What are Turbo pumps and Why are they so Useful?

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Many industries and scientific applications around the world require the use of vacuum pumps to create a vacuum for a variety of purposes. While there are many types of vacuum pumps designed for different compression and vacuum ratios, the most common choice is for situations where high and extremely large vacuums are required and for such a purpose, turbomolecular or turbo pumps like the Agilent Turbo Pumps are the most used. Molecular pumps can create deep vacuums free from molecular contamination. These types of high vacuum applications are often required by industrial units in factories or in scientific research facilities such as CERN and NASA. 

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How Do Turbine Molecular Pumps Work? 

The operation of a turbine molecular pump is a wonder of science. While the mechanism may seem very confusing, it’s actually a pretty straightforward process once you break it down. As the name suggests, the main component of each turbo pump is a turbine that is used to transport air molecules to the exhaust manifold. Usually, another vacuum pump is used first to create a low vacuum, and then a turbo pump is used for the rest.  

A turbofan engine works by directing air into a compressed exhaust manifold. This is achieved by two sets of propellers in the rotating motor. One of the spinning blades is called the rotor, and they continue to rotate at a very high speed, typically up to ninety thousand rpm, although many high-end propellers can spin even higher. Then there is a second set of blades called the stator. They are fixed in place and do not rotate. Both types of propellers are made at an angle to circulate  air.  

Molecular turbine pumps operate by the parallel operation of these motors. Their role is very simple. The blades first pull in nearby air molecules, and as they spin, they give those air molecules extra momentum. The shape and movement of the blades are designed to give  the air molecules momentum to push them out. The second step involves the stators. The stators are close to the rotors so they can catch the circulating air molecules. The stators are shaped to guide the molecules down to the next stage of the rotor. This method is continued iteratively until the final stage, where the air molecules are finally thrown into the exhaust, where a pre-vacuum pump will eventually suck them up. The operation of a low vacuum pump is first required as turbo molecular pumps are not good at handling larger particles that may get stuck between the rotors and stators and not pass into the exhaust as designed.  

High quality turbofan engines can be used to create a wide range of medium to extreme vacuums. They are customizable and can use live sensors to monitor vacuum performance. To save rack space, you can also install additional controls on the side of the pump. Thus, for industries that require high amounts of control, and are limited on space and budget, a turbo pump with its flexibility and adaptability, can prove to be irreplaceable. 

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Molecular Pump Applications: 

Molecular pumps are popular due to their wide range of applications and are used in many industries and situations. Such applications include: 

  1. Analytical Instruments: These are instruments designed for scientific measurement and analysis and include chromatography, titrator, spectrometer, rheometer, and rheometer. Particle size analyzer. Some of them require clearance to operate and are properly calibrated for measurements. 
  2. Mass Spectrometer: Mass spectrometers operating under high vacuum or extremely low pressure are used to measure the mass/charge (m/z) ratio  of single samples or various molecules.  
  3. Scanning Electron Microscopy: High Load/Gas Lock Applications and High Energy Physics 

Molecular pumps come in many specifications, but it’s important that you use the correct type. Second, even if they meet your specifications, it is essential to use pumps that are not only of high quality and capacity, but can also operate with high precision and accuracy. for multiple uses. Keep the maintenance and durability of your turbine molecular pump in mind when you need it. Thus, it is important to find a supplier that not just gives you a turbomolecular pump, but also supports you throughout its life cycle, with the processes of installation and after sales maintenance, and servicing.