Gear pumps uses the meshing of gears to pump fluid by displacement. Gear pumps use a set of rotating gears to control the melt pressure and output volume to the die within very tight tolerances (< 1%) with little or no pulsation of the melt flow. This isolates the die from any upstream fluctuation such as surging in the screw area due to material or machine variations.
Gear pumps can also be used to raise the melt pressure. This will lower the screw pressure, the melt temperature and potentially increase the output of the extruder.
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As the gears rotate they separate on the intake side of the pump, creating a void and suction which is filled by fluid. The fluid is carried by the gears to the discharge side of the pump, where the meshing of the gears displaces the fluid. The mechanical clearances are small— in the order of 10 μm. The tight clearances, along with the speed of rotation, effectively prevent the fluid from leaking backwards.
The rigid design of the gears and houses allow for very high pressures and the ability to pump highly viscous fluids.