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Bucket Elevator Conveyor System

Bucket conveyors move products (typically aggregate or bulk) vertically via reciprocating buckets. The conveyor is made of an interconnected loop of troughs/buckets that stay level when moving from horizontal to vertical, preventing their contents from spilling out.  The conveyor is loaded with material at the front, or “boot”, and each bucket automatically deposits at the end of the run, also known as the discharge. This process is a fast and automatic method of vertical conveying, as the same buckets which pick up material are used to deposit it. The design of these machines depends heavily on the material being transported as well as the desired height that it must travel, but they are reliable and efficient if made correctly. They perform best when moving dry, light, or powder material and are typically not used to move wet or sludge-like substances, as any buildup in the buckets will cause discharging issues.

Bucket conveyors are a popular choice for vertical conveying and find many uses in the biomass, cement, glass, mining, power generation, and paper industries to name only a few. They keep product contained in discrete units, unlike screw conveyors that homogenize the product and excel in handling abrasive, free-flowing aggregate. Bucket conveyors are non-accumulating and come in C, S, Z, or vertical arrangements, depending on the type. They can also be used horizontally but are best suited for inclines and vertical runs, as most are designed with verticality in mind. Some examples of bucket conveyor applications are in coal and ash handling equipment, grain elevators, and sugar conveyors.