Air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps have become more popular in recent years. They are more versatile than you might realize, and they offer a number of unique advantages. However, proper pump selection is a critical step. It’s important to understand how AODD pumps work and determine if one is the right choice for your specific application.
How Does an AODD Pump Work?
An air-operated double-diaphragm pump is a special type of sealless positive displacement (PD) pump. It uses compressed air rather than a traditional motor drive system. Air is forced into one diaphragm to push liquid out. This diaphragm is connected to a shaft that then pulls the opposite diaphragm, thus creating a sealed cavity that draws liquid into the pump. AODD pumps feature a simple, yet ingenious, valve system that alternates suction pressure between the two diaphragms to create a continuous flow.
Benefits of an AODD Pump
AODD pumps offer several distinctive benefits compared to other pump types:
Electricity-Free Operation—Because of the compressed air control, there is no need for an electric motor. This makes them adaptable to different operating conditions and locations where electrical connections may be hazardous. They are extremely energy-efficient, so you can save on electricity or fuel that would be required for most other pumps.
Run-Dry Capabilities—AODD pumps are capable of running dry without causing any damage to the pump or creating any performance issues. You don’t have to worry about priming.
Gentle Processing—Some fluids, solids, and hazardous materials are better pumped with minimal pulsation, mixing, or shearing. AODD pumps move liquids gently through the system thanks to the double-diaphragm design.
Versatility—AODD pumps can handle highly viscous fluids, abrasive slurries, powders, sensitive chemicals, and solids-bearing liquids. They can be used for a broad range of applications.
Durability—AODD pumps are robust and generally quite durable. They are easy to maintain and can provide a longer lifespan than certain other pumps.
Safety—These pumps are safe to operate, especially when dealing with hazardous liquids and materials that might damage other pumps or cause safety issues for your employees or environment.
Disadvantages of an AODD Pump
The benefits listed above are worth knowing, but some downsides to AODD pumps are worth understanding. They are usually best for low-pressure applications; that may be a significant factor to consider when selecting your pump equipment. They can also be a little noisy to operate and prone to icing in extremely cold environments.
Applications for AODD Pumps
AODD pumps are widely used in mining operations for dewatering and dealing with difficult slurries. Here are some of the other industries and applications suited for air-operated double-diaphragm pumps:
• Oil and Gas
• Water and Wastewater Treatment
• Food and Beverage
• Chemical Processing
At DXP Pacific, we have AODD pumps from the world’s leading manufacturers. Our pump experts can determine if an air-operated double-diaphragm pump is the right solution for your application, and we can find the best AODD pump based on your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more.