Vacuum tanks are pressure vessels used to store liquid or act as reservoirs for systems where large quantities of liquids must be moved in sealed and protected environments.
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Vacuum Pump Design
Vacuum tanks are always accompanied by pumps that generate the pressure that is required to create a vacuum. Vacuum pumps come in many different sizes and strengths. Some, for example, are so large that they require a separate system to power them, while others are small enough that they can be powered by the vehicle in which they sit. Regardless, vacuum tanks and vacuum pumps serve three main types of vacuum systems. These three systems are the eductor vacuum system, the direct vacuum system, and the centrifugal vacuum system. The first vacuum system is the oldest and is generally used on small diameter, thin wall tubing. To work, eductor vacuums use a centrifugal pump, which transfers pressurized water through a venture eductor, where it creates a vacuum. Next, direct vacuum systems are used with large profile, heavy wall tubing. Direct vacuums operate by pulling liquid and/or air directly through the vacuum pump into the tank. Lastly, centrifugal blower vacuum systems, which work on a closed loop, are designed for tight tolerances. Centrifugal blower vacuum systems, as one might guess, use a blower. In this case, the blower creates a vacuum inside the reservoir by operating in reserve. Meanwhile, to move liquids and gasses to the upper tank from the reservoir, a tubing system connects them.
Manufacturing Vacuum Tanks
To work properly, be reliable, and remain watertight, the walls of vacuum tanks must be constructed from a strong and corrosion resistant material. Therefore, vacuum tank walls are most often made from aluminum, carbon steel, galvanized steel, or stainless steel. For a boost in durability, vacuum tanks may have double walls. Also, in order to enhance the strength of the vessel and prevent it from springing a leak, the galvanized walls of a tank are often dipped into molten zinc, which leaves a strengthening film on the metal. In addition, some vacuum tanks, particularly those that are very heavy or lay on their side, may require interior or exterior braces or supports to ensure that the pressure of the liquid inside does not cause the tank to collapse. Vacuum tanks are formed via welding, forging, or brazing. All of these processes involve heating metal until it is molten and then joining the ends of different pieces to create one new piece. These methods are ideal because tanks are usually too big to be extruded and because they require less tooling. They also help ensure that tank walls are smooth and without grooves or imperfections, aside from the seam where the metal parts were originally joined.
Applications of Vacuum Tanks
Because they are commonly used as the holding tank for liquid that has been sucked out of an area by a liquid vacuum system, vacuum tanks are, by necessity, generally portable. When portable, they may often be found in the back of a vehicle like a truck. Trucks with vacuum tanks and vacuum pumps on their back end are sometimes known as vacuum trucks or vacuum tankers. In the case that a vacuum tank is not portable, it can likely be found standing in a manufacturing or factory setting. Other areas in which either portable or standalone vacuum tanks can be found include: campgrounds, construction sites, and molten steel refineries. Also, they are quite popular for use with applications including agricultural processes like vegetable harvesting and manure spreading, industrial liquids, grease trap services, molten steel refineries, portable toilet services, and septic system maintenance. As you can infer, these pressure tanks may be used to store a myriad of liquids and fluids, among them water, oil, molten metals, and sewage.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Vacuum Tank
Vacuum tanks, like other high pressure vessels, can be custom finished using a variety of different secondary processing procedures. Strength and resistance building modifications can be especially beneficial to tanks that are attached to vehicles for substance clearing applications. Also, depending on their application, vacuum tanks, which are measured in gallons, can vary greatly in size. To maintain the health and usefulness of a vacuum tank, tank owners must take care to clean the vessel between storing and/or processing thoroughly. Owners should also note that, in order to avoid injury or property damage, they must never operate vacuum tanks or any other pressure vessels that are corroded or otherwise damaged. Because of the pressure built up inside them, a damaged tank could explode or spew shrapnel. For more safety tips and how to properly care for a vacuum tank, reach out to an experienced tank manufacturer today.