The Fundamentals of Bucket Elevators

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The Fundamentals of Bucket Elevators and How They Work

Bucket elevators equipped with Engineered Steel Chain are designed to lift enormous quantities of heavy materials to considerable heights. Thus chain selection is key to the proper functioning of bucket elevators. Chain type is broadly based on the type of bucket elevator. In most applications, straight sidebar, hardened bushed rollerless chains are applied. Offset style sidebar chains have been used for years but with chain manufacturing technology improving, offset chains are far less common for new equipment.

Centrifugal Discharge Elevators

Centrifugal discharge elevators are designed so that the buckets are fed material from the inlet feed chute at the boot section and discharge material via centrifugal force. This style of elevator typically operates at a much higher chain speed, when compared to the other elevator styles, which usually fall in the 220-330 fpm (feet per minute) range. The use of a single strand rollerless chain with a K-style attachment (every 12-18”) is very common in such elevators with attachments ranging from every 2nd pitch to every 4th pitch. Chains which have a roller in this application will become loaded with the conveyed material between the rollers and bushings. The presence of the conveyed material along with any moisture will cause the rollers to cease onto the bushings preventing them from turning.

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