How Does a Bucket Elevator Work?
A bucket elevator is one of the most common types of industrial conveyors and is utilized by companies in a wide array of industries. When large quantities of bulk material need to be moved vertically in an efficient and reliable manner, a bucket elevator is often the best option. In this article, we will explain how exactly bucket elevators work and discuss some of the applications for which they are popular.
The Mechanics of Bucket Elevators
A bucket elevator, or bucket conveyor, is made up of several buckets that are attached to a rotating chain or belt. They pick up the material that needs to be moved at the bottom, carry it up the conveyor, and dump it at the top. The bucket then returns to the bottom and picks up another load, and so on. The specific type and design of a bucket elevator is determined by the type of material that needs to be moved and the environment in which it will operate. There are three configuration options to choose from: continuous, centrifugal, and high-speed.
Continuous Bucket Elevators
Continuous bucket elevators are usually the choice when material needs to be moved at a low speed. The buckets are usually close together so material can spill over from to another. They can operate on a belt, single chain, or double chain, and are ideal for fragile or abrasive materials that need extra care.
Centrifugal Bucket Elevators
Centrifugal bucket elevators operate on a belt or single chain and feature buckets that are spaced further apart. They move at a faster speed than continuous bucket elevators and utilize centrifugal force to expel the material from the bucket. They can move higher volumes of material and are ideal for a wide variety of applications.
High-Speed Bucket Elevators
High-speed bucket elevators are designed to handle extremely large loads of free-flowing material. They operate on a belt and often include several rows of specially designed buckets. The speeds can typically be twice that of the centrifugal type elevator.
Industries & Applications
Because of their adaptability, bucket elevators are popular in a wide array of industries, including pulp and paper, cement, agricultural, power and utility, chemical, and more. They are used to move many different materials, including:
- Fly ash
- Pot ash
- Wood chips
Custom-Manufactured Heavy-Duty Bucket Elevators From Materials Handling Equipment
Since 1927, Materials Handling Equipment (MHE) has been manufacturing custom bucket elevators for industrial plants throughout the United States. We are recognized as pioneers in several classes of conveyors, including mill-duty and cement-duty. While many other conveyor manufacturers offer cookie-cutter options, our bucket elevators are custom-manufactured to fit the space they will occupy and the application they will be used for. Additionally, we utilize special wear-resistant alloys and customized components, so our bucket elevators provide decades of reliable service in the most severe environments imaginable. In fact, many of our custom conveyors are still in service more than half a century after delivery.
If you would like to learn more about the custom bucket elevators we manufacture, contact MHE today to schedule a consultation.