What are Advantages and Applications of Bucket Elevators

Designed for vertical or high-lift conveying of large quantities of materials, bucket elevators or bucket conveyors are widely used across various industries including glass, cement, biomass, power generation, and so on. They are used for picking up various materials from the ground and elevating them to different heights. Bucket elevators can also be used for horizontal transport of material as per the application requirement.

A bucket elevator unit or grain leg unit features a series of buckets that are attached to a rotating chain or a belt with pulleys at both places – top and bottom. Buckets are filled with bulk materials like grains, fertilizers, woodchips, coal and so on, at the bottom of the elevator and then moved to the desired point. Once the bucket reaches the point, it discharges the content and returns to the initial point.

Bucket elevators have low driving power, which give them an edge over other conveyor types. Weight of loaded bucket assembly on either side of conveyor, keeps the system in balance, resulting in low power usage. They’re generally enclosed to protect the internal parts & make use of stainless steel fasteners to prevent rusting & corrosion.

Bucket elevators are available in different configurations to efficiently handle free-flowing and dry materials.

Would you like to know how bucket elevators are categorized? What benefit they offer or what are the applications of bucket elevators? This post discusses the same.

What are the Different Types of Bucket Elevators?

Bucket elevators, also known as bucket conveyors, are available in various configurations. The choice of the elevator for your application will vary on the basis of your conveyance requirements. These bucket conveyors are mainly categorized into these 3 types:

    Centrifugal Bucket Elevators

  1. Centrifugal Bucket Elevators: These types of bucket elevators are used to move bulk materials. The buckets in these elevators serve as the loading apparatus. The materials are picked up by buckets as they pass under the boot pulley or sprocket. And, then centrifugal force at the pulley head ejects material from the buckets into the discharge chute. In these elevators, the buckets are mounted at specific intervals to prevent discharge interference from other buckets, which are operated at pretty high speeds. These types of bucket conveyors work great with materials such as grains, clay, gravel, finished cement and dry chemicals, as well as woodchips. Centrifugal bucket elevators are considered ideal for conveying all those free flow bulk materials, where fragility may not a severe issue.
  2. Continuous Bucket Elevator

  3. Continuous Bucket Elevators: These elevators are specially designed to handle materials which are fragile, and needs to be handled with maximum care to avoid damage or degradation. They also work well with harsh abrasive or sluggish materials, too. Continuous bucket elevators are mainly used to convey light materials whose aeration should be avoided. Materials are added to the bucket through the inlet chute. Unlike centrifugal bucket elevators, in these elevators, the buckets are positioned closely on the belt and they travel at relatively slow speed. This helps prevent materials from spilling out. This elevator system allows more material processing per rotations. If you wish to convey a bulk material using this method, then you require to use angular or horizontal assembly.
  4. Positive Discharge Bucket Elevators

  5. Positive Discharge Bucket Elevators: These are similar to centrifugal bucket elevators, and are ideal for conveying food grade material. Positive discharge bucket elevators are best for the material, which does stick on the sides of bucket. Positive discharge bucket elevators rotate at slower rate and the bucket discharge is performed using mechanical tripping. The mechanical tripping helps ensure flipping of bucket.

How much is the material handling capacity of Bucket Conveyors?

The material handling capacity of bucket conveyors depends upon throughput rate. The material handling capacity of bucket elevators depends on the quantity of material being conveyed, size & design of buckets, number of buckets per foot & its operating speed.

What are the Benefits Offered by Bucket Conveyors?

A bucket elevator offers various advantages. Some of the important ones are:

  • Bucket conveyors can handle a wide variety of materials. Due to this reason, they are constructed using durable materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and so on, which offer resistance against abrasion. The sturdy design structure allows them to elevate in all types of weather conditions.
  • The completely enclosed design of these elevators helps protect the fragile & light materials from external impurities and dust.
  • They are known for carrying free flow materials with poor flow characteristics.
  • They have the best ability to transport supplies in various directions while enduring quality and long lasting strength.
  • They are cost-effective, risk-free and available in different sizes as well as shapes.

What are the Applications of Bucket Elevators?

Bucket elevators are easy to use and are designed to handle various materials across various industrial facilities. The following are a few common materials conveyed using bucket elevators.

  • Woodchips
  • Aggregates
  • Animal Feeds
  • Minerals
  • Fertilizers
  • Lime

What are the Maintenance requirement for Bucket Elevators?

Bucket elevators require regular periodic cleaning, component lubrication and tensioning when it comes to maintenance. Cleaning of conveying bucket is crucial to avoid accumulation of fine particles. Deposition of fine particles can lead to damaged buckets or even failure of conveyor gears like chain. Lubrication and tensioning process depends on bucket elevator design. Bucket elevators, which make use of heavy chains, require periodic lubrication and tensioning.

In short, Bucket conveyors possess a brilliant transporting capacity with minimal maintenance rate. They are durable and convey materials smoothly and quickly. Are you planning to invest in a good quality new or used bucket conveyors for your facility? If yes, then it is important to source them from leading industry brands such as J&M Industrial. The company provides used bucket elevators in diverse specifications to meet the needs of various industries. These used bucket elevators from industry-leading brands are provided at competitive prices.