Equipment Spotlight: Material Handling Conveyors

Understanding the differences between material handling conveyor systems can help you avoid system failures and unnecessary design complexities that can reduce reliability and increase cost.

Drag Chain Conveyors

Generally used in dust-tight environments, drag chain conveyors are ideal for handling hot, abrasive and/or corrosive material, and when a shift in elevation is required. There are two common types of drag chain conveyors – single chain strand and multiple chain strand.  Dual strand drag conveyors are effective for handling both solid particles and large particles in a bottom ash removal system.  However, they can present design challenges in the form of uneven drag chain elongation – an issue that can present maintenance and operational challenges.

Key features of a drag chain conveyors:

  • Designed for vertically pulling materials such as coal, wood, TDF, lime and other materials while maintaining particle integrity.
  • Engineered with multiple inlets and discharge points for maximum efficiency.

Screw Conveyors

Also known as an auger conveyor, the screw conveyor utilizes a flighting (a rotating helical screw blade, usually within a tube) to transfer liquid or granular materials. Ideal for handling a wide variety of materials from biomass to sludge-like substances, screw conveyors typically feature enclosed housing to prevent leakage and compact designs that allows for relatively easy installation.

Key features of a screw conveyor:

  • Can be a very economical method of conveying when space allows.
  • Can be operated with the flow of material inclined upward.

Belt Conveyor

Widely known for being the most economical method for conveying solid materials over long distances, a belt conveyor can be constructed to work independently or in tandem with other conveyors as part of a more complex fuel handling system.  Belt conveyors are flexible enough to handle varying elevations and can operate over short or long distances. This type of conveyor is ideal for handling dry materials, as debris from damp or sticky material can stick or clump to system components.

Key features of a belt conveyor:

  • Transport a large variety of materials size, composition and capacity.
  • Flexibility for loading and discharging of materials.
  • Improved reliability due to fewer moving parts.

Regardless of the specifics of your setup, reliable conveyor solutions must be fabricated with highly-specialized alloys and coatings to withstand a wide array of environmental factors. ProcessBarron designs, fabricates and installs material handling conveyors that reduce maintenance requirements and maximize efficiency – including redesigning or retrofitting existing systems.

Contact ProcessBarron to learn more about how our custom fabricated material handling conveyors can improve efficiency and maximize your material handling operations.