Screw Conveyor Systems
Screw conveyor systems are systems that transport materials from one point to another by pushing using a rotating spiral screw that is placed inside a tube or trough. Screw conveyor systems have innumerable applications, and various different names, such as auger conveyors and helix conveyors.
Quick links to Screw Conveyor Systems Information
Purpose of Screw Conveyor Systems
No matter what they are called, screw conveyor systems are remarkably useful to material handling and bulk material handling applications. They are able to move solids, semi-solids, powders and granules, liquids and sludges from all sorts of containers, including silos, vats, barrels, pits, hoppers, trucks, and railcars. Some of the substances that transfer include: cereal grains, wood chips, sand, sulphur, gypsum, limestone, aggregates, clinker, coal, petroleum coke, carbon black, meat and bone meal, animal feed, sugar, fertilizers, potash, pills, plastic pellets, powdered chemicals and tea.
Process of Screw Conveyor Systems
Because of the diversity of need imposed upon them, screw conveyor systems are available in many different configurations. Nevertheless, screw conveyor systems are built off of a few established norms.
First, they typically feature a trough or a completely enclosed system like a tube. This particular feature makes sure that, during operation, a system does not lose any material and that said material is not contaminated in any way during its transfer from point A to point B.
Second, and most importantly, they feature a rotating helical screw blade, also known as an auger or as a flighting, which does the important work of propelling the material inside the conveyor system upwards or downwards.
From here, screw conveyor systems begin to vary. For instance, most screw conveyor system components are made from a metal like aluminum or aluminum. Some, however, are instead made from high performance plastics; this is the case when an application presents a particularly high impact, high heat and/or high moisture environment. In addition, depending on their application, screw conveyor systems may work vertically, horizontally or on an incline.
Design of Screw Conveyor Systems
Vertical conveyors, as their name suggests, feature a long, vertical tube or channel, which is attached to a sturdy structure, such as the storage unit into which the conveyor is to direct materials. Inside this channel is a rotating helical screw blade that, as it rotates, forces material up through the system. At the bottom of the channel is an inlet, which is generally found inside a small vessel from which the channel draws up materials to be transported.
Meanwhile, located at the top of the channel is an outlet. From here, the transported material exits the channel and enters the aforementioned storage space. Vertical screw conveyor systems are most popular for use with agricultural applications, especially the transportation of agricultural products into storage silos. Horizontal screw conveyor systems are the only system that use troughs, which are open on the top. This is because horizontal screw conveyor systems move on a flat plane, rather than up and down, so materials will not necessarily fall out if they do not use completely enclosed vessels. They are popular for use with any application that does not require the material be moved up and/or down.
Finally, inclined screw conveyor systems work at a slight angle, using a tube that is situated on an incline in the ground. An inclined auger conveyor may be used in agricultural applications, as well as food processing and manufacturing, to name a few.
Things to Consider When Choosing Screw Conveyor Systems
Screw conveyor systems are valuable and well worth a look by those searching for a good conveyor system, whether they wish to extend an existing system or start fresh with a new one. One of the many reasons why screw conveyor systems are so popular is that they are incredibly gentle on the materials and products that are transporting, keeping them intact and unharmed. This gentleness is the reason that they can be used to move sensitive items such as fiberglass, ferric sulfate, lead oxide, cocoa beans, caffeine powder, flour, garlic powder and vitamins.
In addition to sensitive materials, they can be used to move small and/or powdery materials that, were they transported using other conveyor systems, would likely fall off and accumulate on other conveyor parts, such as in the workings beneath the belt or in between rollers. Such events would cost manufacturers time and money via material loss, the slowing of operations and conveyor system cleaning. Screw conveyors do not present this problem. To find out more about screw conveyor systems and what they may do for your application, reach out to an experienced conveyor manufacturer today. For the best results, turn to the manufacturers trusted by IQS, who can be found near the top of this page.