Author: Mark A. Johnson
I have been asked many times over the past 12+ years why anyone would want or need to use an Air-Operated Double Diaphragm (AODD) pump, and I reply, “Why wouldn’t anyone want to use one?!” I usually go into my list of multiple reasons why and they look at me as if I just recited them the Declaration of Independence rather than answer their specific question (I often tend to over-explain lots of simple features and benefits). There are lots of great reasons to use AODD pumps, and I want to discuss them while giving real-world examples that tend to get lost in higher-level discussions.
Throughout this series of ‘mini’ articles, I would like to dig deeper into the many reasons for why you should choose an AODD pump and how they apply to your everyday pump selection process.
Do You Have a Compressor?
First and foremost, you must have a compressor as AODD pumps are by definition Air-Operated, Air-Powered, or Air-Driven – depending on where you are in the world. That being said, in general, you will need an industrial-sized compressor to create enough energy to get the pumps to shift or reciprocate in order to get the fluid moving through the pump. A small, garage-sized pump generally cannot create enough energy (rated in SCFM – Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) to cycle the pump as most AODD pumps require 20-30 SCFM to “crack” the pump or make it start shifting (read more on the compressor output requirements in my next article).
The investment in an industrial compressor can sometimes be overwhelming for some smaller companies who want to use very few AODD pumps; so they tend to stick with motor-driven pump technologies. In companies that already have a compressor on-site, it makes sense to include AODD pumps for transferring all kinds of chemicals and fluids. Applications like powering air tools, spraying equipment, or even using a pneumatic impact wrench to change tires at your local auto repair shop where they can also power AODD pumps to transfer windshield washer fluid or antifreeze with the same compressor.
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