized air to operate, so they are typically less expensive to own than traditional pumps. In addition, chemical waste can be reduced, production can be reduced, program effectiveness can be increased, repairs can be performed faster, energy consumption is reduced, and other related operating expenses can be decreased.

Pumps with diaphragms are capable of handling a variety of fluids, even those containing some solid material. The pump’s construction protects the pistons from corrosion and reduces the risk of seal problems.

Merits of Pneumatic Pumps

There are many merits of Pneumatic pumps, some of which are being listed below

  • Due to the air power, the flow rate is automatically adapted to changes in back pressure which is outlet resistance, makes it suitable for medium viscosities and higher. Centrifugal pumps operate by setting up their working point according to water pressure. A reducer or a frequency converter is required if it is used for fluids with an increased viscosity. Gear pumps also have greater energy efficiency.
  • Due to the impurities in sewage and the complex design of the pipeline, in places of poor construction, such as sewage discharge from construction sites, industrial and mining sites, the electric pump has to work too hard, so the motor is hot and vulnerable to damage. Pumping through particles and adjusting flow rate, and when the pipe is obstructed, the pneumatic diaphragm pump automatically stops the flow so that the pipe is unobstructed.
  • Diaphragm Pneumatic pumps operate reliably and at a low cost in flammable and explosive environments, such as those where fuel, gunpowder, and explosives are used. Firstly, there can be no sparks generated after grounding; secondly, no heat is generated as a result of the work done. There will be no overheating of the machine and a minimal agitation of the fluid by the diaphragm pump.
  • Pneumatic diaphragm pumps are also easy to move due to their small size. There is no foundation required, and it occupies a very small amount of land. In addition to being simple to install, it is economical as well. Pump that can be used for the transfer of materials on the move.
  • The Fluids with relatively unstable chemical properties can be transported with pneumatic diaphragm pumps, such as photosensitive materials and flocculation liquids. Due to the high shear force and little physical impact on the material, the diaphragm pump does not damage the material.
  • By using a pneumatic diaphragm pump in the treatment of hazardous and corrosive materials allows for a complete separation of the material from the atmosphere.
  • A Pneumatic System pump is highly efficient, In order to create pressurized air, a pneumatic pump injects an unlimited amount of air into the atmosphere. Additionally, it is easy to store in large quantities.

Because pressurized air can be easily transported through pipes, it is not limited by distance. Pressurized air can immediately be released into the environment after the operation is complete.

  • Pneumatic System pump have a high adaptability to harsh surroundings, The relatively low corrosive properties of pressurized air make it more suitable for harsh environments than other system components.
  • In addition to groundwater and light remediation, these pumps can also be used for landfill pumping. These pumps are more powerful and reliable than popular airlift models. Pumping more water than airlifts, this model pumps 281 feet deep and 5 gallons per minute, while the 102 model pumps to 119 feet and 10 gallons per minute.
  • The fact that these pumps come in three different sizes with BSP connections and four different sizes with NPT connections is one of the unique advantages of them. The pump’s housing parts are attached with bolts tightened against a ring that resembles a diaphragm. As a result, the pump can transmit the bolt forces evenly onto the housing parts.

Demerits of Pneumatic Pump

Because pneumatics suffer from pressure loss and air compressibility, this actuator is less efficient than others. During operation at a lower pressure, these limitations lead to lower forces and slower speeds. It is essential to size pneumatics specifically for each application in order to maximize their potential. In fact, it can be highly customized to fit only one application, rather than being a drop-in device for everyone.

Pneumatic actuators require proportional regulators and valves in order to perform accurately and efficiently, which can increase their cost and complexity. It is also possible for the air to be contaminated with oils and other lubricants, which can cause downtime and maintenance issues. There are still many companies that purchase compressed air to avoid this particular issue, but the compressor and lines require other maintenance.

  • Because the pneumatic vacuum pumps use small cylinders, they cannot handle heavy loads.
  • Since air compresses easily, this pump’s piston moves at an uneven speed.
  • Compressed air is the power source of the pneumatic system, so its operation is influenced by the compressed air volume. During compression and heating, the amount of air can change, which can affect the delivery of air to the system and reduce its overall accuracy.
  • Dust and water vapor must be removed from compressed air prior to its use. A pneumatic system can wear out quickly if the moving components are not lubricated.
  • When pneumatic components release pressurized air, noise is usually generated.

