FEECO has been building custom bucket elevators for over 65 years. We offer a variety of bucket elevator designs and sizes to handle materials ranging from dry dusty powders such as fly ash, to heavy materials such as iron ore pellets. Bucket elevators can be ordered in a number of configurations, including centrifugal belt, centrifugal chain, continuous belt, continuous single chain and continuous double chain.
Centrifugal bucket elevators are chosen when there is a need to move large amounts of material quickly. Instead of direct loading, buckets serve as the loading apparatus, scooping material up from the boot or inlet section. For this reason, durable buckets should be selected with this design. Centrifugal force at the head pulley throws material from the buckets into the discharge chute. The buckets are spaced in wider intervals to prevent discharge interference from the preceding bucket and to assure maximum fill of the buckets at the boot end while moving at a higher speed. The design of this style yields optimized material fill and reduced interference between buckets.
Continuous bucket elevators are designed to handle friable, fragile materials to minimize product degradation or damage. They are also ideal for handling sluggish or abrasive materials. Continuous bucket elevators are also used to convey light, free-flowing matter where aeration of the material must be avoided.
Material is fed into the buckets from an inlet chute. Buckets are designed for gentle discharge; the buckets are closely spaced on the belt or chain to allow the material to flow over the backside of the preceding bucket, whose extended sides form a chute to guide the material into the discharge spout. Direct loading of the material, combined with the slow speed of this elevator type, avoids the throwing action associated with centrifugal style elevators, making it ideal for use with fragile materials.
Chain bucket elevators provide a higher-capacity, more durable handling option. They are best for jobs requiring rugged handling of large particles, or materials that are heated or have a potential for combustion.
All FEECO equipment and process systems can be outfitted with the latest in automation controls from Rockwell Automation. The unique combination of proprietary Rockwell Automation controls and software, combined with our extensive experience in process design and enhancements with hundreds of materials provides an unparalleled experience for customers seeking innovative process solutions and equipment.
Bucket elevators can handle a variety of materials, and therefore are used in many different industries and applications, though generally, they are not suited for wet, sticky materials, or materials that are stringy or tend to mat or agglomerate. They are frequently found in bulk material handling settings such as power plants, fertilizer plants, pulp & paper mills, and steel production facilities. Some of the most common materials for which bucket elevators are employed include:
Flexibility: Make sure the bucket elevator manufacturer is prepared to tailor the unit to the specific requirements of the material being handled, as well as any operational goals. This will ensure an efficient and reliable handling solution with long-term dependability.
Material Experience: Many bucket elevator manufacturers specialize in a specific industry. In choosing a manufacturer, ensure they have experience around the unique challenges of the material to be handled.
Aftermarket Support: Select a manufacturer that has the capabilities to service and maintain their equipment for a maximum return on investment. This includes provision of spare parts, training, installation assistance, and more.
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Image: The image above shows the scooping and throwing action of the centrifugal belt style elevator at left. At right, the more gentle feeding and discharge of the continuous belt style elevator is shown. Bucket Elevator Styles: The image above shows the scooping and throwing action of the centrifugal belt style elevator at left. At right, the more gentle feeding and discharge of the continuous belt style elevator is shown.
FEECOs bucket elevators are designed and fabricated to the highest quality standards. With over 65 years of experience, our equipment is especially valued in tough applications that require a high amount of ingenuity to achieve success.
bucket elevator buckets | features & benefits
Style AA The Style AA centrifugal elevator bucket has the traditional shape of a cast iron bucket. This bucket has a heavy reinforced lip and corners with a thickened back wall for mounting strength. The most common applications include handling stone, sand, gravel, coal, fertilizer, clay, salt, limestone and concrete. The AA bucket is the best bucket for tough, abrasive industrial applications.
Tiger-Tuff Industrial The Tiger-Tuff Industrial is a maximum duty industrial elevator bucket, designed and engineered to maximize bucket life and elevated capacity. The Tiger-Tuff Industrial bucket has the thickest lip, back wall and corners to maximize bucket life and maintain capacity. The most common applications include aggregate, sand, gravel, coal, gypsum, limestone, clay, concrete and many, many more. The Tiger-Tuff Industrial is the maximum duty industrial bucket for your most demanding industrial applications.
