What is a Rotary Blower?

Patrick Roland
Patrick Roland
Man with a drill
Man with a drill

A rotary blower is a popular method for pumping liquids, powders and gases for industrial purposes. There are several types of blowers, but each utilizes centrifugal force in order to aid pumping. These inventive machines are an important part of many utilities and productions that help everyday life.

Rotary blowers feature two to three spinning rotation devices known as lobes that help create compression. These figure-eight shaped, smooth gears turn within a metal housing and create pockets of air that develop a vacuum effect. Every rotary blower has an input and output tube for whatever material is passing through. The vacuum pressure created sucks the input material into the blower and forces it into the output tube and through the tube until it reaches its destination. Blowers come in many sizes and strengths to accommodate different needs.

A rotary blower primarily is used to transport liquids, gases and powders. There are three basic types of blowers, including the roots rotary blower, the rotary lobe blower and the rotary positive blower. Each is used for different means and offers distinct advantages over the others.

A roots rotary blower is one of the most commonly known types, especially to automobile enthusiasts. Featuring twin lobe rotation, this blower is commonly found in engines to provide more horsepower. This blower type focuses on providing a larger amount of oxygen to the engine, thus increasing combustion and providing an automobile with more power and speed. Though this is a sought-after element for many engines, it is the least fuel-efficient type of blower and is known to get quite hot during use.

Rotary lobe blowers are another commonly used type of rotary blower, but most people never see them in action. One of the biggest uses of this type of machine is in water processing plants. These strong, silent suction devices are used, for example, in transporting a collection of water into a treatment plant for filtration. These are known to be among the largest blowers in use.

Rotary positive blowers are among the most delicate types of blower. This stems from the primary use as a pneumatic transport for powders and grainy materials. These blowers are commonly found in production and manufacturing facilities that deal with fine elements that must be kept in a controlled environment. An example of this type of blower would be a flour company moving the white powder from storage to the packaging stage.

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Discussion Comments


I maintain rotary vane blowers for a large food manufacturing company. The factory makes bread, pasta, and other grain products, so we have several of them through out the buildings. They do a really good job of moving the product around, but they are definitely cranky.

You have to keep careful watch on the adjustment of everything, fluid levels, and operating temp. That only makes sense, though, when you have a machine moving around so much tonnage every day.


The factory where I work has a centrifugal blower as part of the material transport system. We move a huge amount of product every shift, and this is the quickest way we've found to do it. The old system was a lot slower, and we've really increased productivity since the update. I don't even want to know what it cost, though.


I had a blower on my old Chevy Barracuda. It made an insane difference in the level of power. With that thing turned on, the car really wasn't even safe to drive at top speed. We usually took it to the track to do stuff like that.

It's funny how such a simple idea, forcing more air into the engine, can make such a difference in the performance. It also turned it into a complete gas hog. Miles per gallon was never that car's strong suit in the first place, but it went down to only 8 or 9 mpg with the blower engaged. Not what you'd call a daily driver.

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