Define Hydraulic Pump

In hydraulics, mechanical power is converted into hydraulic energy by a pump. The flow is generated enough to overcome the pressure induced by the load, using enough power.

Hydraulic pumps have two functions when they are operating. As a result of its mechanical action, a vacuum is created at the pump inlet, which allows atmospheric pressure to force liquid from the reservoir and pump it out to the pump inlet line. The mechanical action of the pump forces this liquid into the hydraulic system by delivering it to the pump outlet.

Difference between Hydraulic & Pneumatic Pump

Due to the fact that air is cheap, abundant, easy to obtain, and easy to store, pneumatic systems are cheaper than hydraulic systems. Gas is compressible, and pneumatic systems are less likely to be damaged by shocks than hydraulic systems.

By utilizing a central source of compressed air for power, pneumatics is commonly used in factory settings, construction, mills, building, and technology. A dentist’s high-powered drill is another example of pneumatics in the medical field. All forms of transportation could be powered by pneumatics. Bank drive-tellers operate using pneumatics via compressed air at high pressures.

Machines are the most common use of hydraulics in everyday life. The braking system of a car uses hydraulics, for example. Taking a step on the brakes only requires a small amount of force, but since all four pads are equally pressed, a greater amount of force is already being produced to slow or stop a vehicle.

As well as wheelchair lifts, mining arms, metal presses for forging parts, and wing flaps on aircraft, hydraulics are also used in lifting equipment such as drills for digging, diggers, and excavating arms. Heavy equipment is an obvious application of hydraulics.

Problem & Solutions

Is it good for bad for using pneumatic double diaphragm pump?

When air is readily available, and the application characteristics are more suitable for this technology, air-operated double diaphragm pumps are commonly used. The diaphragm pump is an excellent choice if the material is solids, a thicker liquid, self-priming requirements, dry running potential, explosion-proof specs, variable flow rates, shear-sensitive liquids, something submerged, portability requirements, or dead heading is required.

The most common and basic applications include sumps, tanker unloading, and chemical transfer. The technology is also used in industries like carpet manufacturing, paint plants, pharmaceutical facilities, semiconductor, printing, and pumps can be modified to meet each application’s specific requirements while maintaining a long pump life while achieving its flow rate. 

As well to the standard NDP pump lineup, a list of customization options is available, as well as specialty pumps designed for specific applications. In the semiconductor industry, electro-polished and solid PTFE pumps are a couple of examples, as are mechanically actuated XDP valve pumps for filter presses and 2:1 high-pressure designs.  

Why air is used instead of fluid in Pneumatic Pump?

Because pneumatic pump produce less force than hydraulics, they are generally used with smaller loads. Additionally, since air is easy to compress, pneumatic systems can absorb excessive shocks more easily than a fluid.

Which gas is good for Pneumatic pump?

 An air compressor is something like a hand-held pump used to fill a bicycle tire. A pneumatic pump powers exercise equipment like ellipticals and resistance training machines. Air pressure adjusts the resistance of a pneumatic cylinder in these devices.

Can you use Pneumatic Pump in daily life?

 An air compressor is something like a hand-held pump used to fill a bicycle tire. A pneumatic pump powers exercise equipment like ellipticals and resistance training machines. Air pressure adjusts the resistance of a pneumatic cylinder in these devices.


Pneumatic Pump is one of the eco friendly & low cost pump in around the market. Some applications can even incorporate a combination of a variety of power transmission methods, so there is no single best option for all applications for Pneumatic Pump.

Often, fluid power refers to systems used to transfer power from one place to another by simply moving a fluid, in this case a liquid or gas. As a liquid, oil is used, while compressed air is used as a gas. In electrical transmission, the power created to control the motor is relayed, allowing the motor’s speed and torque to be controlled.

FAQs for Pneumatic Pump

How does a Pneumatic Pump works?

It is a branch of technology that uses the force of compressed gases to create mechanical effects. Fluids are moved through piping systems using pneumatic pumps, which use compressed air to create force. These pumps operate much like hydraulic pumps.

Do you need electricity in Pneumatic Pump?

Pneumatic Diaphragm Pumps move media through a cylindrical chamber using a plunger or piston mechanism. The mechanism can be operated by pneumatic, electric, hydraulic, or steam power.

What is the basic principle of Pneumatic Pump?

While pneumatics uses similar principles to hydraulics as well, it transmits power by using a gas instead of a liquid. When specialist applications call for nitrogen or other inert gases, compressed air is often used. An air compressor is used with pneumatics to pump air into a receiver.


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