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Bucket Elevators Vs Belt Conveyors: What Is The Difference?

belt-conveyorWhen it comes to moving for example dry powdered materials or other types of products around a production facility, there are a many different options to create the right material transfer specification. Two of the most efficient methods are bucket elevators and belt conveyors

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While both have their own unique benefits and are often used together in certain applications, it can be challenging to decide the best option for your specific application. Let's take a look at the key differences between belt conveyors and bucket elevators so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your facility.

What Is a Belt Conveyor?

A belt conveyor can be designed to transport loads horizontally, around corners and at angles. They are usually constructed with a series of motorised belts. There are several different types of standard-type belt conveyors in use in industry today:

1) Flat Belt Conveyors

These are the most common conveyor belts in use across different product handling sectors. Flat belts move loads in a flat plane and feature a series of powered pulleys to help steer and guide the direction of the load.

2) Roller Bed Conveyor Belts

Roller bed conveyor belts are used in the production of heavy-duty loads or where reversible operations are necessary. They will often feature special bearings that allow the conveyor to spin while maintaining contact with the host machine.

3) Modular Belt Conveyors

Modular belt conveyors are customisable process units made up of a series of individual components that interlock to create the belt conveyor configuration that you need. They can be used for simple manoeuvres or more complicated operations where heavy loads move through an incline or decline, all while using the same motor.

What Is a Bucket Elevator?

A bucket elevator is a transfer system designed to move materials horizontally and vertically from one height to another - or even at an incline. The terms 'elevator' and 'conveyor' are different in design and function.

The most notable characteristic of a bucket elevator is that it features multiple sets of upward-facing buckets to move products in a vertical trajectory. These machines are powered by motored drives normally utilising chains made from steel or plastic, for example. On the other hand, bucket conveyors usually move materials horizontally or at an incline.

Bucket conveyors are often used in transferring many types of dry powder, wrapped or unwrapped confectionary products, plastic granules or pellets and many other types of material in different industries such chemicals, recycling, or general bulk handling applications.

Capacity of the bucket elevator can be accommodated using different bucket sizes for example 9 inches up to 36 inches in length.

One of the greatest advantages in using bucket elevators from Gough Engineering is their ability to handle products gently - both in transferring from one point to another but also in the tipping of the bucket to the next process - whereas other types of conveyor can throw the product causing product damage. This gentle handling solution is provided by the uniquely patented design of the Gough Swinglink Bucket Elevator (GBE).

The primary difference between bucket elevators and conveyor belts is the direction in which they move and their design.

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Contact us today on 01782 567770 to learn more about our custom designs and engineering solutions to help you handle materials throughout the production process!

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