The Origin of the Air-Operated Double Diaphragm Pump

Pumps have come a long way since 2000 BC, when the Egyptians invented a simple device for fetching water called a shadoof. The shadoof was made out of a bucket, a rod and a weight. Though not a mechanical marvel, the shadoof is generally accepted as the first pump and would serve as the only pump design until 200 BC, when the building blocks to what would eventually become the air-operated double diaphragm pump were being formed.

Air-Operated Double Diaphragm PumpsIn Greece, Archimedes and Ctesibius created the Archimedean screw pump and the reciprocating pump. In Italy, Agostino Ramelli created a design that would one day become the sliding vane water pump. In Germany, Otto von Guericke would create the piston vacuum pump. In France, Denis Papin would create the centrifugal pump. By the time the 18th century was at an end, Daniel Bernoulli would document and collate the various methods of energy conversion related to fluid flow in his work Hydrodynamica.

The 19th century would be a fruitful one, with more advances in technology than the previous twenty centuries combined. One of the hugest was the first pump made totally of metal. Next would be the crew pump, the prototypical design for steam-pumping engines used by the US Navy. Next would come the vane pump, the hand wing pump, and finally the creation of the first diaphragm pump. Companies would be established and produce an environment of competition, virtually guaranteeing that even more advances would appear in short order.

In 1905, Two Goulds Pumps would lift water to a height of 118 metres in New York. Soon thereafter, the first underwater electric motor and the first underwater sewage pumping station would be created. The nutating pump would be created for those in the healthcare industry and the first digitally controlled, high-pressure pumps would appear.

In 1955, Jim Wilden would finally create the first air-operated double diaphragm pump. It was designed then, as it is today, mainly for the mining and heavy construction industries. In the 1980’s, Wilden would find a way to build his pumps out of hard plastic to avoid the corrosion that inevitably happened with metal pumps.

For more information on air-operated double diaphragm or any other pumps, call Pump Solutions Australasia: 1300 922 973.