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Chain Conveyor

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The chain conveyor utilizes endless single or multiple-strand chain traveling along a fixed conveying path. Chain conveyors are generally classified in industry by the manner in which they move loads. Two basic methods are involved:

  • Conveyor chain that carries the material directly
  • Conveyor chain that has attachments that push, scrape, or drag the load

The latter approach is used exclusively in conveyors that handle bulk materials. However, the former method can be utilized by conveyors for both unit and bulk materials. Basic types in this category are listed below:

Slat Conveyors usually consist of two strands of chain to which slats are attached to provide a conveying surface. The slats do not overlap or interlock, and are constructed of wood or metal depending on the application. Units of this type are often mounted in a trench so that the top of the carrying slat is flush with the floor. In general they are operated at low speeds and operators can get on and off them easily. Units can be designed for horizontal or inclined applications, or a combination. Lengths are limited by the maximum allowable working tension of the chain to which the slats are attached. They should not be inclined more then 10 degrees unless special cleats are mounted on the slats.

Cross Bar Conveyors have two strands of chain connected by spaced bars or rods. It is a simple, inexpensive method of conveying in horizontal, inclined, and vertical planes, and in a variety of paths. In it’s simplest form, the cross-bar conveyor is used for handling unit loads. The bed upon which the load slides can be either a solid steel plate, or a series of wooden slats or rollers. A common application of the cross-bar conveyor is slow movement of parts through processes such as spraying, dipping, quenching, washing, bleaching, drying, and assembly. Speeds of cross-bar units may range from 25 to 100 fpm, depending on the application. Steel roller chain is commonly used with this conveyor, because it is easy to affix to the cross-bar.

Flat Top Chain Conveyors carry products on a flat chain, and are used frequently in the process industries to transport various types of metal, glass, ceramics, plastic, and paper containers. This conveyor is similar in operation to the flat belt conveyor, in that friction provides a key roll in conveying materials on a flat "table-top" system. The chain can be made of a variety of forms including mild steel, case hardened steel, stainless steel, acetyl plastic, nylon, and other materials.

Arm and Tray Elevators are designed specifically to convey loads vertically. Equipment in this group includes arm, reciprocating, suspended-tray, and opposed-shelf conveyors. These units can be manually or automatically loaded and unloaded, and may be tied into a multilevel system for handling almost any type of unit or packaged load.

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