Conveying abrasive materials can be challenging due to higher wear and tear on equipment. This accelerated wear can result in unplanned downtime, higher operating costs, and increased replacement parts consumption.
Abrasive materials can be successfully handled by a bucket conveyor (bucket elevator) provided some care is exercised in the design, customization and operation of the equipment. This blog highlights some of these factors.
Critical wear points for a bucket conveyor handling abrasive materials are at the infeed and discharge sections. If abrasive material is dropped into buckets from too great a height, or at too great a speed, excessive wear on the buckets can result. Similarly, at the discharge end of the conveyor, if abrasive material is ejected too forcefully from the buckets, wear of the bucket surfaces can result.
To correct the first condition, careful attention should be paid to how abrasive material is fed into the conveyor. In particular, material should be dropped into the buckets from as low a height as possible to minimize the force of impact.
To address the second condition, it is advisable to run the bucket conveyor at a slower operating speed when handling highly abrasive material. This slower speed will reduce wear and tear on the buckets as material is discharged.
Bucket conveyors which are outfitted with rubber chains, such as those in the TipTrakTM line, are much less susceptible than metal roller chains to the effects of abrasion which results from contact with material. The TipTrakTM rubber beltchain consists of a solid rubber chain with no openings or crevices into which abrasive material can find its way.
Material spillage is another factor which should be considered when selecting a bucket conveyor for abrasive applications. Material that spills from buckets during conveying can deposit onto equipment drive components and parts, causing accelerated wear. TipTrakTM conveyors address this problem through their unique interlocking bucket assembly which virtually eliminates spillage as the material travels through the conveyor.
Bucket conveyors for abrasive materials should be customized to handle the demands of moving harsh substances. For example, TipTrakTM bucket conveyors for abrasive materials are supplied with wear-resistant buckets and drive assembly components. These wear-resistant features minimize the effects of abrasion, promoting increased uptime and less frequent purchases of replacement parts.
UniTrak has proven experience in helping customers to address the challenges associated with conveying abrasive materials. TipTrakTM conveyors have been successfully used in abrasive applications, including handling refractory materials, metal powders, food ingredients, and more. To see a full list of abrasive materials that TipTrakTM conveyors have handled, please visit our abrasive materials page. For more information on how TipTrakTM conveyors can help address your abrasive materials challenges, please contact our sales department.