Exploring the components, function and Types of Oil Pumps: Comprehensive guide

Last updated on March 19th, 2024 at 11:30 pm

The unsung equipment heroes are oil pumps, which quietly provide vital lubrication, ensuring durability and smooth operation. These pumps are essential to operating industrial machinery and automobile engines because they circulate oil to different parts while lowering friction, releasing heat, and averting wear and tear.

In this extensive blog, we’ll dive into the complex inner workings of oil pumps, looking at their many uses, kinds, and parts that make them function.

Types of Oil Pumps

How Does the Oil Pump Work?

Positive displacement is the basis for how oil pumps work. They create flow by trapping and pushing a certain fluid volume into the system. They usually consist of rotating gears, rotors, or lobes inside a casing that draws in oil by producing a vacuum and then forces it into the necessary components. This constant circulation keeps everything lubricated and guarantees peak efficiency.

Oil Pump Functions

Oil pumps are essential for many mechanical systems, including industrial machinery and automobile engines. To appreciate the significance of oil pumps in preserving the longevity and performance of equipment, one must thoroughly understand their operations. The following are the main purposes of oil pumps:

Lubrication: Oil pumps’ main job is to keep the moving elements of engines and other machinery adequately lubricated. In order to minimize wear and tear and reduce friction between components, lubrication is essential. By avoiding metal-to-metal contact and supplying oil to critical areas like bearings, pistons, and camshafts, oil pumps increase the lifespan of componentry.

Heat Dissipation: By reducing friction, oil pumps help to dissipate heat generated during mechanical operation. Heat is transferred throughout the system by oil from moving components like the engine block or gearbox.

This heat is then transferred by the oil to colder areas or the oil cooler, where it may evaporate into the surrounding atmosphere. The system is prevented from overheating and optimal operating temperatures are maintained via effective heat dissipation.

Cooling: Oil pumps may help engine parts cool by taking heat out of hot places. For instance, in automobile engines, oil is injected into the cylinder heads, cylinder walls, and pistons, where it absorbs heat from combustion. After that, the oil flows to the cooler to dissipate heat before returning to the engine. By preventing thermal damage, this cooling action aids in keeping the engine’s temperature within safe bounds.

Removal of Contaminants: Oil pumps help to keep oil clean by passing it through a filtering system. Sludge, metal fragments, and other impurities are often eliminated from oil through external filtering systems or built-in filters in many oil pumps.

Oil pumps stop abrasive particles from cycling through the system and damaging components by filtering out contaminants. Additionally, clean oil increases lubrication effectiveness and extends equipment life.

Pressure Control: To maintain ideal lubrication and functionality, oil pumps assist in controlling the oil pressure inside the system. Oil pump designs frequently include pressure relief valves to stop excessive pressure buildup.

The relief valve opens, enabling extra oil to escape the pump and return to the reservoir when the pressure reaches a preset level. This keeps gaskets, seals, and other parts from damaging and guarantees constant oil pressure.

Maintenance of Fluid Film: Oil pumps help to keep a fluid film between moving components, further minimizing wear and friction. Oil circulates continuously, forming a lubricating coating that separates metal surfaces, minimizing frictional forces and preventing direct contact. Fluid film lubrication is crucial for smooth operation and damage prevention, especially in high-speed or high-load applications.

Learn About the Components of the Oil Pump 

To comprehend how oil pumps operate, it is essential to disassemble them into their component parts:

Housing: The external casing that houses the internal components of the oil pump. The housing provides structural support and helps keep the oil inside the pump confined.

Gears and rotors: The main revolving parts that draw in and release oil are gears and rotors. In gear pumps, interlocking gears rotate inside the housing; in other pump types, rotors or lobes provide the same function.

Ports: The ports that allow oil to enter and exit the pump are called inlet/outlet ports. Oil can enter and exit the pump through the intake port, moving the oil in the direction of the portions that need lubricating.

Drive Shaft: This part uses the engine or motor’s rotational power to power the pump. When the driving shaft is attached to the pump, the rotors or gears rotate, creating an oil flow.

Seals and gaskets: These parts are necessary to keep the pump assembly intact and stop oil leaks. Seals are placed at several locations throughout the pump to provide a tight seal, while gaskets provide further protection against leakage.

Bearings: Bearings support the pump’s spinning shaft and enable smooth spinning, which lowers friction and increases the pump’s lifespan and overall effectiveness.

Filter: A filter is often included into an oil pump to filter out debris and impurities before the oil is circulated throughout the system. This protects fragile components and maintains the quality of the oil.

Varieties of Oil Pumps

There are several varieties of oil pumps, and each is appropriate for a particular set of circumstances and purposes.

Gear pumps is one of the most basic and often used kinds of oil pumps. As they revolve, their interconnecting gears produce suction and discharge oil. Gear pumps work well in situations requiring low to moderate pressure and are reasonably priced.

Gerotor pumps combine the concepts of the gear and rotor to provide smoother, more efficient operation. These pumps are frequently used in hydraulic systems and automobile engines, where exact lubrication is essential.

Vane pumps create flow by sweeping oil with moving vanes or blades. They are widely renowned for their silent operation, great efficiency, and versatility in handling different viscosity fluids. Vane pumps are frequently used when efficiency and noise level are important factors.

Centrifugal pumps employ centrifugal force to generate a vacuum in the center, which drives oil outward. This is how they operate differently from positive displacement pumps. Large-scale industrial applications requiring high flow rates frequently employ these pumps.

Final Words

The foundation of any machinery, oil pumps provide appropriate lubrication and effective performance in a variety of settings. Operators can preserve the functionality and longevity of equipment by being aware of its kinds, functions, and components.

The significance of oil pumps, whether they are centrifugal pumps in industrial plants or gear pumps in automobile engines, cannot be emphasized. Oil pumps will continue to be essential for many years to come in keeping machinery operating properly with the right upkeep and care.

Many industries use Wattco products to achieve their environmental, economic, and production goals. Contact us to discover which products will best help your application and how we can customize it to meet your needs.


At Wattco, we have a dedicated team of experts ready to provide you with the answers and assistance you need. Whether you're a seasoned professional looking for technical specifications or in maintenance inquiring about our products, our team of knowledgeable professionals is here to help.