Style MF The Style MF Medium Front continuous elevator bucket has the traditional shape of an MF steel elevator bucket. It also has a heavy reinforced lip and corners with a thickened back wall for mounting strength. The most common applications include fertilizer, clay, alumina and pellets. The MF is the best bucket for fluffy or free flowing materials or those which require gentle handling.
Construction Non-metallic buckets are available with non-corrosive, non-sparking properties. Constructed with thicker walls and heavy front digging lip, various materials of construction offer heat, impact and abrasion resistance.
Reduced elevator maintenance Extended bucket life decreases elevator downtime and maintenance costs associated with bucket replacement. Buckets are easy to install and replace with a variety of fastening options.
Style AA Ductile Iron Buckets The Style AA style ductile iron (DI) elevator buckets are engineered to exceed the performance requirements of any industrial application. These buckets are designed with thicker walls and a reinforced front lip to increase bucket life in tough industrial environments. Ductile iron is far superior to malleable iron in both impact and abrasion resistance. Replacing malleable iron with ductile iron elevator buckets will result in longer bucket life and more efficient operation.
Wide Range of Use DI buckets offer extremely high impact and abrasion resistance and can be used in applications with product temperatures up to 600F. Buckets are designed to handle sand, glass cullet, stone, shot blast, rock, concrete and other abrasive products.
Reduced elevator maintenance Long wearing digging edges, strong impact and abrasion resistance lead to extended bucket life decreasing elevator downtime and maintenance costs associated with bucket replacement.
AA Buckets generally utilize a 3-piece construction; the end caps fit on the outside of the body and are continuously welded to the body. There generally is no taper on the sides of the bucket. The reinforced wear lip is attached to the front of the bucket.
bucket style selection
Has your company recently decided that its time for a new bucket elevator? Or maybe its time to replace the buckets on your old elevator? The process can seem fairly intimidating at first; buckets dont come in a one size fits all format and there seems to be an unlimited amount of options. The goal is to narrow down your options and pick the style that is best suited for your needs. Each bucket is designed in relation to its corresponding elevator and is categorized accordingly. There are two styles of elevators manufactured at FEECO: centrifugal and continuous. Each of these styles has very unique differences in how they function and because of this, they are each better suited to different bucket styles.
The centrifugal bucket elevator is designed to move large amounts of material quickly. Additionally, the buckets are required to dig the material from the boot section of the elevator and throw it out at the discharge end. Due to this, the buckets in this category have been dubbed digger buckets; they are robust and resistant to wear. The design also allows for side-by-side or staggered alignment options to increase handling capacities. The elevator bucket styles that FEECO offers for Centrifugal style elevators are: Style AA and Style AC. Both styles have a reinforced lip around the leading edge that prevents distortion when digging or scooping abrasive or heavily packed material. Style AC has a little different geometry than Style AA, including a higher front to handle larger capacities, and an angled back, which allows the buckets to be spaced closer together while still running at high speeds. Both Style AA and Style AC can be mounted on either a chain, or belt system and work well for more durable materials such as sand, gravel, cement, and many others. FEECOs engineers can assist in custom options for both style types, such as vent holes, which are vital in handling fine, powdery materials. Our material experience also allows us to determine which construction material(s) will work the best for your bulk material handling needs.
The continuous bucket elevator operates at slower speeds than the centrifugal elevator. The purpose is to decrease damage or degradation to the material that is being handled. The discharge system is softer, smoother, and continuous, with the underside of the previous bucket acting as a part of the discharge chute. This style does not rely on the bucket to dig the material from a pile, but rather, allows the material to flow into the bucket. The buckets in the continuous category can be employed for almost any material, but they are especially successful at handling a lighter or more fragile agglomerated material. The bucket styles that FEECO offers for continuous style elevators are: Medium-Front, High-Front, and Super-Capacity. Similar to the centrifugal buckets, all of FEECOs continuous style buckets can be mounted on either chain or belt elevator systems, as well as offer the option for vent/drain holes. Our in-house engineering and design department can assist in selecting the proper bucket style and construction materials to meet your application requirements.
Some materials require a unique or custom designed bucket style that does not fall into the above mentioned categories. No matter what your needs, FEECO is highly experienced in providing custom, heavy-duty bucket elevators and can assist you in your handling needs. For more information and technical specifications on buckets or bucket elevators, contact us today!