Bucket elevators are designed for large quantities of light to heavy bulk material both vertically and horizontally. These elevators can be used to lift material from a holding area to transportation or the other way around. Quarried rock, grains, scrap metals, and whatever other bulk material handling needs to be accomplished.

Bucket elevators are used in almost every industry that needs to move large quantities of materials. They can be built in a variety of sizes depending on the job. Larger units are used in mining while smaller machinery is used for finer products, including food, pharmaceuticals, dry chemicals, and other more fragile materials.

When used along with conveyor belt systems, materials can be moved quickly and efficiently along the loading dock, separating stations, storage, packaging, and finally shipping docks. Bucket elevators made from heavy-duty stainless steel are ideal for food processing because of how easy it is to clean.

Types of bucket elevators

Generally speaking, there are three types of this machinery: Centrifugal discharge, continuous discharge, and positive discharge bucket elevators. There are also custom-made examples of the equipment, but all use a belt or chain with buckets attached. These buckets are usually fixed to the chain or belt.

Centrifugal: This is a chain-type of an elevator where the fixed buckets dig into the material at the bottom and lifts it to an opening at the top. There are two sprockets moving the chain and as the buckets loop over the head pulley, the buckets are turned upside down so the material is dumped. As the bucket loops under the lower sprocket, it is now positioned to scoop material once again.

Continuous: A belt-type of elevator, continuous bucket elevators require the buckets to be positioned very close to each other so no material can drop between them. Slower moving than centrifugal elevators, continuous discharge elevators are designed to handle lighter materials and can follow more custom paths, such as a “Z” shape, if needed. They are usually filled through an overhead inlet at the bottom but still emptied via gravity at the top.

Positive Discharge: When it comes time to dump the product, the buckets must be agitated to ensure the product is emptied from the bucket. These systems move at very slow speeds and the gentle handling of the material is ideal for food processing or pharmaceutical uses. Because of the slower speed, they can also be made much larger.

Most bucket elevators are almost fully enclosed to keep the material from escaping and are designed to handle fine material at a high capacity. There are several types of buckets for these elevators depending on what kind of material is being moved.

Bucket elevator installations

Storee Construction installs the material handling equipment for both interior and exterior applications. We incorporate the elevators with your existing conveyor systems or can create conveyor belts for more efficient productivity or to fit the unique layout of your facility.

We have been building custom material handling solutions for a wide range of industries throughout the Midwest for more than five decades. Our design-build teams work closely with you or your plant manager to ensure your bucket elevators work seamlessly with the rest of your equipment and production processes.