Hydraulic Vane Motors

Figure 4-11 shows a vane-type motor. Flow from the pump enters the inlet, forces the rotor and vanes to rotate, and passes out through the outlet. Motor rotation causes the output shaft to rotate. Since no centrifugal force exists until the motor begins to rotate, something, usually springs, must be used to initially hold the vanes against the casing contour. However, springs usually are not necessary in vane-type pumps because a drive shaft initially supplies centrifugal force to ensure vane-to-casing contact.

Vane motors are balanced hydraulically to prevent a rotor from side-loading a shaft. A shaft is supported by two ball bearings. Torque is developed by a pressure difference as oil from a pump is forced through a motor. Figure 4-12 shows pressure differential on a single vane as it passes the inlet port. On the trailing side open to the inlet port, the vane is subject to full system pressure. The chamber leading the vane is subject to the much lower outlet pressure. The difference in pressure exerts the force on the vane that is, in effect, tangential to the rotor. This pressure difference is effective across vanes 3 and 9 as shown in Figure 4-13. The other vanes are subject to essentially equal force on both sides. Each will develop torque as the rotor turns. Figure 4-13 shows the flow condition for counterclockwise rotation as viewed from the cover end. The body port is the inlet, and the cover port is the outlet. Reverse the flow, and the rotation becomes clockwise.

In a vane-type pump, the vanes are pushed out against a cam ring by centrifugal force when a pump is started up. A design motor uses steel-wire rocker arms (Figure 4-14) to push the vanes against the cam ring. The arms pivot on pins attached to the rotor. The ends of each arm support two vanes that are 90 degrees apart. When the cam ring pushes vane A into its slot, vane B slides out. The reverse also happens. A motor’s pressure plate functions the same as a pump’s. It seals the side of a rotor and ring against internal leakage, and it feeds system pressure under the vanes to hold them out against a ring. This is a simple operation in a pump because a pressure plate is right by a high-pressure port in the cover.

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