There are many different types of vacuum pumps out there, and you may have heard of oil-free vacuum pumps as being an interesting type of technology. But what is it, and how is it special? Read on to find out more.

What Are Oil-Free Vacuum Pumps?

By definition, vacuum pumps that operate without oil rely instead on a dry lubricant, such as carbon and P.T.F.E. This dry lubrication works the same way as oil to reduce the friction between the engines core parts, especially the piston rings, skirts and the casing enclosure. Air flow is critical to the design on the pump and its efficiency. Other factors to consider are its overall pressure outcomes, the displacement, maximum duty, overall horsepower, noise limitations, physical dimensions, and the overall costs involved. A good pump would weave all of these factors together in the best possible way.

Applications In Industry

In the past, oil-free pumps were only used in the medical industry, as it was important to have uncontaminated air in medical applications. This requirement is so stringent that even oil sealed pumps are unable to guarantee this level of contamination-free air. As there is no oil in the system, these pumps are naturally safer to use.

In recent times, however, there has been increased interest in the use of oil-free pumps in the semi-conductor and coating industries. In addition, the scientific community has placed greater importance on oil-free pumps as well, in particular for applications where they deal with sensitive instruments and experiments.


  • Due to lower foreline pressure than their oil based cousins, oil-free vacuum pumps have improved performance
  • No danger of oil contamination interfering with the processes
  • Odor-free compared to the traditional pumps which would emit strong oil smells
  • Cost savings on oil filtration parts as they are no longer necessary
  • Less mess and no oil spillage, much easier to clean
  • Less frequent maintenance needed as these pumps can be safely operated as full speed with little user intervention
  • Lightweight and portable, and hence the perfect choice for companies requiring to transport their vacuum pumps
  • As there are no hydrocarbons produced in the operation of such pumps, they are environmentally friendly and compliant to environmental regulations


  • Likely to get very hot over time, due to the lack of fluids involved which also act as a coolant
  • Casing to the core parts of the pump which are usually designed to contact heat away to the air around the external surface of the jacket may fail due to inefficient cooling system
  • Pumps which are better designed to handle excess heat and a wide range of varied temperatures are consequently highly limited when it comes to handling slags and other types of contamination


Oil-free vacuum pumps are becoming more popular these days, as requirements for industrial application compliance becomes stricter, and people are starting to do more and more sensitive tasks that cannot be carried out if there is any form of contamination. If you are looking for an oil-free vacuum pump for your company, visit our catalogue to discover the options available for you. You may also view other vacuum pumps available to make comparisons for yourself, or contact us for a consultation.