There are all sorts of different machines in cotton mills and manufacturing plants designed to move goods from point A to point B, but bucket elevators are some of the most commonly used equipment you’ll find. This post will cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bucket elevators.
What is a bucket elevator?
A bucket elevator is a piece of machinery dedicated to the vertical hauling of materials. These machines consist of buckets that carry the materials, a belt that carries the buckets, an engine to drive the belt and various accessories to load and unload materials from the bucket. Bucket elevators are similar to conveyor belts, with the biggest difference being that the materials are moved in buckets rather than being placed directly on the conveyor itself.
How do bucket elevators work?
There are two distinct types of bucket elevators: centrifugal and continuous. Here’s how both types of bucket elevators work:
- Centrifugal bucket elevators: As the name suggests, these bucket elevators employ centrifugal force to send materials out of the buckets as they move over the head or pulley. These machines have wider gaps between the buckets and must operate at high speeds to ensure the buckets are able to easily load and unload the materials.
- Continuous bucket elevators: If you’re moving fragile or abrasive materials or materials that are sluggish when in motion, a continuous bucket elevator is for you. These elevators move at slower speeds, and the buckets are spaced closer together, allowing materials to flow over the backside of the preceding bucket. The buckets on continuous bucket elevators also have extended sides to gently guide materials into the discharge spout.
What are the advantages of bucket elevators?
It’s tough to top bucket elevators when it comes to transporting materials. These are a few of the reasons your facility needs at least one bucket elevator:
- Carry a wide variety of materials: The biggest perk of using a bucket elevator is that it can carry all sorts of different materials. Some common materials include fertilizer, animal feed, coal, woodchips or lime. Sticky materials are the only products bucket elevators can’t carry effectively, because they adhere to the inside of the bucket.
- Enclosed design: Bucket elevators are traditionally enclosed machines, so they can operate all year long in any weather conditions. Along with protecting your materials from the elements, the enclosed design helps reduce wear and tear caused by the elements.
- Cost-effective solutions: Bucket elevators are also great because they don’t cost a ton of money to operate. Once you have your bucket elevator installed, you can trust that it’ll run as it should for years without requiring expensive repairs.
Let us handle your bucket elevator needs
Now that you know what a bucket elevator is, it’s time to hire a company to design your bucket elevator or make repairs. Turn to M.B. McKee Company, Inc.—we specialize in all things related to bucket elevators, and we have decades of experience working on them. Contact us today to get an estimate for bucket elevator work.
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