Air pump

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Boyle's air pump

An air pump is a device for pushing air. Examples include a bicycle pump, pumps that are used to aerate an aquarium or a pond via an airstone; a gas compressor used to power a pneumatic tool, air horn or pipe organ; a bellows used to encourage a fire; a vacuum cleaner and a vacuum pump.

Pumps and compressors use very similar mechanisms, and basically perform the same action, but in different fluid regimes. At some point there is a crossover point in terminology, but here are some stereotypes:

• Compressors operate on compressible fluids, typically gases. Pumps operate on fluids, typically liquids, approximated as incompressible.

• Compressors are intended to develop a very high pressure rise against a closed system; pumps are designed to develop relatively little pressure against a free-flowing system with minimal backpressure.

• Pumps are often used in continuous-flow operation, while many lower-end compressors must have intermittent duty cycles.

• Compressors usually have a feedback sensor to shut off when they reach a desired pressure; pumps have a fixed design and operate freely across their performance curve as conditions change

History[edit]

In 1649, Otto von Guericke invented the spool vacuum air pump. This pump was called air pump in 19th century lexicons.[1]

The first effective air pump constructed in England for scientific purposes was made in 1658 by Robert Hooke for Robert Boyle.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brockhaus 1809 Luftpumpe
  2. ^ George Wilson (Jan 15, 1849), "On the Early History of the Air-pump in England", Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh