Blackmer Technology

Your Pump Questions Answered

Get in-depth information about Blackmer pump and compressor technologies while learning why our solutions are the ideal choice to help solve your most critical fluid-handling applications.

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Blackmer Products

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Blackmer® is the leading global provider of innovative, high-quality sliding vane, centrifugal, screw and regenerative turbine pump, and reciprocating gas compressor technologies for the safe transfer of liquids and gases.

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Sliding Vane Pumps

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Blackmer Markets

Providing Innovative Product-Transfer Solutions for a Variety of Markets and Applications

Blackmer provides innovative product transfer solutions for many markets and applications, including in the chemical process, energy, transport, military & marine; general industrial, and oil & gas industries.

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Rotary Vane Technology Founder & Leader

Robert Blackmer revolutionized the pumping industry in 1899 when he invented the positive displacement (PD) rotary vane pump, also commonly known as the sliding vane pump. Featuring unique sliding vane pump technology, this revolutionary rotary vane pump design allows the pump to self-adjust for wear to help maintain flow rates. This design results in a variety of operational enhancements such as excellent self-priming and dry run capabilities, while also providing a sustained performance and trouble-free operation.

Rotary vane pumps are ideally suited for a wide array of markets, including chemical process, energy, transport, military & marine, general industry, and oil & gas. These positive displacement pumps are designed to handle a range of low- to medium-viscosity fluids, including those at high temperatures, non-lubricating fluids such as alcohols and gasoline, and liquids that contain gas/vapor content or liquids containing suspended solids.

Rotary Vane Pump Interactive Tool

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Blackmer Rotary Vane Pump Innovation

As the leading global provider of innovative, high-quality rotary vane pump technologies, Blackmer offers a wide range of solutions from rotary vane hand pumps and stainless-steel vane pumps to magnetic drive pumps and bronze pumps for the military. Our product breadth extends from 1- to 8-inch sizes and even 10-inch pumps. In addition, we offer a variety of complete Engineered Package Solutions that feature fully skidded vane pumps that include the baseplate, gearbox, motor and pump.

The Blackmer reputation for unparalleled product performance, innovation, and a commitment to total customer satisfaction has led to an expansive product breath of rotary vane pumps that include:

By leveraging our design, engineering and applications resources, along with our extensive research and testing capabilities, Blackmer is a product development powerhouse. Among our landmark innovations that set the standard in fluid-handling operations, are:

Rotary Vane Pump Flow

How Do Rotary Vane Pumps Work

Rotary vane pumps work by using a rotor with sliding vanes that draw the liquid in behind each vane, through the inlet port and into the pumping chamber. As the rotor turns, the liquid is transferred between the vanes to the outlet where it is discharged as the pumping chamber is squeezed down. Each vane provides a positive mechanical push to the liquid before it.

Vane contact with the chamber wall is maintained by three forces: (1) centrifugal force from the rotor’s rotation, (2) push rods moving between opposing pairs of vanes, and (3) liquid pressure entering through the vane grooves and acting on the rear of the vanes.

Each revolution of a rotary vane pump displaces a constant volume of fluid. Variance in pressure has minimal effect. Energy-wasting turbulence and slippage are minimized and high volumetric efficiency is maintained.

Advantages Of Rotary Vane Pumps

Blackmer Rotary Vane Pumps provide numerous inherent advantages for greater performance capabilities, longer service life and a wider range of process applications.

  • Unique sliding vane pump design self-adjusts for wear to maintain flow rates
  • Excellent at self-priming, eliminates expensive priming systems
  • Extended dry-run capability, eliminates nuisance current monitoring systems
  • Rotary vane pump design provides sustained performance and trouble-free operation
  • Easy maintenance: vanes can be easily replaced without removing the pump from the piping system
  • High suction lift abilities that exceed 25 feet (7.6 meters) and line-stripping capabilities to completely empty tanks, and piping of fluid
  • Low maintenance and low life-cycle costs, vane pumps are renewable and repairable
  • Solids handling, provided by large displacement and slow internal velocities
  • Thin to thick fluid viscosity flexibility, eliminates expensive heating systems
  • Highly efficient, sliding vane pumps require less horsepower than other pumps, meaning spending less on motors initially and less on electricity to power the pump
  • Cavitation/Noise Suppression Liner that minimizes the effects of cavitation on the pump and piping system while at the same time reducing noise levels up to 15 dbA.

Rotary Vane Pump Applications

  • Fuel and Light Oil Transfer
  • Lubrication
  • Gasoline/Petroleum
  • LPG/Propane
  • Chemical Handling
  • Alcohols and Solvents
  • Bitumen Transfer
  • High-Temperature Fluids
  • Liquefied Gases
  • Aerosol and Propellants
  • Paints, Inks and Coating

For a detailed chemical compatibility guide that showcases the best Blackmer models for each chemical, visit our online Chemical Compatibility Guide.

Design Benefits of Rotary Vane Pumps

Vane wear graphic

Rotary vane pumps are designed with unique self-adjusting vanes that allow them to maintain near-original volumetric performance during the life of the pump — meaning these pumps are not subject to efficiency-robbing slip that occurs from wear in gear and lobe pumps.

In addition, sliding vane pump technology is designed around the bearings and seals, so they offer longer life and greater product loss prevention than other technologies. Therefore, by virtue of design, positive displacement rotary vane pumps are ideal for handling expensive, fine chemicals and fragrances where other pumps may experience seal difficulty.

Blackmer Rotary Vane Pumps

Rotary Vane Pumps Vs. Other Pump Technologies

While users have a number of pump options – such as gear, centrifugal, piston, screw, diaphragm and plunger – that meet many application requirements, sliding vane pumps provide significant operational and design advantages that make them the best choice to get the job done in a wide array of markets. These advantages include a rotary vane pump’s ability to self-adjust for wear to help maintain flow rates, high suction lift, efficient operation, excellent self-priming and dry run capabilities, and low maintenance.

Blackmer Chart

Rotary Vane Pumps Vs. Gear Pumps

While the rotary vane pump and internal/external gear pump operating principles have set the standard in reliable, efficient and safe positive displacement pump operation for centuries, rotary vane pumps will functionally outperform their gear pump cousins in a number of important ways. These include volumetric consistency over the life of the pump, component lifespan, ability for dry-run operation, relief valve cracking pressure, and compatibility with viscous and solids-laden liquids.

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Sliding Vane Pumps Vs Gear Pumps

Rotary Vane Pumps Vs. Centrifugal Pumps

Rotary vane pumps hold many advantages over centrifugal pumps in the areas of maintaining flow rates and optimizing energy efficiency – especially if the application requires the handling of non-abrasive liquids at temperatures less than 500°F (260°C) and with viscosities less than 22,500 cP.

Centrifugal pump diagram

Blackmer Rotary Vane Pump Testing

Every Blackmer Rotary Vane Pump is tested before leaving our facility. This is done to ensure that the Blackmer Rotary Vane Pump you receive meets all the exacting standards and expectations you have for your Blackmer Pump. Here are the tests that we run, and why we run them:

  • Dry Vacuum – Confirms that the pump will produce excellent vacuum to ensure pump performance for suction lift, self-prime, line stripping, and product-recovery capabilities.
  • Relief Valve Setting – Blackmer adjusts the stud to achieve a reliable pressure setting for every pump. This means the valves are set to known and reliable settings, ensuring proper expected flow rate and preventing accidental pressure build-up.
  • Hydrostatic Testing – By testing the whole pump, Blackmer certifies that the pumps are leak-tight. Hydrostatic testing also provides additional benefits by providing some residual corrosion inhibitor in the pump’s internal components, which inhibits rusting before the pump is installed.
  • Flow Requirement Testing – Blackmer pumps that feature liners are all tested to verify the pumps meet the specified flow requirements of that model.

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    Screen test of noise output