Bucket conveyors, also called bucket elevator, move the product vertically in buckets that stay level preventing their contents from spilling out.
They keep product contained in discrete units and excel in handling abrasive, free-flowing aggregates. Best for dry, light, or powder material and are typically not used to move wet or sludge-like substances. Typical applications for bucket conveyor are: biomass, cement, glass, paper, coal, ash, grain, and sugar.
The conveyor is loaded with material at the bottom end, or “boot”, and each bucket automatically deposits the product at the top end, also known as the discharge.
There are three types of bucket conveyor: centrifugal, continuous, and positive discharge.
Centrifugal bucket conveyor
Centrifugal bucket conveyors move free-flowing material using centrifugal force. Evenly spaced buckets on a chain dig into the material at the inlet and then throw the material out of the discharge throat. They can operate at up to 350 FPM with a capacity of up to 100 lbs. per cubic foot. Centrifugal bucket conveyors are for higher speed applications and work best with fine material, such as grain, mineral, sugar, and chemicals.
Continuous bucket conveyor
Continuous bucket conveyors are meant to transport fragile or light material. They move at much slower speeds (3-5 feet per second), and there is no gap between buckets to prevent any spillage. The buckets are filled individually at the inlet and when the bucket dumps only gravity acts on the product. They minimize product damage by preventing aeration and can handle fragile or friable products. They can come in many shapes and ratings and can be in an S, Z, or C shape, depending upon need.
Positive discharge conveyor
Positive discharge conveyors are a special kind of centrifugal conveyor. where their buckets pass over an extra sprocket which jolts the material out of the discharge end. They move at slower speeds (2-4 feet per second) which prevents undue spilling and breakage of material. They are most useful in applications such as cereal, nuts, and dried fruit where product integrity is important.
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